The Hull-Lothian Agreement.

With the fall of France in June, 1940, President Roosevelt entered into two executive agreements the total effect of which was to transform the role of the United States from one of strict neutrality toward the European war to one of semi-belligerency. The first agreement was with Canada and provided for the creation of a Permanent Joint Board on Defense which would “consider in the broad sense the defense of the north half of the Western Hemisphere.”482 Second, and more important than the first, was the Hull-Lothian Agreement of September 2, 1940, under which, in return for the lease for ninety-nine years of certain sites for naval bases in the British West Atlantic, the United States handed over to the British Government fifty over-age destroyers which had been reconditioned and recommissioned.483 And on April 9, 1941, the State Department, in consideration of the just-completed German occupation of Denmark, entered into an executive agreement with the Danish minister in Washington, whereby the United States acquired the right to occupy Greenland for purposes of defense.484

Footnotes

482
Id. at 391. [Back to text]
483
Id. at 391–93. Attorney General Jackson’s defense of the presidential power to enter into the arrangement placed great reliance on the President’s “inherent” powers under the Commander-in-Chief clause and as sole organ of foreign relations but ultimately found adequate statutory authority to take the steps deemed desirable. 39 Ops. Atty. Gen. 484 (1940). [Back to text]
484
4 Dept. State Bull. 443 (1941). [Back to text]