Tuesday 18 August 2020

By The Book

"Conversation between comrade Khalepskiy and Mr. Christie in comrade Gobar's office, April 21st, 1930

Christie: As I give you a draft of the contract that is copied from our contract with the American government, I ask you in the future to discuss any additions to the contract and clarifications with our attorney and company member Mr. Tiffany.

Khalepskiy: Is there a condition in your agreement with Poland prohibiting the sale of tanks to other European nations?

Christie: Yes, sale to the following nations is forbidden: Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia, and other small Balkan states, Poland has a monopoly on dealing with them. Russia is not in the list of restrictions.

Khalepskiy: We would like to state in our contract that no third party can prohibit you from selling us tanks.

Christie: This is already impossible as if any party protests against me selling you tanks then we would end the contract and refund their money. We gave Poland the monopoly only because they elicited pity for their poverty and stated that they are close to these nations and it would be safer to deal through them.

Khalepskiy: We also wanted to state that the agreement is confidential and will not be revealed to any third party.

Christie: Understandable, but if our government or any government that we need to sign a contract with asks about it, then we must say that we have an agreement with you but without details. I will suggest that our lawyers meet and discuss the agreement in dull.

Khalepskiy: Let us examine the contract ourselves and then give it to the lawyers to discuss.

Christie: If this is all, please excuse me, I am very busy. If Mr. Tiffany does not come to you when summoned, please inform me immediately.

Khalepskiy: I understand that all issues appear to be resolved.

Christie: I think so too. I will tell you a secret: my motto for years was "Everything I do, I do for America". This is the title of the book that I wrote. Now I am very angry with the American government, as it stung me along for 6 years and wrung me dry, I am in debt up to my ears from conducting my experiments without any help from them. When I reached results they took one of my tanks and tested it for a whole year. I was fed up with this affair and told them to go to hell, saying that I will sell my tanks to anyone who wants them. Yesterday they allegedly decided to order 100 tanks, and if this was really decided then we will be quite busy over the next 9 months. Because of this I ask you again, hurry with your decision, otherwise we will need to delay your order.

Khalepskiy: The expedition depends on you, Mr. Christie, not me. You refused to budge and that is why the signing of the contract took so long. As soon as we are in agreement, I don't think it will take long at all. What about the permission to export?

Christie: I received a telegram from Washington, I can give you the original (hands over a telegram signed by George Van Horn Moseley, an assistant to the Minister of War).

Khalepskiy: When will we receive blueprints for the technical aid?

Christie: After the contract for technical aid is signed, at the same time as the vehicles are delivered.

Recorded by L.G. Gershevich"

"To the Secretary of the US Wheel Track Layer Corp
Hoboken, New Jersey

In reply to your telegram dated April 19th the War Department does not oppose the sale of two Christie chassis to Amtorg.

George Van Horn Mosley
Washington DC
April 21st, 1930"

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