738. Joan Robinson to Harrod , 13 January [1938] [a]

[Replies to 735 , answered by 739 ]

3 Trumpington St., Cambridge

13 January [1938] [1]

My dear Roy

When I said "encourage" [2] I was thinking of the human rather than the statistical aspect of the question. There are still plenty of women who have children when they don't want to, and the campaign in which you are taking part is already hampering efforts to give birth control facilities to those who need them most, and I fear will help to put off all hope of legalising abortion (I am not of course accusing you of directly wishing for these results). On the general question there is nothing that I can say. It involves ones whole philosophy of life and on such points it is useless to argue. I can only beg you to [b] believe that it is possible for a sane person (if you think I am sane) to have a philosophy different from your own.

If you are not too disgusted to continue the correspondence would you tell me something about the position in France. As they are a leap ahead of us they ought by now to have reached the stage of rapid decline--what is the position at present?


Joan Robinson

It appears that [c] Pigou has now been converted by the General Theory (which however he attributes to Kaldor) and will publish in March a recantation of his appalling article in the Sept. E.J. [3]

  1. 1. Year read from postmark.

    2. See letter 735 , [jump to page] .

    3. References are respectively to A. C. Pigou, "Money Wages in Relation to Unemployment", Economic Journal XLVIII, March 1938, pp. 134-38, and "Real and Money Wage Rates in Relation to Unemployment", Economic Journal XLVII, September 1937, pp. 405-22. Pigou's "conversion" was inspired by Kaldor's comments on his original article ("Prof. Pigou on Money Wages in Relation to Unemployment", Economic Journal XLVII, December 1937, pp. 745-53) and took place "Under a logical rod wielded privately by Mr. Champernowne" (Pigou, "Money Wages ...", p. 134).

    1. a. ALS, two pages on one leaf, with envelope addressed to Christ Church, in HPBL Add. 72737/1-2. Reproduced by kind permission of the Provost and Scholars, King's College, Cambridge.

      b. Ms: «beg you believe».

      c. Ms: «the».

Welcome page

top of page

Return to index of this section

Go to previous page

Go to next page