THE UK’S UNPAID WAR DEBTS TO THE UNITED STATES, 1917-1980
- 06 Apr 2018
The story of the UK’s unpaid First World War debts to the United States remains largely untold despite the fact that the default played an important role in British and American policy-making for at least four more decades. New research by David James Gill of the University of Nottingham, to be presented at the Economic History Society's 2018 annual conference, explores the causes and consequences of those unpaid debts.
In 1934, the British government defaulted on its war loans from the United States, leaving unpaid debts exceeding $4 billion. The UK decided to cease repayment 18 months after France had defaulted on its war debts, making one full and two token repayments prior to Congressional approval of the Johnson Act, which prohibited further partial contributions.