In his latest salvo fired against the Electric Boat division of General Dynamics, Adm. H. G. Rickover complains that "no private citizen or head of a commercial firm would tolerate" the kind of treatment the Navy has been getting from that ship builder.
"The time has come to draw the line with General Dynamics," Rickover wrote his Navy superiors in a Sept. 8 memo obtained by The Post.
He complained about "greatly inflated" charges the company planned to levy against the Navy for replacing valves on one of the nuclear attack submarines Electric Boat is building, declaring:
"The traditional customer-seller relationship is being turned on its head.Service which the Navy has the right to expect from Electric Boat under the contract are no longer being rendered. The situation is analogous to a man having to accept an ill-fitting suit of clothes because his tailor insists on charging an outrageous price for moving a button."
Electric Boat steadfastly has denied that it has been inflating its bills for Navy work. Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wisc.) who is trying to forbid the Navy from using a streamlined procedure called 85-804 to pay bills filed by Electric Boat and other ship builders, has cited Rickover's charges in making his case.
Although the deadline for passing a congressional resolution to forbid paying claims under 85-804 passed yesterday, Proxmire intends to put the question to a Senate floor vote by sponsoring an amendment denying the Navy money authorized for paying back ship builder bills. Rep. Thomas J. Downey (D-N.Y.) plans to make a similar attempt in the House.