Franklin D. Roosevelt photo

Statement Approving Extension of the Lend-Lease Act

May 17, 1944

Once again, by overwhelming majorities, the elected representatives of the American people in the Congress have affirmed that lend-lease is a powerful weapon working for the United States and the other United Nations against our common enemies. For the third time, I am affixing my approval to a Lend-Lease Act.

When, on March 11, 1941, the Lend-Lease Act first became law, Britain stood virtually alone before the tide of Axis aggression which had swept across western Europe. Everywhere the peace-loving peoples of the world were facing disaster. But the passage of the Lend-Lease Act gave firm assurance to those resisting the aggressors that the overpowering material resources of the United States were on their side.

After we were attacked on December 7, 1941, lend-lease became an essential part of our own war effort.

The promise of ever-increasing help which the United States held forth to those who defied the Axis has been fulfilled. In April, 1941, the first full month of the lend-lease program, we furnished aid valued at 28 million dollars. In the month of March, 1944, the lend-lease aid supplied amounted to $1,629,554,000.00—almost as much as the aid rendered during the entire first year of lend-lease operations. From the beginning of the lend-lease program in March, 1941, to April 1, 1944, our aid totaled $24,224,806,000.00.

Through lend-lease and reverse lend-lease, the material resources and supplies of the United Nations have been pooled for their most effective use against our common enemies.

The combined forces and the combined resources of the United Nations are striking with their united strength from all directions against the heart of Nazi Germany. Our fighting men are joined with British, Soviet, French, Dutch, Polish, Czech, Yugoslavian, and the fighting men of the other United Nations. In the Far East and in the Pacific, combined United Nations fighting forces are also striking with increasing power against the Japanese.

This unity of strength, both in men and in resources, among the free peoples of the world will bring complete and final victory. That victory will come sooner, and will cost less in lives and materials because we have pooled our manpower and our material resources, as United Nations, to defeat the enemy.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Statement Approving Extension of the Lend-Lease Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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