45R. Frances Harrod to Harrod, [13 November 1922] [a]

Harrod's mother comments that it had to be expected that Cambridge men would oppose Oxford, and that the audience's disagreement reveals the speaker's originality. She wants to read Harrod's paper. [1]

  1. 1. Frances Harrod refers to a paper--which does not seem to be extant--Harrod read before Keynes's Political Economy Club: see note 2 to letter 39 R. Several years later, in responding to an inquiry by P. E. Sorensen on the reasons why Edgeworth continued to lecture on Mill's Principles long after Marshall's work appeared, Harrod described as follows the context of this paper:
    • You know the Oxford tradition. In the social sciences read, if possible, Plato and Aristotle. If you are unfortunate enough not to know Greek, read Locke, Hume and Russeau. I doubt if the historians [on whose decision the choice of textbooks depended] would have agreed to eliminate Mill and, if they had, I doubt if they would have accepted Marshall. [...] A further illustration of the Oxford attitude was when a Finals School including economics was set up after Edgeworth ceased to be professor; the set-books for the Principles papers--in the choice of which I am sure Edgeworth had no part--were: Adam Smith, Ricardo, List, Jevons and Marx. Nothing about Marshall!

    While Harrod's memory regarding the prescribed books was very accurate (the Examination Statutes of 1923 prescribed for political economy Smith's Wealth of Nations, the Works of David Ricardo in McCulloch's edition, Marx's Capital, vol. I, Jevons's Theory of Political Economy, and List's National System of Political Economy), his recollection of the content of the paper and the discussion which followed seems to contradict in part the implications of his mother's letter:

    • Shortly after that I read a paper to Keynes' small group in Cambridge entitled "Should Cambridge Economists Be Read in Oxford?" I guess that I somewhat deprecated our list. Keynes, on the other hand, in summing up, said that he found much virtue in the Oxford system of confining its set books to authors of mature vintage. (Harrod, "Notes on Edgeworth", April 1964, in HP IV/1165-1171/3).
      1. a. ALS, one page, with envelope addressed to King's College, Cambridge, in HPBL Add. 72772/38-39. Date read from postmark.


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