マクロ経済学を多少とも齧った人ならばフィリップス曲線のことは知っているだろうが、そのフィリップス本人について知っている人はそれほど多くないだろう。Economicaに掲載されたフィリップスの評伝では、彼が我が国の敵として戦った時のエピソードが記されている(Economist's View経由のTwenty-Cent Paradigms経由)*1

Phillips had a lifelong fascination with Eastern cultures. In 1937, despite the worsening international situation, he boarded a Japanese ship to travel to Shanghai. While he was at sea, the Japanese invaded Manchuria, and the ship was diverted to Yokohama. Phillips took advantage of this by travelling around the newly militarized Japan; at one point he was detained by the authorities, who suspected that he might be a spy. Eventually he made his way out through Korea, Manchuria and Harbin, and crossed Russia on the Trans-Siberian railway. With Antipodean optimism, he looked for casual jobs across Soviet Russia, only to find them all taken by political prisoners. From Stalin's Moscow he travelled on through threatened Poland and Nazi Germany during the fragile last years of peace. He settled in London, where he found work as an electrical engineer. Having continued his correspondence course, Phillips now graduated from the Institute of Electrical Engineers, gaining his first formal qualifications. He also took classes in several languages.

When war broke out, Phillips enlisted in the RAF. He was sent as a Flight Lieutenant to Singapore, where his job was to maintain the RAF Brewster Buffalos stationed there. These were old aeroplanes, but they were the only real Allied fighters in the East. Phillips found a way to equip them with new American heavy machine guns that were synchronized to fire through the propellers.

In 1942, the Japanese forces swept down the Malayan Peninsula and took Singapore. Phillips was aboard the Empire Star, the last merchant ship to leave Singapore, overcrowded with soldiers, women and children. Steaming out of Singapore, the ship came under attack from Japanese fighters and bombers, and was severely damaged. Phillips managed to improvise some heavy mountings on the boat deck, allowing troops to operate machine guns for anti-aircraft fire. For this gallantry he was later awarded the MBE.

The ship limped into Java, where Phillips and several comrades evaded the Japanese and trekked to the south coast. Here they set up a hidden camp, acquired an old bus body, and under Phillips' inventive supervision started to rebuild it into a boat with the intention of sailing to Australia. However, they were discovered and captured.

The next three years of Phillips' life were spent as a Japanese prisoner of war at Bandura in Java. Life was very harsh, discipline brutal, food and medicine completely inadequate. Many men died in these terrible conditions. Despite the environment, Phillips was never idle. He helped to organize language classes teaching Mandarin and Russian. He secretly built electrical immersion heaters to help the troops make cups of tea. He was involved in a dangerous mission to steal parts, and build several clandestine radios, one set into the laundry floor, another contained in a homemade wooden clog. It was Phillips' radio that brought the eventful news of Hiroshima and eventual rescue.

Phillips was repatriated to his family in New Zealand in 1945 but, like many ex-prisoners of war, he was in very poor shape. He had lost considerable weight, was addicted to nicotine, and was deeply scarred by his experiences. He was given a New Zealand ex-serviceman's grant, and he chose to return to London and enrol at the London School of Economics (LSE) where he decided to study sociology. We may surmise that he was desperate to rationalize or comprehend the experiences of the war years. However, he did not enjoy sociology, finding his lectures boring and describing the discipline as ‘a combination of ethics, social statistics and pseudo-science’.

He was awarded a bare pass degree.



1942年、日本軍がマレー半島を南下してシンガポールを占領した。フィリップスはシンガポールを離脱した最後の商船であるEmpire Star号に乗船したが、その船は兵士や女性や子供で溢れていた。シンガポールを出航した後、船は日本の戦闘機や爆撃機の攻撃に曝され、大きく損傷した。フィリップスは甲板上に急ごしらえの重火器用の台座を用意し、兵士たちが対空砲火用の機関銃を操作できるようにした。この勇気ある行動に対し、後にMBEを授与された。