194. Harrod to J. M. Keynes , 4 January 1931 [a]

[Answered by 195 R]

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The document, however, is transcribed in the hard edition of The Interwar Papers and Correspondence of Roy Harrod, Cheltenham: Elgar, 2003.

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34, Campden Hill Gardens, W. 8.

4 January 1931 [1]

Dear Maynard

It was very nice having a talk. [2] A point I didnt mention about the boring subject of myself is the extraordinary lack of stimulus in Oxford. I have no one with whom I ever discuss economics in the place--apart from pupils. Even Robbins has gone. [3] There are left two or three very young tutors, who may turn out well, but are not yet very interesting to talk to. [4] We badly need some master mind to create the subject in Oxford. My own little private fountain of inspiration is quite inadequate to this task. [5] I have some fear of relapsing, after this period of rather considerable activity one way and another, into habits of morbid introspection acquired at an earlier stage! The Censorship ends next December. [6]

You have, however, rather discouraged the notion that the London School is a way out. I think the idea of making more of London in term and more of Oxford in vacation a good one.

The Treatise <takes> some digesting. [7] I am not sure how much I shall have digested in time for my lectures on Money next term. [8] Luckily I have reached the stage in which all old notes are scrapped, so that I have to re-shape the structure of the lectures on each occasion that I give them.

With all good wishes for the Macmillan Report. [9]



  1. 1. Misdated 1930.

    2. Keynes's appointment diary scheduled a meeting with Harrod on 4 January (JMK PP/41).

    3. Robbins, having spent two years in Oxford, finally returned to the London School of Economics in 1929.

    4. The young fellows at Oxford in 1930-31 were I. Bowen (All Souls); R. F. Bretherton (Wadham); E. G. Dowdell (St. John's College); L. M. Fraser (Queen's); R. L. Hall (Trinity); E. L. Hargreaves (Oriel College); E. M. Hugh-Jones (Keble). James Meade was spending a year in Cambridge, while Henry Phelps Brown was in the United States (see letters 181 R, 202 R, 215 R).

    5. Harrod probably refers to F. A. Lindemann, with whom he used to spend long nights in discussions: see Harrod, The Prof. (1959), pp. 43-44.

    6. Harrod was junior censor at Christ Church from 1927 to 1929, and senior censor in 1930 and 1931.

    7. J. M. Keynes, A Treatise on Money (1930). In June, Harrod was still trying to assimilate some passages: see letters 212 and 213 .

    8. The Oxford University Gazette announced Harrod's course on "Money" during Hilary term 1931.

    9. Keynes was a member--indeed, the most active one--of the committee drafting the Report of the Committee on Finance and Industry (London: HMSO, 1931); the other members were T. E. Gregory, C. Lubbock, R. H. Brand and Macmillan). When Harrod wrote, Keynes was preparing a possible framework for the Report, which was ready by 20 January 1931 (see D. Moggridge, Maynard Keynes. An Economist's Biography, London: Routledge, 1992, pp. 509-10).

a. ALS, two pages on one leaf, in HP II-148.