New York: British Information Services, 1944. Pamphlet. This original Second World War pamphlet was part of Britain’s effort to communicate to Americans that “Lend-Lease is not a one-way street” by sharing “Examples of British aid to the United States”. This wartime survivor printed on brittle, acidic paper is only in good minus condition. The 18-page, wire-stitched pamphlet in self-wrappers is evenly browned throughout. The pamphlet text is complete, despite chipping to the blank margin extremities of every page.
The Lend-Lease Act, signed on 11 March, 1941, authorized President Roosevelt to transfer arms or any other defense materials for which Congress appropriated money to “the government of any country whose defense the President deems vital to the defense of the United States.” It was no less than a lifeline for Great Britain. Before passage of the Lend-Lease Bill, Churchill had told U.S. Ambassador Winant – arguably without hyperbole - that without the Lend-Lease Act “we should be unable to carry on and win the war”. (Roberts, Walking with Destiny, p.639) Soon after enacting Lend-Lease, the U.S. also extended its naval security zone several thousand miles into the Atlantic, effectively shielding much of the Atlantic convoy route. Lend-Lease material support allowed Britain to fight on.
In accordance with the vital importance of the deal to Britain’s survival, Churchill gave hyperbolic praise. In a 12 November 1941 speech to the House of Commons he said: “The Lend and Lease Bill must be regarded without question as the most unsordid act in the whole of recorded history.” British Information Services was the information department of the British Consulate in New York. This pamphlet represents the efforts of the British government to sway and inform the American public, continuously seeking to strengthen the bonds of the “special relationship” that had proven vital to Britain’s survival in the early years of the war and now, in 1944, was the crucial factor in securing victory. Item #005895