See biography by C. Smyth (1959).
Politically and theologically, he is best seen as a transitional figure between the Edwardian and modern periods of the Church of England. A staunch nationalist and royalist, he held an erastian view of the Church of England clearly as a national church, and he held strongly traditional views of issues such as family relationships, sexual morality and corporal punishment.
On the other hand, Garbett belonged to the generation which was comfortable with the idea of diversity in the Church of England, and had little patience for High Church versus Low Church struggles. He was a pioneer of the Ecumenical Movement, and during and after the Second World War travelled extensively, including to Communist Bloc countries. Although generally perceived as leaning rightwards politically, he was comfortable with the welfare state which emerged during his Archiepiscopate.
His trip 19th — 28th September 1943, at the invitation of the Moscow Patriarchate, to Moscow where he was greeted by the newly installed Moscow Patriarch Sergiy (Stragorodskiy), was used by Stalin's propaganda machine to spread falsehoods about religious freedom in the USSR: on the 24th, the New York Times quoted Archbishop Garbett as stating that "he was convinced that there was the fullest freedom of worship in the Soviet Union". However, during the Cold War, Garbett denounced Communism as un-Christian and actively supported the British government line.
Garbett sat in the House of Lords for many years as a Lord Spiritual, and he took these duties as an erastian very seriously. On his retirement he was offered and accepted a hereditary barony, but he died before this could be legally created. It is thought he was to take the title Baron Garbett of Tongham.