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Q: Lend-Lease (WW2): A Rough Accounting ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Lend-Lease (WW2): A Rough Accounting
Category: Relationships and Society > Government
Asked by: probonopublico-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 11 Jul 2004 00:26 PDT
Expires: 10 Aug 2004 00:26 PDT
Question ID: 372591
I have seen various figures but I'd like a G-Genius to give me a Grand
Total and, if possible, the top three beneficiaries.

Also, how much did Great Britain repay? 

And what happened to the balance?

As a Brit, am I suddenly going to be landed with a bill from our
colony across the pond?

Many thanks!
Subject: Re: Lend-Lease (WW2): A Rough Accounting
Answered By: juggler-ga on 11 Jul 2004 02:54 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Greetings Bryan,

Interesting question, as usual!

Here are the top Lend-Lease beneficiaries:

" Lend-Lease
Great Britain............$31 billion
Soviet Union.............$11 billion
France...................$ 3 billion
China...................$1.5 billion
Other European..........$500 million
South America...........$400 million
The amount totaled: $48,601,365,000."

source: History Central

"Total lend-lease aid exceeded $50 billion, of which the British
Commonwealth received some $31 billion and the USSR received over $11
billion. Within 15 years after the termination of lend-lease,
settlements were made with most of the countries that had received
aid, although a settlement with the USSR was not reached until 1972."


Although the British Commonwealth received $31 billion in Lend-Lease
aid, it appears that there was a postwar settlement agreement that
Britain would owe around $5.2 billion plus interest.    A New York
Times article from 1955 details how the British had made a $155
million payment, but still owed $4.58 billion on a debt that, at its
height, was $5.2 billion.
BRITAIN REDUCES DEBTS $137,845,431; Payment to U. S. Is Made on
Post-World War II Account -- Billions Still Owed
New York Times: Jan 1, 1955. p. 3

All indications suggest that the British government has been making
fairly regular payments on that $5.2 billion debt (plus 2 percent
annual interest) for the last five decades.
A 1966 article in the New York Times indicates that Britain had
resumed its regularly scheduled postwar payments after missing them
for three years.
 The New York Times.  Dec 17, 1966.  pg. 45,

A New York Times article from 1970 mentions that the British had made
a $188.4 million payment.  The article also says that the original
loan was at 2 percent interest and was due to be repaid in 2005.
Britain Makes Payment To U.S. on Postwar Loan
New York Times: Jan 1, 1970. p. 35

That's consistent with this internet messageboard item:

"(1) Lend lease payments from the Brits were rescheduled in 1946; in
the April 2003 UK Govt budget you will see a line item that
$160million remains outstanding and will be repaid in full with
interest by June 30, 2005."

I direct your attention to:

Notice on page 15, under the heading "Bank of England," there are
"loans" of 0.4 billion.
Footnote #11 indicates those loans are "Composed of Canadian and US war debt."


The U.S. hasn't done quite so well with its other big Lend-Lease
client, the Soviet Union.

According to a New York Times article, the U.S. asked the Soviet Union
in 1947 to repay $1.3 billion of its Lend-Lease debt.  The Soviet
Union offered $170 million.  The issue was basically dormant until the
Soviets agreed in 1972 to partially settle the debt by buying $750
million in grain from the U.S.
WarNew York Times: Jul 9, 1972. p. 1

The Russian Federation inherited the debt from the Soviet, and it was
still on the books to the tune of $600 million as of a few years ago.
See: Russia's Paris Club Debt, Table 3


search strategy:
"lend lease" billion britain "soviet union"
new york times archive: "lend-lease", repaid

I hope this helps. Thanks!

Clarification of Answer by juggler-ga on 11 Jul 2004 02:58 PDT

I notice that the URL for that  DEBT & RESERVES MANAGEMENT REPORT
didn't parse correctly due to its inclusion of parentheses.

Use this Google search instead:

I notice now that there's actually a more recent 2004-05 report
showing that the war debt had been reduced to 0.3 billion.
probonopublico-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Hi, Juggler, & Very Many Thanks

You've deserve 50 Stars but I am afraid that, as yet, I haven't quite
got the hang of this system.

All the Very Best


Subject: Re: Lend-Lease (WW2): A Rough Accounting
From: juggler-ga on 11 Jul 2004 10:39 PDT
Thank you for the tip and kind words.
Best regards,

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