Foreign News: Impressing the Tailor

In 1946, war-battered and broke, Britain got a $3.7 billion loan from the U.S., another $1.2 billion from Canada. The Labor government promised to start repaying both loans on Dec. 31, 1951. Last week, as the deadline approached, Britain announced that it would pay the first installments on schedule. The U.S. share: $51.5 million on principal, $80 million in interest.

It was an impressive gesture. Hard-up Britain could have avoided repayment by invoking a clause in the loan agreement allowing it to postpone interest payments. Instead it decided to dip into its dwindling gold and dollar hoard to make good its promise....

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