898. Harrod to D. Veale , 28 February 1939 [a]

Christ Church, Oxford#

28 February 1939

Dear Veale

I have been authorized by the Economics Research group [1] to make an application to the Co-ordinating Committee for a grant of from £150 to £200 towards meeting the expenses of publishing Pt II of the work which Andrews has in preparation. [2]

Andrews, as you may know, has, in addition to his work as secretary of our group, [3] been doing some very heavy work on the analysis of a large number of company balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the years from 1924 to the present day. We believe that this work has been done more systematically than ever before in this country and that the results are a mine of valuable information which should be published. It is also contemplated that this might be the beginning of a periodically published index of profits, stocks and other magnitudes of economic interest, which might be undertaken by the Institute, and would be more authoritative than any now published.

Andrews' work falls into two parts. There is the commentary and summary which would form a volume of moderate size (Pt I) and we might expect to get this published by the Press as one of their series or otherwise and subsidized if at all out of the revolving fund provided by the Committee for Advanced Studies. Pt II consists of 500 pages of <full> tables in which 150 industries are separately analysed. This could not be put upon the revolving fund and the cost would be very heavy. We hope that it might be possible to get some of it covered by advance subscriptions to the publication.

We believe that this is one of the most important fruits of our labours and hope that the Co-ordinating Committee will give favourable consideration to this application. It can be made more precise when we obtain estimates of the cost of publication. It is not supposed that the grant asked for will cover the whole cost.

Yours sincerely

R. F. Harrod

Chairman, Economists' Research Group

  1. 1. The Oxford Economists' Research Group.

    2. See letter 888 R to Veale, [jump to page] . This was the topic of P. W. S. Andrews's Ph.D. dissertation. The research was abandoned at the outset of the war, and the data were not published. However, Andrews made it available in 1945 to Ronald Hope, who used it in his thesis on "Profits in British Industry from 1924 to 1935" (see F. S. Lee, "Philip Walter Sawford Andrews, 1914-1971", introduction to P. W. S. Andrews, The Economics of Competitive Enterprise. Selected Essays, edited by F. S. Lee and P. E. Earl, Aldershot: Elgar, 1993, p. 4, and Young and Lee, Oxford Economics and Oxford Economists, 1993, p. 135).

    3. Andrews, Phelps Brown's research assistant, was hired as secretary of the OERG on 1 January 1938.

    1. a. ALS, three pages, marked "Copy. Circulate" in pencil, in Social Studies Research Committee, OUA UR6/MS/3/2.


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