910R. W. Craven-Ellis to Harrod, 19 June 1939 [a]

Craven-Ellis sends a copy of a draft "Report" relating to the activities of the Parliamentary Monetary Committee [1] which has been deemed advisable to circulate to members of Parliament and to the press, [2] and asks if Harrod has any comments on it. [3] He also invites Harrod to send in suggestions regarding possible works of a national character that local authorities or private enterprises could undertake, to be attached to the "Report". [4]

  1. 1. On Harrod's collaboration with the Parliamentary Monetary Committee see note 1 to essay 20 .

    2. "Parliamentary Monetary Committee Report for Session 1938-39. Draft"; this version seems to have been drafted by Craven-Ellis and Morgan Webb, possibly with the collaboration of P. C. Loftus (MP) and Shepherd. Harrod's copy, with extensive pencilled annotations, is in HP VI-130.

    3. Harrod's critical annotations, written in the margin of his copy of the "Report", were quite extensive, and at some points required radical revision of the text on matters of both style and substance. In particular, Harrod disagreed with the criticism that the Tripartite Agreement implied renouncing the independence of sterling and subordinating the requirements of internal prosperity to the stability of the sterling-dollar exchange rate. Moreover, he did not agree that the fall in wholesale prices since 1937 was an effect of monetary deflation nor, conversely, that cheap money had alone had a beneficial effect on prices between 1932 and 1937: "I believe cheap money was certainly helpful and I applaud it most strongly, but I cannot make it solely or even mainly responsible for the recovery of prices".

    4. The project was first postponed to the autumn, and eventually aborted. On 6 July Craven-Ellis proposed that a meeting be held to finalize the "Report" (in HP VI-132-161/16), but arranging such a meeting proved impossible. Harrod offered to draft a memorandum himself, and Craven-Ellis gladly accepted. He thus sent back the copy of the draft with Harrod's annotations (letter to Harrod, 14 July 1939, in HP VI-132-161/18). On 1 August, Craven-Ellis sent Harrod some notes he wrote with Morgan Webb on Harrod's comments on the draft (in HP VI-132-161/20). On 1 December 1939, Craven-Ellis wrote to Harrod that in view of the war it was decided to drop part 2. However, Craven-Ellis would have liked to see Harrod's notes if they had been drafted, while otherwise Harrod should not have bothered with them. He explained that the activities of the Committee, however, continued (in HP VI-132-161/25).

    1. a. From 21 Portland Place, London # , TLS, one page, in HP VI-132-161/14.


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