It is three weeks since South Vietnam's capital Saigon -- now called Ho Chi Minh City -- was taken over by revolutionary forces and the nation turned Communist.
GVs & SVs People looking at books on display (5 shots)
GV & SV Goods displayed on payment (2 shots)
GV Traffic passing armed man with flag
GV Truck-loads of refugees heading for Saigon
GV PULL BACK TO LV Riverside village
GV Man walking along street into market
SV TRACKING SHOT THROUGH Market place
GV Villagers examining pineapples
SV ZOOM INTO CU Pile of pineapples
SVs Vendors selling food in market (3 shots)
GV People onto ferry boat SV boat passes (2 shots)
GVs & SVs People working in paddy fields (3 shots)
GV Man working oxen plough
Initials BB/0025 AMN/CD/BB/0050
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: It is three weeks since South Vietnam's capital Saigon -- now called Ho Chi Minh City -- was taken over by revolutionary forces and the nation turned Communist.
But, to the casual observer, there are few outward signs that the city is undergoing any rapid or intensive social changes. The takeover of Saigon has been described as one of the smoothest victories in military history. The defeated South Vietnamese forces abandoned their uniforms and melted away to their homes. The forces of the Provisional Military Government, within two weeks, effected a transition remarkable for its speed.
The obvious signs are the gradual disappearance of the western culture that flourished in Saigon during the United States' presence.
Thousands of books are being sold hurriedly at give-away prices. The Government has just issued an order prohibiting future sales of western literature. The black market is doing a brisk trade in consumer goods, such as wrist watches, radios, sunglasses and the like. Even soldiers of the liberation army have been seen buying them. These will be the first goods to disappear when the Government becomes firmly established.
Many of the refugees, who fled from the capital before the Communist takeover, are now beginning to return.. They arrive in Lorries along the highways, preparing to adept to a new kind of living .. without the American luxuries they had become used to.
In the Mekong Delta, life continues the same as before. Towns in this productive rice-growing area remained virtually unscarred by the six-week offensive which finally turned the nation Communist. People can buy fresh food at reasonable prices. And supplies from the country areas are being taken to the capital.
The people are starting to look for new away of transport. The price of petrol in the country is now four pounds sterling (about nine U.S. dollars) a gallon and there are far fewer cars and motor cycles on the roads.
The rice harvest is underway again. Although South Vietnam is no longer the exporter of rico it used to be, it is still self- sufficient. This is not true, however, in North Vietnam which depends heavily on supplies from China.