166R. Harrod to J. D. Woodruff, 14 June 1929 [a]

Replies to 165 R. "I regard Cole as a good man, an able man, a vital man, one who has done most useful work and gained wide experience. But when you come to assessing his point of view, well, he is rude, unsubtle, [i]nsensitive, uncultivated, from the purely intellectual point of view not in the first class of ability, and I confess that I cant find any basis for comparing myself with him. He belongs to a different order of the animal world, useful and highly admirable in his own way. His very shortcomings may enable him to do more, to be more effective in the world than if he were more highly endowed. But one cant help having a sneaking affection for the qualities with which one is oneself (comparatively) well equipped." [1]

  1. 1. G. D. H. Cole was instrumental in involving Harrod in a number of activities linked to the political left: in 1925 he recommended him as a possible tutor for the Workers' Educational Association (see letter 91 R), in 1931 he induced him to speak on electoral platforms in support of Labour candidates where no Liberal contested seats (see letter 220 ), in 1932 he invited Harrod to contribute to a book written by members of the New Fabian Research Bureau ("Currency and Central Banking", Harrod 1933:13 ), and probably played some part in convincing Harrod to take part in other activities of this organization in 1932-34 (see note 1 to essay 8 ; the NFRB itself resulted from a series of conferences organized by Cole and his wife Margaret). There is, however, no evidence of Harrod having participated in the "Cole group", an informal discussion group especially active in the late 1920s in which several of Harrod's future friends and colleagues took part, including James Meade, Colin Clark, Evan Durbin, Hugh Gaitskell, John Betjeman (on Cole's role in the NFRB and on the "Cole group" see E. Durbin, New Jerusalems (1985), in particular pp. 79-81 and 93-98).
    1. a. From Christ Church # , five pages ALS, in DWP Box 3 Folder 23.


Welcome page

top of page

Return to index of this section

Go to previous page

Go to next page