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Ending of emergency situation in Darwin

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The Acting Prime Minister Dr Cairns said today

he had been in communication with the Director-General of ·

the Natural Disasters.Organisation, Major General Stretton.

General Stretton advised Dr Cairns that in his opinion the

emergency situation in Darwin was at an end and that it was

appropriate that the administration of the city be handed back

to the normal authorities. '

General Stretton advised Dr Cairns that Darwin was

secure and was functioning in an orderly way. - Dr Cairns said ·

he had authorised General Stretton to make the arrangements

necessary to hand over to the administrator of the Northern

Territory, Mr Jock Nelson, and to make the arrangements necessary

for General Stretton and his staff to leave Darwin.

"The work of General Stretton has been a great, credit

to himself and to his staff," Dr Cairns said. "A tremendous

amount has been achieved in a shorter time than could be .

expected. I express to General Stretton and to his staff

the gratitude of the Australian Government and of the Australian


Dr Cairns said he was satisfied with General Stretton1s

advice to him that the job of the N.D.O. had been done and that

the normal authorities could resume responsibility in Darwin.

CANBERRA 31 December 1974.