In 1945 Britain borrowed $4.34bn from the US consisting of a$3.75bn line of credit and a "lend-lease" loan facility of $586m. The following year the government agreed a $1.185bn line of credit loan from Canada. The money was primarily designed to assist in the post-war reconstruction of Britain's exhausted economy and shattered infrastructure. But the lend-lease loan related to wartime supplies already in transit from the US under President Franklin D Roosevelt's programme of the same name which began in 1941 and which ended abruptly shortly after VJ Day in 1945. Roosevelt famously said the scheme was like lending a neighbour a hosepipe to put out a fire. It marked a significant step away from America's post-first world war isolationism.
Today, the United States and Canada received final payments of $83.25m and $22.7m respectively.