August 24, 1945
New York Times.
The question of discontinuing lend-lease is one that was settled by Congress. At the time, earlier this year, when the act was extended and the appropriation granted, Congress made very clear that it intended lend-lease expenditures to end with the end of the war. President Truman and myself were impressed forcibly with this intention and we both made promises at that time which were kept when the President directed that immediate steps be taken early this week to terminate lend-lease.
When I testified before the Committee on Banking and Currency of the United States Senate last July, I said: "With respect to lend-lease, as I and other spokesmen for the Administration have repeatedly stated, lend-lease will be provided only in connection with the defense of the United States and the effective prosecution of the war to final victory. It will not be furnished for purposes of relief, rehabilitation or reconstruction in Europe or elsewhere. Assistance to the liberated countries of Europe, which is one of the most immediate problems facing us, must be provided in some other manner."
It is obvious that the determination not to continue lend-lease after the end of the war was made long ago by the legislative bodies of the United States. Its actual discontinuance is not a matter of discretion with the President or with me.
Realizing, however, that cessation of lend-lease shipments would cause rather serious readjustments in the economies of the Allied Governments, the Administration developed the following transitional program and offered it to our Allied Governments:
(1) That all new procurement by the Foreign Economic Administration be discontinued except where Allied Governments wished to make cash payments or to arrange Export-Import Bank credits for such procurement.
(2) That Allied Governments be given the opportunity to acquire all items they have ordered that now are in the process of manufacture by giving to the United States an obligation calling for equal annual payments over a period of thirty years and bearing an annual interest rate of 2 3/8 per cent. (Decisions under this provision will have to be rapid, since the FEA must determine whether or not manufacture of many items should be completed.)
(3) That inventories now on the soil of Allied Governments and goods in process of delivery to them shall be made available to them on a cash or credit basis.
(4) That Foreign Economic Administration would continue its procurements services and facilities for a period of sixty days after V-J Day to give Allied Governments time to set up their own procurement agencies.
(5) That War Shipping Administration be advised to continue the use of United States shipping facilities for the needs of Allied Governments for a period of thirty days after V-J Day to permit those Governments to schedule their own shipping facilities.
(6) That shipments under lend-lease be continued until V-J Day in order to give the Allied Governments time to work out arrangements for continuing the flow of supplies to their soil on a cash or credit basis.
In the case of Allied Governments that choose to take advantage of this program, there is no reason why there should be any interruption whatever in the flow of vitally needed goods. Since lend-lease was set up solely to implement the prosecution of the war, it was inevitable that Allied Governments should have to anticipate some different arrangement for procurement of needed goods after the war's end. We believed that the program set forth above meets the intent of Congress and provides an efficient means for Allied Governments to maintain a continuous flow of goods from this country.
Our military forces will provide such lend-lease aid as is necessary in connection with redeployment of troops and activities in occupied areas.
It is inescapable that discontinuance of lend-lease must cause economic difficulties and readjustment in Allied countries. Cut-backs and reconversion make necessary some drastic readjustments here at home. We hope to meet our difficulties and to surmount them in a brisk, business-like manner.