January 1963 - Eighteenth Report of the United States Advisory Commission on Information


Commission Members:
J. Leonard Reinsch, chairman
Clark R. Mollenhoff
Sigurd S. Larmon
M. S. Novik
John L. Seigenthaler


The Commission evaluated USIA’s performance during the Cuban Missile Crisis, reported on the changing missions and tasks of the USIA, and made several recommendations for forward-planning. The Commission commended the advantages of a well planned and executed foreign information program in times of national crisis and reported that USIA’s performance during the Cuban crisis was exemplary. The report also pointed out five areas that USIA should continue to pay attention to; these five problem areas include management and administration, publications, program content, the expansion of operations in under-developed areas, and the need to coordinate and centralize within a single building in Washington.


The Commission is gratified to record that USIA was among the first to be informed of the President’s decisions concerning Cuba. This early notice of impending strategic decisions at a time of national crisis gave the Agency valuable lead time which enabled it to develop its operating plans along with those of the military.

Cuba was a good example of a situation where USIA was properly used by the US Government. The US position was presented to the world rapidly, authoritatively, and effectively. This USIA action received national acclaim. NBC’s Monitor program of October 29, carried by 150 US radio stations said “USIA had once again proved its worth in getting the American point of view across to people abroad.”

If intercontinental television is to be a constructive force for world peace and international understanding, considerable research into the ideological and psychological dimensions of international communications is called for.