The following is a statement issued yesterday by General Dynamics Corp. to The Washington Post.
General Dynamics executives had countless conversations with P. Takis Veliotis, our former employe, on matters of cost, performance and delivery schedules. When press accounts emphasize only the handpicked conversations that Veliotis chooses to release from among his recordings, they distort the actions and motives of General Dynamics executives, perpetuate Veliotis' lies and do a grave injustice to the company.
With regard to the conversation of Nov. 29, 1977, the company's concern resulting from the Navy's press conference was that there would be a public perception that the company was experiencing a large loss on its Trident program. This was not true and the company felt obligated to correct any wrong impression.
Second, the delivery date for the first Trident was not the major concern. In its release on Nov. 30, 1977, the company used the best data it had at that time from its experts, forecasting delivery in two years. In addition, the company acknowledged the Navy's forecast for delivery in 2 1/2 years.
Third, in the purported telephone conversation of Dec. 9, 1977, between Veliotis and Max Golden, there is an innuendo that the company was not disclosing the scope and status of the Los Angeles-class overrun in a timely manner. The fact is that it was disclosed fully a month earlier in the company's quarterly report to shareholders of Nov. 10, 1977.