In April of this year, President Richard Nixon announced further United States troop withdrawals from south Vietnam for May and December.
GV Troops walking on quayside
SV Soldiers with gear near trucks and walking toward ship (5 shots) (SOUND ON FILM)
GV Troops on dockside ship in B/G
GV Troops up gang plank
SV Helicopter landing
GV & SV Injured cared for near helicopter (3 shots)
TV Troops to of helicopter
GV & SV Troops taking up positions (4 shots)
GV & SV Troops through mud intercut with dancers in Sydney (8 shots)
SV Dancers in nightclub
SV Men drinking at bar
GV PAN Sydney skyline
SV Soldier being interviewed over shots of Sydney nightlife (5 shots) (SOUND ON FILM)
CU Sign for souvenir store and PAN TO empty shop, SV of other tourist shops near empty (5 shots)
SV Sign crest hotels PAN TO lobby entrance
GV Sydney street scene
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 2: NIXON: "I am announcing an increase in the rate of American withdrawals. Between May first and December first of this year, about one-hundred thousand more American troops will be brought home from South Vietnam. This will bring the total number of American troops withdrawn from South Vietnam to three-hundred and sixty-five thousand."
SEQ 13: REPORTER: "What do you think of Sydney?"
SOLDIER: "I think it's a great place myself.
REPORTER: "Would you be sorry if you couldn't come here anymore?
SOLDIER: "If I had to spend another tour in Vietnam, I sure would be.
REPORTER: "What about the standard of entertainment around here? Do you think it's good?
SOLDIER: "Well, it's a lot more than where I'm from. I mean, we don't have any nightclubs where I come from. I think it's very entertaining."
Initials OS/1143 OS/1203
N.B. THE SOUND ON FILM INCLUDES A SPEECH BY PRESIDENT NIXON REGARDING TROOP WITHDRAWALS, WHICH HE MADE IN APRIL 1971. THERE IS ALSO AN INTERVIEW WITH A U.S. SOLDIER ON LEAVE IN SYDNEY. TRANSCRIPTS FOLLOW.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In April of this year, President Richard Nixon announced further United States troop withdrawals from south Vietnam for May and December. On Friday night (2 November) Mr. Nixon again addressed the nation on the subject of the Indochina conflict. He announced that he would pull another 45,000 U.S. troops out of Vietnam by the end of January and proclaimed the end of America's ground combat role in the war.
Under the present withdrawal programme, U.S. strength in South Vietnam on 1 december is planned to be at a maximum of 184,000. One side effect of the withdrawal programme is that U.S. servicemen from South Vietnam are making fewer visits to Australia for "rest and recreation leave", "R and R".
King's Cross, the hub of Sydney nightlife has been a mecca for free-spending servicemen enjoying leave from the war. But "R and R" leave to Australia is to end in December, and many businesses that dater to the servicemen are expected to fold.
An estimated 270,000 U.S. servicemen have been to Sydney, since the city was declared a leave centre four years ago, and they have poured about 80 million dollars into the tourist industry there. The manager of the sydney Convention and Visitors' Bureau, Mr. Puckeridge, said that at the peak of the R and R programme, his Bureau booked 1500 rooms in Sydney every six days. Now the number has fallen to about 500. "It would be foolish," he said , "to deny that the industry will not feel the pinch when the programme ends.
"This VISNEWS feature report examines this one problem that Sydney faces as a result of increased U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam.