Graham Hutton

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(David) Graham Hutton (13 April 1904 - 14 October 1988) was a free market economist, journalist and former British propagandist.

Early life

Born in 1904, 'Hutton joined his father's import-export business from Christ's Hospital school. At 18 he was a keen socialist whose enthusiasm included the classics, English and European literature, foreign languages, travel, music and art. Riding, flying, ecclesiology and many others were to follow. But one became his passion: persuaded by friends to go to extra-mural lectures in economic theory, he fell in love with the dismal science. In 1925 he won a scholarship to the London School of Economics. He emerged laden with academic honours and converted to liberal economics.'[1]

Journalism

In 1933, after French and German universities, Chatham House, a call to the bar, numerous articles and his first book, he became foreign editor of The Economist. The struggle against fascism was his main preoccupation. Although the editor, Walter Layton, was an enthusiast for the League of Nations, his colleagues had little first-hand knowledge of continental Europe. Hutton, with frequent travel and a network of continental friends and correspondents, provided authoritative coverage. He was convinced from 1933 that war was inevitable. Layton and his right-hand man, Geoffrey Crowther, hoped that reason might prevail with the dictators. In 1938, when Layton handed over the editorship, it was to Crowther. [2]

According to an obituary in the Guardian:

He soon tired of the academic platform and joined the staff of The Economist where his young friend, Geoffrey Crowther, had just replaced Walter Layton as editor. Journalism suited Hutton's temperament. He wrote with verve and conviction. His experience of France, Germany and the Danubian countries gave him an early insight into the fatal drift towards war. Nor did he neglect his reporting duties: it was Graham Hutton with one or two ecomomist colleagues, who discovered and smashed the famous plot to corner the world's supply of pepper which was then centred in London. [3]

British Propagandist

The Guardian noted:

On the outbreak of war Hutton was given some work in the Foreign Office and then sent out to Chicago to open an office of the British Information Service. He was highly successful in making the British point of view in wartime known - and even understood - in the heartland of American isolationism. [4]

After the War - Free market advocate

'Back home', reports the guardian 'he became an economic consultant to a British company but retained his freedom to write. With Geoffrey (later Lord) Crowther he published We Too Can Prosper (1953), an analysis of the reports of British productivity teams sent to the United States to compare industrial methods. The book exposed the weaknesses of British industry, and Hutton never ceased to speak and write on this subject, as late as 1980, and he never wavered in his view that salvation lay in unhampered private enterprise and freely working markets, rather than in any particular government policy. He made an exception: it was the job of the state to keep the currency sound. In Inflation and Society (1960), he warned of the destruction of social values wherever inflation has been allowed to slip out of control.[5]

The Economist reports:

After the war... he argued no less vigorously for a free-market economy. His "We Too Can Prosper", written in 1953 with Crowther, used the lessons learned by British productivity teams in the United States to highlight the errors of British industry. He was a stalwart of the Institute of Economic Affairs long before its free-market ideas became fashionable. [6]

Hutton was one of the original trustees of the Wincott Foundation, [7] a neoliberal trust set up by Ralph Harris of the Institute of Economic Affairs in 1969.

Notes

  1. 'A good friend' The Economist, October 22, 1988, SECTION: World politics and current affairs; BRITAIN; Pg. 66 (U.K. Edition Pg. 52)
  2. 'A good friend' The Economist, 22 October 1988; p.52.
  3. Richard Fry, 'Obituary of Graham Hutton: Markets, no meddling', Guardian, 18 October 1988.
  4. Richard Fry, 'Obituary of Graham Hutton: Markets, no meddling', Guardian, 18 October 1988.
  5. RICHARD FRY 'Obituary of Graham Hutton: Markets, no meddling', The Guardian (London), October 18, 1988
  6. 'A good friend' The Economist, 22 October 1988; p.52.
  7. The Wincott Foundation Trust Deed