Britain, America and the War Debt Controversy: The Economic by Robert Self

By Robert Self

This quantity throws vital new gentle upon a pivotal interval of transition within the Anglo-American dating and units the level for its both dramatic transformation in the course of and after the second one global War. 

Based upon vast examine in formerly unpublished archival fabric on each side of the Atlantic, for the 1st time this ebook bargains a close and accomplished research of the warfare debt challenge from its origins on the finish of the 1st international warfare until eventually its ultimate removing with the release of Roosevelt's Lend-Lease programme in 1940-41.

This paintings can be of significant curiosity to diplomats and newshounds, in addition to to scholars and students of political, diplomatic, fiscal and overseas history.

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Additional resources for Britain, America and the War Debt Controversy: The Economic Diplomacy of an Unspecial Relationship, 1917-45

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To this end, it intended unilaterally to cancel its inter-Allied war debts amounting to £1,600 million without insisting upon a corresponding pledge to cancel the British debt to America of around £850 million. S. 29 Unfortunately, as Blackett despaired, the Wilson administration was painfully aware of public hostility to debt cancellation in an election year and ‘would have none of it’. 30 Worse still, Chamberlain’s note caused the Americans ‘the utmost embarrassment’. In private, senior American officials conceded to Ronald Lindsay, the Chargé d’Affaires at the British Embassy, that ‘speaking abstractly’ they ‘quite see that [these obligations] should be written off’.

This whole matter is of great importance in view of the forthcoming elections’. As a measure of the frustration simmering within the Wilson administration as the elections approached, Geddes was summoned to meet the Treasury Secretary on 18 June who (like the Secretary of State) declared he was ‘much puzzled’ by the suspension of negotiations on the eve of their completion. Houston also made it abundantly clear that the President resented the failure of the British to stand by him during the election campaign and that he suspected them of playing up to his Republican opponent.

If we do nothing the United States Treasury will be obliged for its own protection, in face of a hostile Congress, to call upon us to pay up back interest from the 31 May 1919’. In that case, Chamberlain warned that to pay would ‘seriously cripple our resources’ but to refuse to do so would be ‘not only most damaging to our credit but scarcely compatible with our honour’ – far less to good Anglo-American relations. Against this background, he advised the Cabinet on 30 November to resume negotiations on a funding agreement ‘on the general lines proposed by Mr Rathbone’ but with the crucial condition that the bonds should be held by the US Treasury during their currency.

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