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South Vietnam / More Provinces Abandoned / Refugees / Washington, DC Reaction #239136

CBS Evening News for Thursday, Mar 20, 1975
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(Studio) South Vietnam government surrenders 1/5 territory to Communists without fight. Govt. abandons Thua Thien and Binh Long Provinces today; Phu Bong, Tay Ninh and Quang Duc appear ready to collapse. South Vietnam government may be prepared to surrender as much as north 2/3 country if Communist offensive increases Refugees continue to stream out of abandoned cities; latest exodus comes from Hue.
REPORTER: Roger Mudd

(Hue, South Vietnam) In all South Vietnam's years of war, more refugees fleeing now than ever before. Soldiers trying to get their families out of Hue; soldiers confused, worried, hungry. Thousands of people on road out of Hue; all have same numbed look.
REPORTER: Bruce Dunning

(Studio) South Vietnam's President Thieu pledges he won't allow Communists to take over cntry. Rush seems to be on in Washington, DC to find scapegoat for South Vietnam military disaster. State Department blames USSR and China; Defense Department blames Congress
REPORTER: Roger Mudd

(DC) Defense Secretary James Schlesinger says congress aid cuts to South Vietnam weakened South Vietnam's defenses and set stage for North Vietnam attack. [SCHLESINGER - believes weakening resources to South Vietnam undoubtedly played part in timing of North Vietnam offensive. Believes survival of South Vietnam government not in danger at this point.] [Senator Charles MATHIAS - doesn't think anyone can say Congress hasn't been generous with South Vietnam.] [Senator Adlai STEVENSON - says South Vietnam has repeatedly outgunned and outmaneuvered enemy, but it still hasn't won.] North Vietnam may be planning to attack Saigon itself early next year
REPORTER: Ike Pappas

(Studio) Press Secretary Ron Nessen says South Vietnam uncertainty over continued congress aid helped North Vietnam effort. Harris survey reveals only 28% believe Communist takeover in South Vietnam would be serious setback for United States prestige; only 23% believe fall of Cambodian government would be serious setback.
REPORTER: Roger Mudd

Dunning, Bruce;
Mudd, Roger;
Pappas, Ike

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