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History Corner






The Philadelphia Record On British War Debts: 1938


Philadelphia Record, June 10, 1938 [newspaper]


‘A Blast at Old Britain: British-worshiping spat-and-cane boys of the State Department will throw cat-fits when they read Securities and Exchange Commissioner Jerry Frank’s new book, “Save America First.”

He lambastes the “tight little isle” with the heaviest load of brickbats heaved at it in a long time.

Frank declares the British are attempting to use the U.S. as a catspaw in international relations; that if they really wanted to pay their defaulted war debt they could readily do so.

Backing that up, he says: “British citizens own several billions of dollars of securities in American corporations, and the British Government could easily acquire and utilize those investments to reduce its debt to us.

It could do substantially what it did during the [1914-18] war: It could buy those American securities from British citizens, giving them British Government bonds in payment. . . .

Then it could deliver those American securities to our Government at a price which would be applied in part payment of the British debt to our Government . . .”.’