UK settles WWII debts to alliesBreaking News
The payments of $83.25m (£42.5m) to the US and US$22.7m (£11.6m) to Canada are the last of 50 instalments since 1950.
The amount paid back is nearly double that loaned in 1945 and 1946. "This week we finally honour in full our commitments to the US and Canada for the support they gave us 60 years ago," said Treasury Minister Ed Balls.
"It was vital support which helped Britain defeat Nazi Germany and secure peace and prosperity in the post-war period. We honour our commitments to them now as they honoured their commitments to us all those years ago," he added.
The last payments will be made on Friday, the final working day of the year.
Under the lend-lease programme, which began in March 1941, the then neutral US could provide countries fighting Adolf Hitler with war material.
The US joined the war soon after - in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbour - and the programme ended in 1945.
Equipment left over in Britain at the end of hostilities and still needed had to be paid for.
The US loaned $4.33bn (£2.2bn) to Britain in 1945, while Canada loaned US$1.19 bn (£607m) in 1946, at a rate of 2% annual interest.
Upon the final payments, the UK will have paid back a total of $7.5bn (£3.8bn) to the US and US$2 bn (£1bn) to Canada.
Despite the favourable rates there were six years in which Britain deferred payment because of economic or political crises.
There are still World War I debts owed to and by Britain. Since a moratorium on all debts from that conflict was agreed at the height of the Great Depression, no repayments have been made to or received from other nations since 1934.
comments powered by Disqus
Joseph Siddall - 12/29/2006
Now that we have paid off these debts can we please become more European in outlook, and less beholden to the USA ? Let's end the supposed "Special Relationship", which appears to be only beneficial to USA, and revert to a real world relationship.
- Snopes debunks slavery Internet meme
- Revamped Chinese History Journal Welcomes Hard-Line Writers
- Poll: 3 Out of 5 Texan Trump Supporters Want Secession if Hillary Clinton Is Elected
- The Psychiatric Question: Is It Fair to Analyze Donald Trump From Afar?
- Minorities still feel Eugene, Oregon’s historical link to the Ku Klux Klan
- Ernst Nolte, Historian Whose Views on Hitler Caused an Uproar, Dies at 93
- Japan should give formal apology for wartime aggression, says historian
- Historian Benjamin Madley says what whites did to Indians in the 19th century in California was genocide.
- Kevin Baker says America needs to bring back political machines
- Covell Meyskens uses his blog to show what life was like under Mao. (Interview)