Thanks, Uncle Sam

Spare a thought for Treasury officials, who are today sending off a cheque for £45 million to the United States Treasury, in the last payment of British war debt to our American, ahem, allies.

I suppose very few British people know that we are still repaying the United States for their assistance in World War II.  At the end of the war, the US administration decided permanently to weaken Britain for strategic reasons, to ensure that the US emerged as a superpower.  The lend lease repayment terms were set at a level intended to weaken Britain financially, and to force it to give up its aspirations to be an international empire.

With friends like this ….

Hansard 3 May 2006 : Column 1726W

War Loan Repayments

Anne Moffat: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the UK Government continue to pay interest and capital reduction to the US in connection with lend lease and war loans; and if he will make a statement. [67695]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Government intends to meet its obligations under the 1945 Agreement by repaying the United States Government in full the amounts lent in 1945. Repayment of the war loans to the United States Government are expected to be completed on 31 December 2006.

8 thoughts on “Thanks, Uncle Sam”

  1. Pingback: Martin Stabe » Britain pays off WWII debt

  2. In case anyone is interested, there is a documantary on British television this Wednesday (9.00 p.m. GMT 3rd January on BBC4) on the subject with former British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, as the main speaker. I’ve no idea how objective it will be.

  3. Owen – I’m not sure the facts support your argument here.  Following the Second World War the US did not want to emerge as a superpower.  It was only the perception of the growing threat from the Soviet Union and the lobbying of the UK Government that convinced the US to support Europe economically through the Marshall Plan and militarily through NATO.  Churchill’s famous "iron curtain" speech in 1947 was essentially a plea to the US to become a supoerpower – and I think we should all be grateful that they did.  Pete

  4. A year or two ago we saw the Chancellor of the Exchequer (was his name Brown? I live abroad) on TV with a  large cheque in hands,  paying the last instalment to the USA of a WW2 debt. Which debt was that?

    Can anyone help out?

  5. the lease lend act provided all war like matereils to fight the conflict ie the second world war free … the so called loan was made after the war from the marshall aid plan to rebuild the whole of europe … we were not the only recipients and not the only ones to repay it in full ….. repayment from ww1 to the uk from variose nationds are still out standing as i write

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