Randall copier lease delayed due to maker’s tie to submarine scandal

The submarine USS Chicago is shown at periscope depth off Malaysia/ Public domain photo

The submarine USS Chicago is shown at periscope depth off Malaysia/ Public domain photo

The make of a copier proposed for lease for use in the Randall town offices spurred a town supervisor to call for alternatives.

Supervisor Robert Gehring objected to the town leasing a Toshiba copier because of “questions of security” involving the company and Soviet Union submarines.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be a U.S. company, just not this one,” Gehring said in explaining his position. “”If there’s something else available, I prefer something else.”

Gehring was apparently referring to a 1987 incident involving a Toshiba subsidiary making an illegal sale of equipment to the Soviet Union. Says Wikipedia: “… Toshiba Machine, a subsidiary of Toshiba, was accused of illegally selling CNC milling machines used to produce very quiet submarine propellers to the Soviet Union in violation of the CoCom agreement, an international embargo on certain countries to COMECON countries. The Toshiba-Kongsberg scandal involved a subsidiary of Toshiba and the Norwegian companyKongsberg Vaapenfabrikk. The incident strained relations between the United States and Japan, and resulted in the arrest and prosecution of two senior executives, as well as the imposition of sanctions on the company by both countries. The US had always relied on the fact that the Soviets had noisy boats, so technology that would make the USSR’s submarines harder to detect created a significant threat to America’s security. Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania said ‘What Toshiba and Kongsberg did was ransom the security of the United States for $517 million.'”

Supervisor Rose Nolan moved that the board delay the lease so that Gehring could research options. The motion passed without dissent.

The board is expected to consider the lease — the current one which expires in August — at the next board meeting.



  1. Anonymous says:

    scandel (sic), becuase (sic)
    Are these words in your spell checker’s dictionary?

    Also, in your article “Salem School Board gets good, bad financial news” I suggest you review the uses of the words effect and affect.

  2. Very sloppy spelling on my part. I changed the errors. Thanks for calling it to my attention.

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