Friday, December 29, 2006

For Us Tommies, Ze War Iz Over

Liberal Burblings alerts me to THIS story in The Guardian today, which reports that today we have repaid the final installment of the loans taken out by the Attlee government just after the war. By 1950 our national debt amounted to 200% of our GDP, compared to 36% today. The Guardian reports...

In 1945 Britain borrowed $4.34bn from the US consisting of a
$3.75bn line of credit and a "lend-lease" loan facility of $586m. The following
year the government agreed a $1.185bn line of credit loan from Canada. The money
was primarily designed to assist in the post-war reconstruction of Britain's
exhausted economy and shattered infrastructure. But the lend-lease loan related
to wartime supplies already in transit from the US under President Franklin D
Roosevelt's programme of the same name which began in 1941 and which ended
abruptly shortly after VJ Day in 1945. Roosevelt famously said the scheme was
like lending a neighbour a hosepipe to put out a fire. It marked a significant
step away from America's post-first world war isolationism.

The final payments today to the United States and Canada, are $83.25m and $22.7m respectively. Part of me thinks these loans should have been reassigned to Germany as soon as the Witschaftswunder was underway...

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

So England has finally paid off its WW2 debts, i wouldnt have it any other way.

But when will England stop paying THIS "Debt?"

http://tinyurl.com/t4sw7

Benedict White said...

You might be interested to know that we have not yet paid for the First World War or indeed the Napoleonic war. See:
http://aconservatives.blogspot.com/2006/12/world-war-ii-debt-repaid.html

Anonymous said...

"these loans should have been reassigned to Germany as soon as the Wirtschaftswunder was underway..."

But Iain, that wouldn't have been physically possible: according to their Independence protocoll (which we signed), West Germany inherited in behalf of 'the German people' the entire war debt of the Deutsche Reich as of the 1939 borders, including that of the East (who were via the Volksrepublik paying vast amounts themselves to the Soviet Union and Comecon).
Add on the considerable W. German post-war annual payments to Poland, Israel etc, it's a miracle the Germans managed to survive at all. That they prospered as well as they did was because a) the Americans decided not to let them go to the wall, b) the Germans are quite positive about 'building up' and they all worked (many in Britain didn't and don't! My neighbour hasn't bothered for years, and he has two new cars and two large council flats in different London boroughs.)
Then came the East German burden, taken on by the taxpaying citizens of West Germany.
If they'd paid our National Debt, we'd have become even lazier as a nation than we are now.

Anonymous said...

This payment will go a long way to reduce US public debt - from $8.5 trillion to $8.499917 trillion (if my decimals are right)

Nice to know we're assisting the septic economy so nobly at their time of need.

billy said...

My father (WW2 Fleet Air Arm and brother RN drowned at sea 1939) hates the Americans because he says that they lent money to us, but paid for Germany's and Japan's post war economic recovery with gifts. Is there any truth in this?

billy said...

My father (WW2 Fleet Air Arm and brother RN drowned at sea 1939) hates the Americans because he says that they lent money to us, but paid for Germany's and Japan's post war economic recovery with gifts. Is there any truth in this?

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

I am not sure how these calculations work. I am sure I remember reading, not so long ago, that we had just finished paying for the Boer War. I suppose we must distinguish the specific cost of repaying these US post-war loans with our total borrowings for WWII. It would be nice to think that someone in the Treasury has all the figures.

As to WWI, George V believed that if we could keep the cost down to £5m per day we could carry on indefinitely. Assuming we wanted to.

Vienna Woods said...

Our wonderful friends, the Yanks! Free board and lodging during WW2. Don't forget that they only entered the war after Pearl Harbour. Before that they were on a nice little earner from GB. Then came the end of the war and guess what..the Marshall Plan! This plan, financed by our "special friends" involved shelling out billions of dollars to rebuild Germany, Austria and anything else that stayed west of communist Europe. Payback? No, of course not, that was only for "special friends". Every British PM since WW2 has spoken of this special relationship. Get real, it doesn't exist!

Anonymous said...

Good old hate beats the facts, doesn't it?

Much of the Lease Lend stuff was written off. The loans were at very low rates of interest (2% or so). Britain got vastly more Marshall Plan aid than the Germans or the French.

The problem was that the post war government spent the money as income, rather than as capital investment. By 1950 it was all gone...

The Germans lent the money to business to re-build and modernise. So, the money circulated round and round the German economy. So the Germans paid reparations *and* rebuilt their economy

The reason that the loans were kept gong is the same reason as long term mortages - inflation eats the princple. Imagine if you had bought a house in 1970 for £5000....

uiyui said...

I would gold für wow cultivate courage.buy wow gold “Nothing is so mild wow gold cheap and gentle as courage, nothing so cruel and pitiless as cowardice,” syas a wise author. We too often borrow trouble, and anticipate that may never appear.”wow gold kaufen The fear of ill exceeds the ill we fear.” Dangers will arise in any career, but presence of mind will often conquer the worst of them. Be prepared for any fate, and there is no harm to be freared. If I were a boy again, I would look on the cheerful side. life is very much like a mirror:sell wow gold if you smile upon it,maple mesos I smiles back upon you; but if you frown and look doubtful on it,cheap maplestory mesos you will get a similar look in return. Inner sunshine warms not only the heart of the owner,world of warcraft power leveling but of all that come in contact with it. “ who shuts love out ,in turn shall be shut out from love.” If I were a boy again, I would school myself to say no more often.billig wow gold I might cheap mesos write pages maple meso on the importance of learning very early in life to gain that point where a young boy can stand erect, and decline doing an unworthy act because it is unworthy.wow powerleveling If I were a boy again, I would demand of myself more courtesy towards my companions and friends,wow leveling and indeed towards strangers as well.Maple Story Account The smallest courtesies along the rough roads of life are wow powerleveln like the little birds that sing to us all winter long, and make that season of ice and snow more endurable. Finally,maple story powerleveling instead of trying hard to be happy