President Thieu of South Vietnam has come under increasing pressure from both inside and outside his country to resign.
SV PAN President Thieu shakes hands and site in office.
SCU U.S. Ambassador
SCU President Thieu speaks.
CU General Weyand.
MV Weyand and Thieu seated.
GV PAN Aircraft taking off.
SVS Vietnamese maintenance crews and aircraft. (4 shots)
GV, SV AND GV PAN Helicopters. (3 shots)
SCU Schlesinger speaking.
TRANSCRIPT (SEQ 9): SCHLESINGER: "Two thirds of the country are now under the control of the Communists. It has been a defeat of historic and tragic proportions for the Government to this point. Whether or not the line can be stabilized north of Saigon to permit the areas around Saigon and in the Delta to continue is something that remains to be seen. We should have a testing of that in the next four weeks or possibly less."
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EDITORS NOTE: THIS FILM IS SILENT FOR THE FIRST FIFTY TWO FEET AND CONTAINS AN EXTRACT FROM MR. SCHLESINGER'S NEWS CONFERENCE AT THE END, WHICH IS FOR USE.
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Background: President Thieu of South Vietnam has come under increasing pressure from both inside and outside his country to resign.
The South Vietnamese leader has been keeping out of the public eye as much as possible during the current Communist offensive, but calls for his resignation have come from his own Senate and from the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Saigon.
The Communists have said they will not start negotiations for a ceasefire until the President resigns.
President Thieu took time out during the weekend (Easter) to meet the American Army's Chief of Staff, General Weyand, and the American Ambassador to Saigon, Mr. Martin.
General Weyand had gone to Vietnam on a fact-finding mission for President Ford.
On Wednesday (2 April), the American Secretary for Defence, Mr. Schlesinger, told a news conference in Washington that Saigon could come under attack within the next 30 days.
He said the defence of the capital would depend on how well President Thieu pulled together his remaining forces and how seriously morale had been affected by the reversed of the past few weeks.
Mr. Schlesinger's warning came at a time when much of the Vietnamese Air Force, the third largest in the world when the Americans withdrew two years ago, was grounded.
One reason for this is that Vietnamese technicians are unable to maintain planes adequately.