450R. J. M. Keynes to Harrod, 18 June 1935 [a]

Keynes anticipates that Harrod may be invited to a monetary conference in Antwerp in the second week of July, and asks him to accept in order to have "a pleasant party of a few days in Belgium" with Lydia, and Hubert and Faith Henderson. [1] The exchange continues at 452 R.

  1. 1. Refers to the Meeting of Economists organized by the Antwerp Chamber of Commerce, held on 11-13 July 1935, with the participation of F. Bauduin, M. Ansiaux, L. Dechesne, G. De Leener, R. Miry, B. S. Chlepner, G. Craen, L. H. Dupriez, R. P. Muller (Belgium), Bertrand Nogaro (France), Harrod, Henderson and Keynes (Great Britain), Ohlin (Sweden) and G. M. Verryn Stuart (Netherlands). The proceedings are published as Compte-rendu des travaux de la Réunion d'économistes organisée par la Chambre de commerce d'Anvers, les 11, 12 et 13 juillet 1935. Report of the proceedings of the Meeting of economists, held at the Antwerp Chamber of commerce, on July the 11th, 12th, and 13th, 1935, Brecht-Anvers: Typ. Braeckmans, 1935; Harrod's note is titled "A Comment on the Questions for Discussion" ( 1935:5 ); a mimeographed version is in HCN 14.5.1.

    The meeting aimed at finding some common terms among famous economists on the means for stabilizing currencies and reviving international trade, in a context of serious differences in the policies pursued by different countries which were characterized by nationalism rather than international co-operation (Préface, in Compte-rendu des travaux de la Réunion d'économistes). The questions for discussion were:

    • 1st question: Monetary policy and International trade.

      a) In what measure does the development of International relations depend on the restoration of an international monetary system, and

      b) Consequently what monetary policy should the countries of the world pursue?

      2nd question: The future of International Trade.

      Assuming the monetary problem to be solved, what are the prospects of a return to a greater freedom in trade, taking into account the evolution which has taken place in international trade during the last few years and structural changes which such an evolution does and may still entail? (Report of the proceedings of the Meeting of economists, p. 8).

    Harrod was invited at Keynes's suggestion. Keynes was asked in January to take part in the conference by A. Le Jeune, and was invited to suggest the names of other British economist who could participate (JMK PS/6/21). Keynes at first suggested Henderson (10 January 1935, in JMK PS/6/22), Le Jeune inquired about Robertson (JMK PS/6/26-27), and Keynes added Kahn's name (28 March 1935, in JMK PS/6/28). The organizers of the conference decided to invite Henderson and Kahn (JMK PS/6/32), and Keynes forwarded the invitation to Kahn (9 April 1935, in JMK PS/6/33). Kahn seems to have accepted at first and later changed his mind, and it is at this point that Keynes put forward Harrod's name.

    1. a. From 46, Gordon Sq., Bloomsbury # , one page TLS with autograph correction and addition, in HP II-46. Cited by kind permission of the Provost and Scholars, King's College, Cambridge.

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