842. D. H. Robertson to Harrod , 25 September 1938 [a]

[Replies to 826 , the exchange continues at 848 ]

Trinity [College, Cambridge]

25 September 1938

My dear Roy,

This [1] reached me on holiday, when I had not the sacred text at hand: forgive me for not dealing with it quicker on return.

These books are a damned nuisance when they come knocking at the door for revision. I have let "Control of Industry" lapse altogether, and stabilised "Money" as economic history,--a 1928 picture of a 1928 world. [2] But it is certainly too early and too defeatist about yours. I don't pretend to have worked through it, but I should think revision on the lines you suggest would do the trick. But there surely must be a policy chapter replacing the present 7-8 (and enshrining p. 174!). [3]

Personally I have always regarded ch II as the most valuable part of the book, with its gallant rehabilitation of comp. cost: and I have accordingly regarded its difficulty, the amount of arithmetic to which one is invited, and above all the truly Marshallian way in which the fundamental difficulty is tucked into a footnote on p. 26! If that chapter could be classified, I shouldn't much mind what happened to the rest of the book! But that is the comment of a reader & teacher, not of an editor.

Well, I hope you will feel inclined to tackle it,--and since your intellectual energy is evidently unlimited, I feel sure you will.

Yours ever


One goes on writing about such things mechanically, as I suppose the victims of the Flood went on with their housekeeping up to the last moment.

  1. 1. Refers to a plan of revision of International Economics (Harrod 1933:10 and 1939:3 ).

    2. D. H. Robertson, The Control of Industry, London: Nisbet, and Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; first published in 1923, revised in 1928. Money (1922, 1928; the next edition was published in 1948).

    3. The changes introduced in the new edition are described in note 8 to letter 826 .

    1. a. ALI, two pages on one leaf, in HP IV-990-1069d/60.

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