The United Kingdom pays back today the final installment of loans taken out at the end of the World War Two used for the reconstruction of the country. According to the Treasury minister, the United States and Canada will receive, respectively, $83.25 million and $22.7 million. These payments are the last ones of a sequence of refunds done since 1950.
This week we finally honor in full our commitments to the U.S. and Canada for the support they gave us 60 years ago, Treasury minister Ed Balls said yesterday.
It was vital support which helped Britain defeat Nazi Germany and secure peace and prosperity in the post-war period. We honor our commitments to them now as they honored their commitments to us all those years ago, he added.
During World War Two, the United States effectively gave Britain billions of dollars worth of goods under the lend-lease program, financing London money to buy oil, food, weapons and military equipment.
Until today, the country had paid a total of $7.5 billion to the United States and $2 billion to Canada.
The Treasury noted that there were still World War One debts owed by Britain, but that no action had been taken on either count since U.S. President Herbert Hoover declared a moratorium in 1931 during the Great Depression.
December 29, 2006