• Short Summary

    AUSTRALIA'S MINISTER FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, SIR GARFIELD BARWICK, MAKING HIS FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO SOUTH-EAST ASIA, ARRIVED MAY 29 IN SAIGON FOR THREE-DAY VISIT TO SOUTH VIETNAM.

  • Description

    AUSTRALIA'S MINISTER FOR EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, SIR GARFIELD BARWICK, MAKING HIS FIRST OFFICIAL VISIT TO SOUTH-EAST ASIA, ARRIVED MAY 29 IN SAIGON FOR THREE-DAY VISIT TO SOUTH VIETNAM. SIR GARFIELD AND LAY BARWICK WERE MET BY VIETNAM'S SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, MR. VU VAN MAU, AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR MR. B.C. HILL, AND OTHER OFFICIALS, BARWICK INSPECTED AN HONOUR GUARD OF VIETNAMESE PARATROOPERS. THEN TOLD NEWSMEN HE HOPED HIS VISIT WOULD NOT ONLY REINFORCE THE MUTUAL REGARD AND UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND SOUTH VIETNAM, BUT WOULD HELP THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT GAIN A CLEARER INSIGHT INTO THE SPECIFIC WAYS AUSTRALIA MIGHT ASSIST THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE IN THEIR NATIONAL STRUGGLE. HE ADDED THAT HE HOPED TO SEE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE OF THE COUNTRY AND PEOPLE OF VIETNAM DURING HIS SHORT STAY.

    ONE OF HIS FIRST ENGAGEMENTS WAS A HELICOPTER FLIGHT TO CU CHI, ONE OF SOME 700 STRATEGIC HAMLETS IN SOUTH VIETNAM ESTABLISHED TO COUNTER COMMUNIST VIETCONG INFILTRATION. FORTIFIED BY BAMBOO BARRICADES AND A RED WIRE, WITH A WATCHTOWER AT EACH CORNER, AND USUALLY SURROUNDED BY A MOAT FILLED WITH HARDENED BAMBOO SPEARS, VIETNAM' GROWING NUMBER OF STRATEGIC HAMLETS ARE ORGANISED TO CREATE POCKETS OF GOVERNMENT CONTROL IN A WILDERNESS OF COMMUNIST CONTROLLED COUNTRYSIDE. THEIR DEFENCE IS LARGELY SELF-DEFENCE, BY REPUBLICAN YOUTH CORPS SUCH AS THAT WHICH PARADED FOR BARWICK AT CU CHI. STRATEGIC HAMLETS ARE ORGANISED IN GROUPS OF UP TO 2,000 PEOPLE WHO WORK IN THE FIELDS BY DAY BUT LIVE BEHIND THE BARRICADES BY NIGHT . SOME HAVE SEVEN BEEN BUILT FROM SCRATCH, AND OLD VILLAGES BURNT DOWN. THE GOVERNMENT ASSUMES THAT ANYONE CHOOSING TO STAY OUTSIDE IS A VIETCONG SYMPATHISE, AND THUS HOPES TO SEGREGATE THE COMMUNISTS FROM GOVERNMENT SUPPORTERS.

    THE VILLAGES ARE ARMED CHIEFLY WITH RIFLES, PLUS A FEW SUB MACHINE GUNS, CARBINES, AND MORTARS. EVEN SPEARS ARE SOMETIMES USED. METHODS OF COMMUNICATION INCLUDE SMOKE SIGNALS, HOLLOW BAMBOO LOGS USED AS DRUMS, AND BRASS TOCSINS. THE LOOKOUT TOWERS ARE MANNED DAY AND NIGHT.

    IN HIS TOUR OF CU CHI, SIR GARFIELD BARWICK ALSO SAW CHILDREN AT SCHOOL.

    BACK IN SAIGON, BARWICK CALLED AT THE PRESIDENT PALACE TO MEET PRESIDENT NGO DIN DIEM, WHO HE RECALLED HAD MADE A DEEP IMPRESSION ON AUSTRALIANS WHEN HE VISITED AUSTRALIA IN 1957.

    BEFORE LEAVING VIETNAM, BARWICK WAS ALSO DUE TO HAND OVER AGRICULTURAL EQUIPMENT AND HORSES AS COLOMBO PLAN GIFT FROM AUSTRALIA.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA449J2NG1FA73Q7BX4I7EJFXPI
    Media URN:
    VLVA449J2NG1FA73Q7BX4I7EJFXPI
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    31/05/1962
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:18:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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