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Lend-lease is a United States law (March 17, 1941) providing financial assistance for governments fighting Nazi Germany and, after December 7, 1941, Japan. When World War II started in Europe (1939), American neutrality laws stipulated that all sales of war supplies must be paid for in cash and shipped in foreign vessels. French and British orders paid for by gold shipments soon ended the mass American unemployment of the 1930s. By July 1940, France had fallen and Great Britain had informed the American government secretly that "it will be utterly impossible for them to continue" to pay cash indefinitely. After the November election the British situation was made public and the President requested Congress to pass the Act which gave him the power to sell, lend, lease or give away such war supplies as he considered necessary for the aid of countries "whose defense is vital to the United States." The total aid provided under this law (1941-1948) exceeded $50 billion.[1]


  1. Percy L. Greaves, Jr. "Mises Made Easier ", 1974. Referenced 2014-07-18.