Henderson, Hubert Douglas

Born to a family of business people, Henderson (1890-1952, knighted 1942) was educated at Rugby School and Emmanuel College, where he took mathematics and economics. In Cambridge he acquired an interest in Liberal politics which led him to be secretary and then president of the Cambridge Union (1912). After the war Henderson abandoned the Civil Service to be a fellow at Clare College, Cambridge, and a lecturer at the university (1919-23). He was part of the group organizing the first Liberal Summer Schools, and in 1923 he was offered by Keynes the editorship of The Nation and the Athenæum, which he held for seven years. The same group also organized the inquiry leading to the Liberal Yellow book (Britain's Industrial Future, 1928), in which Henderson played a considerable part. In the late 1920s and early 1930s he was a member of several Chatham House research groups, in some of which Harrod also took part. In 1930-34 he was a member, then advisory secretary and joint secretary, of the Economic Advisory Council. In 1934 was elected to a research fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford (he was also appointed warden in 1951, but did not take it up). There, with Harrod and Meade , he founded the Oxford Economists' Research Group, which he also chaired (1936-38); he also helped organize the newly founded Oxford Institute of Statistics. He was a member (chairperson from 1946) of the Royal Commission on Population (1944-49), for which Harrod produced written and oral evidence, and Drummond professor of political economy in Oxford from 1945 (this was a source of Harrod's dismay, as he also applied for the position).

Harrod recollected that "he was not interested in the more abstract developments of economic theory, and sometimes even showed hostility to their cultivation", pointing out that "he showed the most violent and frankest possible hostility to my book entitled An Essay on the Trade Cycle, not, to the best of my understanding, for any particular proposition in it, but for its genre".

See list of letters .

Source: DNB ; www ; New Palgrave ; H. Clay, "Introduction", in H. D. Henderson, The Inter-war Years and Other Papers. A Selections from the Writings of Hubert Douglas Henderson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955); Harrod, "The Pre-War Faculty", Oxford Economic Papers, NS 5, 1953 (Supplement Sir Hubert Henderson).


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