Lend-Lease – By late 1940 Britain was nearing the end of its financial tether; its credits in America were being rapidly consumed by insatiable was orders. Roosevelt finally hit on the scheme of lending or leasing American arms to the reeling democracies. When the shooting was over, the guns and tanks could be returned. The lend-lease bill, numbered 1776, was entitled “An Act Further to Promoted the Defense of the US.” Accounts would be settled by returning the used weapons or their equivalents to the US when the war was ended. After quibbles from isolationist Republicans, lend-lease was approved in March 1941 by sweeping majorities in both houses of Congress. This massive piece of legislation allowed the transfer of $50 billion worth of arms and equipment to those nations fighting aggressors. As an economic declaration of war, it led directly to a full-out declaration, and it also marked the abandonment of any pretense of neutrality. Hitler recognized lend-lease as an unofficial declaration of war, and began, on a limited scale, attacking American ships.