777R. L. Liepmann to Harrod, 8 June 1938 [a]

Leo Liepmann summarizes to Harrod the agreement between Beveridge and the Royal Economic Society regarding the procedure for the concession of financial support for the publication of Beveridge's History of Prices. It was agreed that Liepmann, as Beveridge's editor, should discuss the matter with Harrod and Hawtrey. He thus asks to meet Harrod to examine the case. [1]

  1. 1. W. H. Beveridge, Prices and Wages in England, London: Longmans, 1939. This arrangement follows from Keynes's suggestion to Beveridge that in order to facilitate the concession of financial support for the publication of his book from the Royal Economic Society it would be useful if it could be considered to offer the publication to members on special terms (Keynes to Beveridge, 10 February 1938, in JMK RES/1/2/121). A voluminous correspondence between Harrod, Keynes, Liepmann, and Hawtrey followed. On 14 June Harrod asked Keynes to supply an estimate of the number of members of the Royal Economic Society who would buy the book if they could have it at special conditions (in JMK RES/1/2/125, photocopy in HP II-200); Keynes expected that some 50 to 100 copies could be sold this way (letter to Harrod, 15 June 1938, in HP II-200; Cc in JMK RES/1/2/126; Harrod further referred to trade difficulties in selling Beveridge's book on 16 June, in JMK, RES/1/2/127-28, photocopy in HP II-200). On the basis of this estimate Liepmann inquired with Longmans (letter to Harrod, 20 June, in JMK RES/1/2/134), reported that the publisher would have agreed to a reduction of one third provided that the RES acted as a bookseller (letter to Harrod, 22 June, in JMK RES/1/2/135), and on 23 June sent specimen proofs for inspection to Harrod and Hawtrey (in JMK RES/1/2/136). On 26 August, Harrod sent to Keynes additional information on his dealing with Liepmann, and communicated that the Rockefeller Foundation would be interested in partly financing the enterprise, if some conspicuous English subscription could be produced; Hawtrey had been informed of the negotiations (JMK RES/1/2/129-30; photocopy in HP II-200). Keynes replied that he was glad to leave to Harrod to report to the RES council on Beveridge's book, and provided some information on the RES financial position (29 august 1938, in JMK RES/1/2/131-32 and HP II-200; see also letters 827 and 832 ).

    The result of Harrod's negotiations were put down before a meeting of the RES in November (Keynes to Harrod, 26 October 1938, in HP II/91; Liepmann thanked for Harrod's summary of the terms of offer on 2 November, in JMK RES/1/2/137). The RES Council eventually resolved to assist the sale of the book among members at 1/3 off, but in the view of the considerable imminent forthcoming expenses (the jubilee celebration and the publication of Ricardo's Collected Works) it was decided not to grant the proposed contribution (Keynes to Liepmann, 11 November 1938, Cc in JMK RES/1/2/138-39).

    1. a. From 38 Davenant Road, Oxford, one page ALS, in JMK RES/1/2/133.

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