665. J. M. Keynes to Harrod , 5 May 1937 [a]

[Replies to 664 , answered by 667 ]

46, Gordon Square, Bloomsbury #

5 May 1937

Dear Roy,

Is there any chance of your coming to Cambridge in the near future? I shall be in almost continuous residence for the next three weeks. If you are, I should like to talk over with you the question of your applying for the professorship. It is a serious matter. For you certainly could not do so without serious risk of being elected! My first impulse would be to advise you against it. I think it is open to all the objections you mention. I do not see much advantage unless you were feeling an urge to get away from Oxford and smell London, which, unless I misunderstand your letter, you do not.

I should have thought it would be very easy to organise your life so as to get quite as much London as you need or want. Indeed, perhaps you are doing that already.

One might add to the disadvantages you mention the fact (at any rate to my mind) that there is something about the atmosphere of Chatham House boring and slightly futile. And I think it would be very unsafe to commit yourself to want to study in the next few years mainly those branches of economics which this Chair covers.

So far as cash goes, unless there is a great difference between Oxford and Cambridge, I find it hard to believe that it would really make much difference, certainly in the long run.

Yours ever,

J M Keynes

R. Harrod Esq., Christ Church, Oxford.

  1. a. TLS, two pages on two leaves (the second numbered), in HP II-74; envelope addressed to Christ Church. A CcI was also retained by Harrod, and is now located in HP II-75. Reproduced by kind permission of the Provost and Scholars, King's College, Cambridge.

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