April 1956 - Eleventh Semiannual Report of the United States Advisory Commission on Information


Commission Members

  • Mark A. May, chairman
  • Erwin D. Canham
  • Sigurd S. Larmon
  • Philip D. Reed



The Commissioners recommended that Congress appoint a joint House-Senate Committee on International Information, increase appropriations for the Agency, and amend certain sections of Public Law 402 (adding more full time staff to the Commission). The Commission also recommended changing the name from US Information Agency to US Information Service.


"By their acts and pronouncements in 1955, the Russian leaders have made clear that the United States Government, more than ever before in its history, needs an apparatus such as USIA for rapid and continuous communications with leaders and large masses of people throughout the world. Our military defenses, strong as they are, our economic aid to others much as it is needed, our diplomacy clever as it may be, are not in themselves enough to assure our national security. The effectiveness of our defenses, economic aid, and diplomacy depend to a large extent on how our acts and words are understood—the meaning they have to others."

"We heartily agree that the United States has a very thrilling and convincing story to tell the world—particularly to the people who are beginning to industrialize—of how American industry, in a very real sense, is dependent on the needs, wants, and buying power of the people, and how they share in the ownership of banks, businesses, and factories."

"But no man alive can give you a reliable answer to the question as to whether the United States Government is getting its money’s worth from the Voice of America, any more than he can answer whether we are getting our money’s worth from our investments in guided missiles."