903. Harrod to OERG , 21 April 1939 [a]

21 April 1939


I have reason to believe that the Rockefeller Foundation will give favorable consideration to an application for a substantial grant for the finance of further research here after 1940; [1] and that the newly appointed director of this social science branch [2] will visit Oxford in the coming Autumn, or even this summer, with a view to discussing projects with us.

It is important therefore that we should be well prepared in our own minds.

With regard to Nuffield College, it does not seem likely that it can evolve a fully thought scheme of research, which might rival ours, so soon. Moreover it is most important that our group, which best represents the collective mind of economists in Oxford and will continue to do [b] so, if it continues to exist, should stake out its claim for projects which from its own point of view it [c] desires to pursue. Even if the University decides that the application should go through Nuffield College, the grant may be ear-marked for our purposes, just as it was when the application went through the Social Studies Research Committee. The Rockefeller Foundation has cognisance of our existence [d] and would, I believe, consider favorably a proposal to ear-mark their money, or some of it, for our purposes.

I have been informed that the interest of the Foundation has moved away from trade cycle study towards that of growth and structural change. But I do not think that this change need be seriously inconsistent with continuity in our own research aims.

I therefore ask members of the group to think ahead with a view to pooling and sorting our ideas at the meeting next Wednesday. [3]

R. F. Harrod (typed)

  1. 1. The Rockefeller Foundation recently extended up to the end of 1940 the previous three-year grant to the Oxford Economists' Research Group, expiring in July 1939: see note 1 to letter 881 R, note 2 to letter 888 R and note 2 to essay 15 .

    2. Joseph H. Willits, director of the Rockefeller Foundation's Division of Social Sciences from 1 January 1939. He replaced Sydnor H. Walker, the acting director.

    3. Refers to a meeting of the OERG to be held on 26 April in Harrod's rooms at Christ Church (see source note a to this letter).

    1. a. TS, two leaves two pages, typed by Andrews; the letter is typed under a note initialled P. W. S. A. announcing a meeting of the Group in Harrod's rooms at Christ Church, to be held on 26 April 1939. In ABP, folder 170.

      b. Ts: «todo».

      c. Ts: «if».

      d. Ts: «existance».

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