February 15th, 2016

Crystal Ball

Гордон Моррел о деле Метро-Виккерс

There is a good reason to believe that the main reason the MVEEC was targeted by the Soviet authorities for a full judicial assault was, in addition to its reputation as one of the best –informed foreign firms operating in the USSR, its apparent cooperation wit the Industrial Intelligence Center in Britain. That the IIC turned its attention away from the USSR towards Nazi Germany after 1933 may help explain why continued MVEEC involvement in the Soviet Union, while never easy after the trial, was even permitted.
While it remains doubtful that any of the British defendants were actually engaged in acts of wrecking or sabotage, the number of personal indiscretions with Soviet associates, the use of business practices applicable in Western-capitalist societies, but decidedly suspect in the “worker’s paradise,” and the unfortunate, if understandable, reaction of Thornton and MacDonald to Soviet interrogation and trial techniques combined to make the initial and absolute claims of innocence by the British government premature and misleading.
(Britain Confronts the Stalin Revolution Anglo-Soviet Relations and the Metro-Vickers Crisis By Gordon W. Morrell)

Гордон Моррел отмечает:
Есть серьезное основание полагать, что главная причина атаки на Метро-Виккерс была в <…> его очевидном сотрудничестве с Промышленным Центром Разведки в Великобритании (Industrial Intelligence Center –IIC).

То, что IIC после 1933г.  перенес свое внимание с СССР на Нацистскую Германию, может помочь объяснить, почему Метро-Виккерсу все же была разрешена дальнейшая деятельность.

В то время как остается сомнительным, что кто-либо из британских ответчиков был действительно вовлечен в акты вредительства и саботажа, множество примеров личной неосмотрительности при контакте с советскими партнерами, использование практики деловых отношений, применимой в Западно-капиталистических обществах, но решительно неприемлемых в " раю для рабочих”, и неудачная, если это правильно понять, реакция Торнтона и Макдональда на советском допросе, а также - методы судебного следствия, все это вместе дает основания полагать, что предъявленные вначале заявления британским правительством об абсолютной невиновности подозреваемых были преждевременными и вводящими в заблуждение
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Crystal Ball

"Ian Fleming" by Andrew Lycett

Andrew Lycett in his book "Ian Fleming" wrote:
What was become a major international imcident had started the previous weekend when a large detachment of the Soviet secret police, the OGPU, had descended on the Metro-Vick electrical company’s dacha at Perlovka, a few miles outside Moscow, branding warrants for the arrest of Allan Monkhouse, the company’s chief electrical engineer in the Soviet Union, and Leslie Thornton, who oversaw its construction stuff. The OGPU took the two Britons away, along with four local employees. Four other British Metro-Vick engineers were subsequently arrested , and again several more Russians.
It was strange that the case blew up in this way. Metro-Vick was one of the oldest-established Western companies in the Soviet Union. Even when diplomatic relations between London and Moscow were severed in 1927, Metro-Vick maintained its presence in the Soviet Union. It carried on its business of supplying and installing heavy electrical machinery, including generators, transformers and switchgear. …
In his interrogation, Metro-Vick’s Monkhouse admitted compiling reports on the general state of the economy and sending these back to his head office in London. ..The Russians also alleged that Metro-Vick had handed out bribes to obtain its contracts, and twenty-five of its turbines did not work.
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Crystal Ball

Walter Duranty about Metro-Vickers case

Walter Duranty wrote:
The prevailing impression in foreign circles in Moscow was that voiced to me by a prominent diplomat: "I don't believe they are guilty as charged although their defense was strangely supine at times". An equally prominent Bolshevik put it differently, "Well," he said in my hearing before the trial was ended, "they may be guilty or they may be innocent, but all I can say is that if those two, Thornton and McDonald, were Communists on trial before an English court they would be kicked out of the Party for cowardice when they came back to Russia, whether they were acquitted or not."

Уолтер Дюранти написал:
Преобладающее в иностранных кругах в Москве впечатление [от дела Метро Виккерс] было высказано мне известным дипломатом: "Я не думаю, что они виновны в том, в чем их обвиняют, хотя очень странно, что их защита иногда была бессильной".
Такой же знаменитый большевик высказался по-другому <...> "они могут быть виновными, или они могут быть невинными, но все, что я могу сказать, это, что, если бы те два, Торнтон и Макдональд, были коммунистами, находящимися под следствием перед английским судом, когда они возвратились в Россию, их бы вышибли из партии за трусость, независимо от того, были ли они оправданы или нет".
Crystal Ball

Metropolitan-Vickers Book

It was C. S. Richards who, with Hilton's support, made the first approaches after the war to the new Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Richards had been acting manager in Moscow before the 1917 revolution, escaping in time to join the British intelligence staff at Murmansk, and he and A. A. Simon (manager of continental sales) had a wide personal knowledge and understanding of the country and were confident of the stability of the new republic.
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