560. D. H. Robertson to Harrod , 17 May 1936 [a]

[Answered by 561 ]

Trinity College, Cambridge

17 May 1936

My dear Roy,

Many--belated--thanks for your letter and paper. [1] Fancy being able to throw off a thing like that as a pÁrergon! Your Fecundity astounds me & fills me with shame. And a new book coming too, and that nice note about making the rich work. [2]

I am not competent to criticise your paper. I believe in my heart I still think it is nearer the truth to say "Promotion of the common interest is good" than to say "Good is the promotion of the common interest". But in Part II the application of the Principle of the External Diseconomies of Large-Scale to Lying etc. does seem to me to sharpen things up admirably. [3]

Alas, I must decline your invitation. A congested term, with Tripos at the end. I gather--with regret--that you are not among our Entente Cordiale guests next week-end.

I'm afraid I'm not converted to the G.T.E. [4] The distortions and exaggerations don't seem to me helpful in bringing the mind to bear on the real problems at issue.

But no more about that at present!



  1. 1. Harrod, "Utilitarianism Revised" ( 1936:5 ).

    2. Harrod, The Trade Cycle ( 1936:8 ) and "Another Fundamental Objection to Laissez-Faire" ( 1936:4 ), respectively.

    3. Harrod, "Utilitarianism Revised" ( 1936:5 ), pp. 144 and 148, respectively.

    4. Refers to Keynes's General Theory (1936).

    1. a. ALI, two pages on one leaf, in HPBL Add. 71188/142.

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