87R. Harrod to Mary Murray, 26 May 1925 [a]

Harrod explains that in the matter of the election of the Chancellor, he is "Asquithian rather than liberal". [1] "It does not seem to me to matter whether the Chancellor is a Liberal or a Conservative. So far as the fulfilment of his duties is concerned all that is requisite is that he should be able to protect the interest of the University and of learning, if that should be necessary, against unwise inexperience of the Board of Education, which may be more common in the future. For the past, considering the dignity as purely titular, I weigh the academic record, the greatness of the personality of the man, and the personal satisfaction which I will afford him. For these reasons I definitely prefer Asquith to Grey". Harrod also points out to Mary Murray that "for the stream of Liberal undergraduates who have passed thro' Oxford since 1918 Asquith has meant very much, Grey nothing."

  1. 1. Harrod supported the nomination of Asquith for the election to the Chancellorship of Oxford University against the other Liberal possible candidate, Sir Edward Grey. Grey eventually withdrew from the race. Harrod took part in an "intrigue", concocted by F. A. Lindemann, aiming at convincing the Liberal dons that Asquith's nomination was a fait accompli. The episode is narrated in Harrod, The Prof. (1959), pp. 119-29, and further discussed in Birkenhead, The Prof in Two Worlds. The Official Life of Professor F. A. Lindemann, Viscount Cherwell, London: Collins, 1961, pp.135-37. C. M. Bowra recollected that Harrod and Lindemann both "worked hard to collect names of supporters" so that "an impressive list was formed, including the better heads of houses and a number of bishops" (Memories 1898-1939, 1966, p. 207).

    Gilbert Murray, with whom Harrod had "extensive pourparlers" on the subject, was in favour of Grey. On Harrod's attempts to persuade him see The Prof., pp. 124. Gilbert Murray's son Basil also wrote to Harrod discussing the merits of Grey and Asquith on 27 May (in HPBL Add 71611/156-58).

    1. a. From Christ Church # , four pages ALS, in GMP 238-39.


Welcome page

top of page

Return to index of this section

Go to previous page

Go to next page