Monday 29 June 2020

Christie's Payment

"June 15th, 1930

Directorate of Mechanization and Motorization

RE: Christie tanks

Amtorg informs us by telegraph that the Christie company reports 75% completion and thus requests a payment of 15,000 American dollars to be transferred to New York by the end of June.

Our inspector, comrade Lebedev, determined that the order is only 20% complete and informed the Christie company that we refuse to pay $15,000 until the vehicles are 75% complete.

Comrade Petrov states that Christie effectively does not have the means to carry out any work and if we give them $15,000 now the it is unlikely that this money will last until the work is completed. Comrade Petrov fears additional demands by the company.

I ask for your conclusions on this.

Authorized representative of the NKVM at the People's Commissariat of Trade, Gittis
Chief of the Operative-Commercial Office, Savchenko."

"June 15th, 1930

To the Deputy Chair of the Revolutionary Military Council, comrade Uborevich

On the 4th Amtorg informed the OVZ that the Christie tank is 75% complete and that we must issue Christie $15,000. According to your direction on the 5th, the money was transferred to Amtorg.
On June 15th the OVZ informed me that they received a telegram from Amtorg that states the following: the claim was checked by engineer Lebedev and it turned out that the tank is only 20% ready, not 75%. Furthermore, comrade Petrov from Amtorg states in the same telegram that Christie needs money and might stop working if we don't give him $15,000. This money will not be enough to finish building two tanks.
Our contract with Christie states this: $60,000 will be paid for the delivery of two tanks. We paid $15,000 when it was signed. The next $15,000 will be paid at 75% completion and the final $30,000 at delivery. We have a bank guarantee for the $15,000 (attached to the agreement).
My opinion: we can allocate Christie $15,000, but do not hand him the money, using it only to pay bills linked to the design and assembly of the tank. We can do this through two of our engineers in America, comrades Gobard and Lebedev. I'm afraid that Christie will spend the money we advance him on a tank for Poland, as he also has an agreement with them. There were three tanks in the process of assembly when I left: two for us, one for Poland.
Based on the above, I ask for your directions and if you agree to pay $15,000 in this fashion.

Chief of Mechanization and Motorization of the Red Army,

"June 16th, 1930

The deputy chair ordered the payment of $15,000 to not be made until the order is 75% complete, as this is defined by the agreement. Telegraph Amtorg urgently.

On the orders of Chief of the RKKA UMM, Khalepskiy"


  1. Well, when Poland dealt with Christie, they had similar problems, then the Soviets arrived and he refused to work with Polish government then just to do the same thing

  2. Sounds like Christie and his... unusual... take on business sense and contracts all right.