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Lend-Lease arrangements allowed for the transfer of war supplies, including food, machinery, and services, to nations whose defence was considered vital to the defence of the United States in World War II. The Lend-Lease Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1941. It gave the President of the United States the power to sell, transfer, lend, or lease such war materials. The President was to set the terms for aid; repayment was to be “in kind or property, or any other direct or indirect benefit which the President deems satisfactory.” Harry L. Hopkins was appointed in March 1941 to administer Lend-Lease. He was replaced in July by Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., who headed the Office of Lend-Lease Administration, set up in October 1941. In September 1943, Lend-Lease was incorporated into the Foreign Economic Administration under Leo T. Crowley.

In September 1945, it was transferred to the Department of State. Lend-Lease was originally intended for China and countries of the British Empire. In November 1941, the USSR was included. 

In 1942, a reciprocal aid agreement of the United States with Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and the Free French was announced. Under its terms a “reverse lend-lease” was effected, whereby goods, services, shipping, and military installations were given to American forces overseas. Other nations in which U.S. forces were stationed subsequently adhered to the agreement. On 21 August 1945, President Truman announced the end of Lend-Lease aid. 

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.

Some interesting photos of some Lend-Lease boxes containing some small petrol generators in a warehouse somewhere in Queensland in the year 2002!!


Some Lend-Lease boxes containing some small petrol generators in an
Army warehouse somewhere in Queensland in the year 2002!!


Label on one of the above boxes


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This page first produced 11 June 2002

This page last updated 15 December 2017