• Short Summary

    Helicopters from the USS ESSEX will be transporting the members of the Presidential Press Group to the landing mat at El Aouina Airport (civilian area).

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Helicopters from the USS ESSEX will be transporting the members of the Presidential Press Group to the landing mat at El Aouina Airport (civilian area).

    Upon arrival at El Aouina, the pressmen will be checked through the Tunisian Secretariat of State for Information credentials list and will be given press lapel cards (the only credentials needed while in Tunisia), plus this script and other vital briefing, written and oral. Busses provided by the Secretariat or State will be waiting and will depart as filled for the Heliport at La Marsa (seven miles distant).

    USIS Officers William F. Gresham, Donald Y. Gilmore and Wilbert C. Petty, and USOM Program Officer Harry Lennon will meet the press party on arrival and one officer will accompany each bus to the Heliport.

    Heliport Facilities
    Technical Press: Mopix sound cameras will have assigned places on trucks, drawn up as mobile photo tribunes. (110 v. 50 cycle current available if desired).

    Other Photographers: these many take positions either on the photo truck to which they are assigned or within the Press area surrounding the trucks.

    Reporters: positions will be taken within the marked and cordoned press area surrounding the trucks.

    Mr. Robert O. Blake, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission, will depart by helicopter from El Aouina to the cruiser DES MOINES to give President Eisenhower's party a last minute briefing. He will be accompanied by Commandant Habib Essoussi, who will act as President Eisenhower's honorary aide-de-camp.

    Helicopters from the ESSEX will land at the La Marsa Heliport with the following members of the President's entourage:
    Presidential Press Secretary James Hagerty
    Major-General Howard Snyder - Presidential Physician
    Lt. Colonel Vernon Walters - Assistant Aide
    Brigadier General Andrew Goodpaster
    Captain E.P. Aurand - Naval Aide
    By 0730, representatives of the press, the Tunisian Guard of Honor, welcoming officials of the Tunisian Government, members of the Diplomatic Corps, and the American community will have taken their places.

    American Ambassador to Tunisia and Mrs. Walter N. Walmsley will arrive at the Heliport.

    President Habib Bourguiba will arrive at the Heliport accompanied by Mr. Djellouli Fares, President of the National Assembly.

    President Eisenhower's helicopter lands. The President will be accompanied by Major Eisenhower and Mrs. John Eisenhower and Ambassador Robert Murphy.

    Six pool photographers, three from the Presidential press party and three selected by the Tunisian Secretariat of State for Information will be permitted to photograph close-ups of the President's debarkation from the helicopter.

    After the President debarks, the national anthems of the two countries will be played followed by greetings and the presentation of the staffs of both Chiefs of State. The two Presidents will then review the Guard of Honor. Next, the officials of the Tunisian Government will be presented to President Eisenhower followed by the Diplomatic Corps and American Embassy Officers. The American community will be grouped behind the American Officers who are to be presented.

    The Presidents will then mount the tribune and deliver arrival statements in Arabic and English. Immediate translations will follow in these two languages. (Officials texts will be available shortly afterwards in the Palace Press Area).

    President Eisenhower and Bourguiba will enter the Presidential car for the 400 yard drive to the Palace at La Marsa
    (Dar Es Saada "House of Happiness".)
    Photo trucks with photographers will pull out to precede car to Palace grounds. Other pressmen will proceed to the Palace.

    On arrival at the Palace entrance, the two Presidents will a amount pause at the top of the stairway for pictures 3-5 minutes), and enter Palace for breakfast and talks.

    After the Presidents have entered, all photographers and pressmen will be directed to the Press working Area at the Palace.

    In an unprecedented gesture of hospitality for the representatives of the Press, President Bourguiba has put at their disposition accommodations on the second floor of the Presidential Palace itself at La Marsa. The rooms allotted constitute a portion of the residential and reception area. Telephones will be available in this working area as well as on the northeast side of the Palace. Seven phones have been installed in sound proof booths at the latter Location. In addition to direct lines to Tunis, the Government has put at your disposal cable filing facilities by messenger service to Tunis on every half hour.

    Work tables, chairs, and breakfast bars will be available.

    Twelve pool photographers (6 from President's Press party and 6 designated by the Tunisian Secretariat of State for Information) should stand by for admission to the breakfast and conference areas toward the end of the breakfast. Announcement will be sent to Press Area by Mr. Hagerty.

    Announcement will be made that the Presidents are about to depart. Photographers and Mopix cameramen should take positions in front of the Palace or at assigned places on the nearby photo-trucks drawn up close to the Presidential car.

    Reporters will move to a position near the Palace stairs to observe the departure and will afterwards move rapidly into the assigned busses.

    The Presidents will exit from the Palace and may or may not pause on the steps. They will enter by Presidential car. The official motorcade will form for the trip to the Airport in the following order:
    Governor of Tunis' Car
    Protocol Car
    First Escort Car
    Photo Trucks (two abreast)
    Motorcycle Escort
    Presidential Car
    Second Escort Car
    Remaining 5 or 6 official Cars.

    Press Busses.

    Final Escort Cars.

    Motorcade will arrive at the military area of El Aouina Airport. Photo truck will proceed directly to positions close to the Presidential tribune. Press busses will park nearby and the occupants will disembark and go to the market, cordoned press area. There will be time for the sound men to set up microphones. (110 v. 50 cycle current available if desired).

    The Presidential car will pass by the military Honor Guard and proceed directly opposite the grouped Tunisian Government, Officials where President Eisenhower will step out and say good-bye. He will then proceed to the Diplomatic Corps, American Officials, and the American community. Both Presidents will then mount the tribune and deliver their farewell statements in English and Arabic followed by translations in the same languages.

    President Eisenhower and his party will embark by helicopter for the return to the cruiser DES MOINES. President Bourguiba will then depart from the Airport.

    A communique will be released after departure simultaneously aboard the ESSEX and in Tunisia at a time agreed upon.

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