This included warships and warplanes, along with other weaponry. It was signed into law on March 11,1941 and ended in September 1945, in general the aid was free, although some hardware were returned after the war. In return, the U. S. was given leases on army, Canada operated a similar smaller program under a different name. A total of $50.1 billion worth of supplies was shipped, or 17% of the total war expenditures of the U. S. In all, $31.4 billion went to Britain, $11.3 billion to the Soviet Union, $3.2 billion to France, $1.6 billion to China, and the remaining $2.6 billion to the other Allies. Reverse Lend-Lease policies comprised services such as rent on air bases that went to the U. S. and totaled $7.8 billion, of this, $6.8 billion came from the British and the Commonwealth. The terms of the agreement provided that the materiel was to be used until returned or destroyed, in practice very little equipment was returned. Supplies that arrived after the date were sold to Britain at a large discount for £1.075 billion. Canada operated a program called Mutual Aid that sent a loan of $1 billion and $3.4 billion in supplies and services to Britain. This program effectively ended the United States pretense of neutrality and was a step away from non-interventionist policy. Following the Fall of France in June 1940, the British Commonwealth and Empire were the forces engaged in war against Germany and Italy. During this same period, the U. S. government began to mobilize for war, instituting the first-ever peacetime draft. In the meantime, as the British began running short of money, arms, as one Roosevelt biographer has characterized it, If there was no practical alternative, there was certainly no moral one either. Britain and the Commonwealth were carrying the battle for all civilization, as the President himself put it, There can be no reasoning with incendiary bombs. In September 1940, during the Battle of Britain the British government sent the Tizard Mission to the United States, in December 1940, President Roosevelt proclaimed the U. S. would be the Arsenal of Democracy and proposed selling munitions to Britain and Canada. Isolationists were strongly opposed, warning it would lead to American involvement in what was seen by most Americans as an essentially European conflict. In time, opinion shifted as increasing numbers of Americans began to see the advantage of funding the British war against Germany, while staying out of the hostilities themselves. After a decade of neutrality, Roosevelt knew that the change to Allied support must be gradual, originally, the American position was to help the British but not enter the war
President Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease bill to give aid to Britain and China (1941)
Food aid from America: British pupils wave for the camera as they receive plates of bacon and eggs.