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Donkeyboy75 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 05:29 AM
Original message
Britain owes US billions in World War debts
I had no idea about this. It's funny that the US wrote off Germany's debts, but still has Great Britain's on the books. This is from the Irish Times, a good newspaper:

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2005/0125/bre...

The United Kingdom owes the United States over $4.5 billion in repayments stretching back to the First and Second World Wars.

Unionist peer Lord Laird today received a parliamentary answer indicating that $4,368 billion is still owed from the First World War and payments of $142 million in December 2005 and $83 million in December 2006 are due in respect of aid provided following the Second World War.

The United States has not written off these debts despite cancelling the debt owed by Germany.

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BlueEyedSon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 05:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yeah if we collect that we can pay for a week or 2 of the Iraq occupation.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 05:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. Why does that not surprise me?
I suppose, now the bush regime will try to collect on the debt, or at least extort Britain to further their agenda.
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 07:17 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. Maybe we finally have a plausible explanation
for why Blair seemed to be Bush's poodle.
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ernstbass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. My thoughts exactly
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 06:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. well, Germany did only receive a fraction of the amount given to the UK
Edited on Tue Jan-25-05 06:01 AM by Kellanved
So I guess it was easier to get the cancellation through congress (and AFAIR only 51% were cancelled - quite possible that the same was true for the UK).
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 06:09 AM
Response to Original message
4. The WW2 debts are proceeding on schedule
the WW1 debts were suspended during the Great Depression, and no-one has agreed on how to resume them.

First World War debt

At the end of the First World War the United Kingdom debt to the United States amounted to around 850 million. Repayments of the debt were made between 1923 and 1931. In 1931, President Hoover of the United States proposed a one-year moratorium on all War debts, which allowed extensive international discussions on the general problems of debt repayment to be held. However, no satisfactory agreement was reached. In the absence of such an agreement no payments have been made to, or received from, other nations since 1934.

At the time of the moratorium the United Kingdom was owed more by other nations (2,269 billion) than the outstanding principal it owed the United States ($4,368 billionat 1934 exchange rates this was around 866 million).

Second World War debt

Under a 1945 Agreement the United States Government lent the United Kingdom a total of $4,336 million (around 1,075 million at 1945 exchange rates) in war loans. These loans were taken out under two facilities: (i) a Line of Credit of $3,750 million (around 930 million at 1945 exchange rates); and (ii) a Lend-Lease loan facility of $586 million (around 145 million at 1945 exchange rates), which represented the settlement with the United States for Lend-Lease and Reciprocal Aid and for the final settlement of the financial claims of each government against the other arising out of the conduct of the Second World War.

Under the Agreement the loans would be repaid in 50 annual instalments commencing in 1950. However the Agreement allowed deferral of annual payments of both principal and interest if necessary because of prevailing international exchange rate conditions and the level of the United Kingdom's foreign currency and gold reserves. The United Kingdom has deferred payments on six occasions. Repayment of the war loans to the United States Government should therefore be completed on 31 December 2006, subject to the United Kingdom not choosing to exercise its option to defer payment.

As at 31 March 2001 principal of $346,287,953 (243,573,154 at the exchange rate on that day) was outstanding on the loans provided by the United States Government in 1945. The Government intend to meet its obligations under the 1945 Agreement by repaying the United States Government in full the amounts lend in 1945.

All World War II debts owed to the United Kingdom by other countries have either been repaid or settlements have been agreed with the countries concerned.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmhan...
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 06:49 AM
Response to Original message
5. Hmmm ... so if we wait for Bush to continue screwing up the $ ...
... the UK will be able to pay off the "National Debt" quicker as the
/$ exchange rate tilts even more to benefit the pound?

Nah ... must be time for another global meltdown so the gamblers can
get richer while everyone else suffers (or starves) again ...
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WoodrowFan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 06:55 AM
Response to Original message
6. if they take the Bushes I'll call it even. (NT)
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HawkerHurricane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
7. Never mind Britains debt...
when is RUSSIA paying up?
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henrik larssonisking Donating Member (211 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 07:19 AM
Response to Original message
9. lend lease
wow, i had no idea Great Britain was still paying back the lend lease, though i gotta say its good that Her Majesties Government are standing by the obligation.
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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 07:50 AM
Response to Original message
10. Wasn't the Marshall Plan was the result of Truman's drunken boast?
"For those who fought so poorly and surrendered so readily..."
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Stella_Artois Donating Member (838 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Really ?
So why did the Germans get so much of it ?
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 08:21 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Because Hitler's war machine was funded by the US
See: Prescott Bush, Du Pont, Ford, GM, IBM, etc etc.

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NYC Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
13. Can you imagine if it was France?
The Freak-wingers would go nuts!
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henrik larssonisking Donating Member (211 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. i think the point is that the UK is actually paying
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #14
19. Are you implying that France is not??
Link? Source?

Is that what OxyRush said or something?
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JPace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
15. Hmmmm.....
wonder how the Crown Jewels would look on permanent display in
Washington D.C.?

Glitter glitter....
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Guns Aximbo Donating Member (324 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 10:47 AM
Response to Original message
16. That debt will be forgiven...
in thanks for their support. you watch it'll happen.
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fedsron2us Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
18. Blair has already spent 5 billion on the war in Iraq
At current exchange rates that is approximately $9 billion dollars.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/20...

It would more than have cleared the outstanding debt for two world wars. I do not know whose dumber, the UK politicians who are happy to spend a fortune supporting the PNAC agenda, or the British taxpayers who let them get away with it.
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daleo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-25-05 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
20. The U.S. will be paying the Bush war debt just as long. n/t
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