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1961: Maxwell is forced to withdraw
The difficulty that arose was described by Monty in a letter of complaint to Moscow in mid-March. Derwent had ready for distribution a translation of issue number one for 1961 and was "prepared to produce complete translations at regular fortnightly intervals". But it needed Moscow to bring Robert Maxwell to heel. His company was refusing to recognise the 1961 contract between the Soviets and Derwent, intended to continue its own version and would not discuss the matter sensibly. This at the same time as having "only produced 10 of the 24 issues due to be supplied for 1959 (issues 9 and 10 being moreover very incomplete) and none at all for 1960."
Monty's letter of 17.03.61 continued: "In view of the present situation we are not prepared to go ahead with the project without your intervention.... We would like you to instruct Pergamon Press Ltd to furnish a written undertaking not to publish translations in English from the Biulleten Izobretenii for 1961 and to insist that they specifically inform each and every one of their present or past subscribers that issues for the publication for 1961 are immediately available and obtainable from Derwent Information Service. Also they should give a written undertaking not to accept subscriptions for 1961."
A letter of admonition was the next week dictated from Moscow to the London Delegation and sent on to Maxwell, and appears to have done the trick, as by 9th June 1961 an exit agreement was signed.
In the agreement, Pergamon undertakes to cease publication and translation of the journal with the issue of December 1960 and not to be associated with any future similar publication. Pergamon will deliver a list of names and addresses of all its subscribers, together with an agreed letter to each of them signed by Maxwell. It will forward to Derwent all future orders for and enquiries about the journal and refund to subscribers all monies received in advance for 1961 subscriptions. Derwent will pay Pergamon £2632 and 10 shillings on completion of the agreement.
That completes the formal documentation. Anecdotally, Monty often said that when Derwent contacted purported subscribers on the list, many of them denied being so. It was an early taste of what Maxwell was like, he'd say. A cryptic typewritten note among his memoir papers for the period says: "Bought Maxwell publicn. 200 not 400."