10. "We gave the French billions of dollars worth of stuff. They'll never pay it back."

     Under Lend-Lease we provided military supplies and equipment to France worth $1,041,000,000.

     Under reverse Lend-Lease, the French have already paid back about $450,000,000 - almost half of the amount we lent them in the way of military supplies.

     The French paid this $450,000,000 back in the same way that they got it from us - with supplies, materials food, labor, services.

     Here are some of the things the French have provided us:

  • 131,000 snow capes for the winter campaign of 1944.
  • 700 tons of rubber tires, made in France.
  • 260,000 signs and posters for road markers during the military campaign.
  • Millions of jerricans.
  • 150,000 French workmen and civilians, working for the United States Army and paid by the French government. These French men and women work at airfields, railway yards, ports, docks, in offices, etc. They range from stevedores to nurses, mechanics to typists, in France, North Africa, and the French islands in the South Pacific, such as New Caledonia, where American troops are stationed.
  • All French telephone and telegraph services were placed at our disposal.
  • Lumber, cement, gravel for construction purposes.
  • Billets -- all through France, from Brest to Strasbourg, from Paris to Nice or Biarritz.
  • Theaters such as the Olympia, the Empire, the Marignan in Paris.
  • Restaurants - for American mess halls.
  • Food - though the French are very short of it themselves.
  • The French supply us with such fresh fruit and vegetables as can be spared.
  • Beer - made in France, by the French, for American troops, from ingredients shipped from the United States.
  • Printing - Stars and Stripes, Yank, Army Talks, Overseas Woman, I and E pamphlets.