Events occurring on Tuesday, December 17, 1940  
  Military Conflict in North Africa  
  British forces occupied Fort Capuzzo, Sollum and three other Italian positions near the Egypt-Libya border.  
   
  The Lend Lease Program  
  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a press conference suggesting that the U.S. lend arms to Britain. Roosevelt stated that "In the present world situation, there was no doubt in the minds of an overwhelming number of Americans that the best immediate defense of the United States is the success of Great Britain in defending herself. Quite aside from our historic and current interest in the survival of democracy, therefore, it is important from the selfish viewpoint of American defense that we should do everything to help the British Empire defend itself." Read the transcript of the press conference.  
   
  The United States Navy  
  Rear Admiral Ernest J. King relieved Rear Admiral Hayne Ellis as Commander Patrol Force, U.S. Fleet, on board the battleship USS Texas (BB 35).  
   
  Ships Commissioned  
  A ship's commissioning was when the ship was handed over, post fittings and trials, to the end user which, in this case, was a combatant navy.  
  The Canadian corvette HMCS Wetaskiwin (xx) was commissioned. Her first commander was Lt. Commander Guy S. Windeyer.  
     
   
  December 1940 Calendar  
   
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