January 1957 - Twelfth Report of the United States Advisory Commission on Information


Commission Members:
Mark A. May, Chairman
Erwin D. Canham
Sigurd S. Larmon
Philip D. Reed
Lewis W. Douglas

Staff Director: Louis T. Olom



This report reviewed the record of the USIA and suggested some operational improvements. The Commissioners noted that USIA has increased its effectiveness, has been dependably accurate, has played an important role in international conferences, and has been active on many impactful projects. The Commission also reported that it has urged USIA to place greater emphasis on the task of measuring the effectiveness/impact of its efforts—which USIA has already begun to respond to by increasing evaluative research and the use of public opinion polls. The Commission also recommended an increase in USIA’s budget and reiterated its desire for two additional Commissioners.


"The U.S. Government must make its foreign policy decisions faced with the dilemmas of the troubled world. Because of divided opinion in the world, these opinions will please some, will displease others. As a result, receptiveness of USIA’s messages will be high in certain areas, low in others. This cannot be avoided. It emphasizes the necessity for an official US voice which—whether what it says is pleasing or displeasing—will be believed, because its reputation for honesty and integrity is beyond suspicion."