Catalogue description Colonial Office: West Indies, United States Bases: Original Correspondence

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Details of CO 971
Reference: CO 971
Title: Colonial Office: West Indies, United States Bases: Original Correspondence

This series contains records relating to the United States Bases Agreement 1941 and in particular the affects of leasing West Indian land to American forces. Includes correspondence on local issues such as sovereignty, employment, building materials, crime, compensation for leased land, and legislation on customs duties, further acquisition of land and the interpretation of, and amendments to the agreement. There is also material on bases in Newfoundland.

Date: 1941-1951
Related material:

For related correspondence between the Foreign Office and the United States government see: -50288

FO 371/50287

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English
Physical description: 163 file(s)
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Unpublished finding aids:

For registers to this correspondence see CO 972

Administrative / biographical background:

In the late summer of 1940 negotiations began on the possibility of American forces leasing bases in the West Indies. These talks resulted on 2nd September 1940 in a preliminary agreement granting the United States the right to lease naval and air bases for 99 years, in return for fifty reconditioned American destroyers. The lease granted lands on the eastern side of the Bahamas, the southern coast of Jamaica, the west coast of Trinidad and areas on Antigua and British Guiana. Lands in Bermuda were given as a gift.

The talks were conducted between the United States, the Foreign Office, the Colonial Office and the individual islands' governments. The United States Bases Agreement was signed on 27th March 1941.

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