"I am inclined to believe that the development of the concept of full employment in recent years has given us a rather warped technical apparatus for dealing with this problem. Keynes, Mrs. Robinson, Harrod, and the rest have talked glibly about full employment as a flat ceiling which is approached uniformly by all sectors of the economy--they have assumed that the production functions for different industries are similarly shaped and, at any time, the rate of utilization is uniform. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth."Very saucy, but I can't help but thinking that it was awfully good for Galbraith's reputation that it was cut (presumably by editors or referees, but maybe by Galbraith himself - I wonder if RESTAT keeps copies of referee reports). I guess I can't speak in detail for Robinson or Harrod (although I'd be shocked if they felt all that differently), but Keynes of course never thought anything like this and I can't recall an instance where he suggested that all sectors approach full employment uniformly.
Recently commenter Blue Aurora asked me something about the General Theory that directed me back to Book V. In discussing Pigou there Keynes makes exactly the opposite claim - he's talking about the employment functions of different industries which he assumes are different. It's in the math, he's assuming different functions, but if you want to skip over the math he writes next (p. 286):
"Let us return to the employment function. We have assumed in the foregoing that to every level of aggregate effective demand there corresponds a unique distribution of effective demand between the products of each individual industry. Now, as aggregate expenditure changes, the corresponding expenditure on the products of an individual industry will not, in general, change in the same proportion; — partly because individuals will not, as their incomes rise, increase the amount of the products of each separate industry, which they purchase, in the same proportion, and partly because the prices of different commodities will respond in different degrees to increases in expenditure upon them.Well that's awkward for Galbraith! And it's not just here Look in the chapter on Sundry Observations on the Nature of Capital (discussed here recently with respect to a Nick Rowe post), or the discussion of the marginal efficiency of capital. You can also look in the concluding chapter where he says that you cannot give government the job of making decisions about the direction of economic activity - only its volume - because it cannot be easily assessed without the price mechanism.
It follows from this that the assumption upon which we have worked hitherto, that changes in employment depend solely on changes in aggregate effective demand (in terms of wage-units), is no better than a first approximation, if we admit that there is more than one way in which an increase of income can be spent. For the way in which we suppose the increase in aggregate demand to be distributed between different commodities may considerably influence the volume of employment. If, for example, the increased demand is largely directed towards products which have a high elasticity of employment, the aggregate increase in employment will be greater than if it is largely directed towards products which have a low elasticity of employment.
In the same way employment may fall off without there having been any change in aggregate demand, if the direction of demand is change in favour of products having a relatively low elasticity of employment.
These considerations are particularly important if we are concerned with short-period phenomena in the sense of changes in the amount or direction of demand which are not foreseen some time ahead. Some products take time to produce, so that it is practically impossible to increase the supply of them quickly. Thus, if additional demand is directed to them without notice, they will show a low elasticity of employment; although it may be that, given sufficient notice, their elasticity of employment approaches unity."
Now you might argue that maybe in his most important statement of economic theory Keynes thought nothing like what Galbraith claimed he thought, but perhaps he had some off-hand remarks. Maybe. I'm not well-versed in all his public pronouncements (and he was a very public figure). Nothing I've read resembles what Galbraith is claiming, but it's possible. So I'll outsource that - does anyone know of a time when Keynes (or Robinson or Harrod) suggested that all industries would approach full employment uniformly? Feel free to share in the comments.
Otherwise, I think we have to conclude that this paragraph probably wasn't dropped randomly - there was a good reason for doing it!