S/S–NSC Files, Lot 63 D 351, NSC 114 Series1

Study Prepared by the Department of State2


NSC 114/1, Annex 5

The Information Program

i. the current program

1. The current information and educational exchange programs of the Department of State are directed to giving psychological impact [Page 924] to the political, military and economic decisions and actions taken by the people and governments of the free world, under the leadership of the United States, to frustrate the design of the Kremlin.

2. The programs considered necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the Department of State under Annex No. 5 of NSC 68/33 involve activity in ninety-three countries, including the three Baltic states incorporated in the Soviet Union, but concentrate on thirty-one in Europe, the Near East and Asia. (Psychological programs in Japan are conducted by the Department of the Army.) The funds to execute the program are incorporated in seven budgets:—USIE, Public Law 402;4 the Public Affairs Programs for Germany;5 the Public Affairs Program for Austria;6 Finnish Exchange Program, Public Law 265;7 the Chinese Student Aid Program;8 the Fulbright Exchange Program, Public Law 584;9 the Iranian Student Aid Program.10 Four-fifths of the funds would be appropriated under Public Law 402.

3. The program developed to meet the requirements set forth in Annex No. 5 to NSC 68/3 was based largely on the program, “The Campaign of Truth,” approved in the summer of 1951 [1950] by the Congress and the President. To meet the requirements of Annex No. 5 the planned completion of radio facilities was accelerated so as to take place in two years instead of five, by providing all financial requirements in FY 1951. Other aspects of the “Campaign of Truth” program were increased in varying degrees.

4. The thirty-one countries emphasized were considered to be those strategically most important to the achievement of the objectives of the United States. Those are countries either under control of the Kremlin, directly threatened by the Soviet Union or its satellites, or highly susceptible to internal communist pressures.

5. Within these countries, effort was to be concentrated upon those groups and individuals deemed most capable of influencing the decisions and actions of governments. Among these were urban and rural workers, youth, the professional and governing classes and intellectuals, with emphasis among the latter on journalists and teachers.

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6. Overt programs envisioned for eight of the countries—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Albania, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria—consist solely of radio broadcasts originating outside the countries. In the remaining eighty-five countries overt programs consist, in varying degrees, of radio broadcasts, the distribution of motion pictures, the maintenance of information centers with libraries, the exchange of persons, the dissemination of materials to the press and radio, the presentation of exhibits, the subsidized translation of books, and the distribution of pamphlets, posters and film strips, chiefly through indigenous channels.

7. Specific measures were to include the following:

A radio ring of 14 one-megawatt (1,000,000-watt) medium-wave transmitters, established overseas for greater penetration of Iron Curtain countries and areas of the sub-Asian continent, supported by five one-megawatt short-wave transmitters in the United States.
Increasing from 24 to 45 the number of languages in which the Voice of America is broadcast and increasing from 30 to 57 the number of program hours daily.
The establishment in London and Manila of regional production centers for publishing in foreign languages. Production capacity generally, as it pertained to areas outside Germany and Austria, was to be expanded to produce annually some 60 million cartoon and narrative-type booklets and leaflets, six million copies of magazines, two million plastic plates, glossy prints and film strips, forty million picture posters and thirty-two million words of press communications. A large portion of this material was to appear under auspices other than that of the United States Government.
Increase in the number of information centers from 105 to 164.
The translation into 30 languages of books advancing themes hostile to communism and promoting national freedom. These books were to appear in subsidized editions under an imprint other than that of the United States Government.
An increase from approximately 3000 to 10,000 in the number of persons brought to the United States or sent abroad by the Government under exchange of persons appropriations, exclusive of those for the German, Chinese and Austrian programs.
An increase to between 32 and 35 in the number of languages in which documentary motion pictures were to be prepared. Mobile projection units were to be increased to approximately 500 and the number of 16mm. projectors to about 6,000. Production of films in foreign countries, to enhance the immediacy of the propaganda message, was to be launched in keeping with the general purpose of moulding propaganda output to achieve maximum impact among target audiences. In addition, the Department of State was to underwrite losses incurred in the production of desirable films by Hollywood companies for commercial use abroad.
The expansion of the intelligence research facilities of the Department of State to provide an increasing flow of materials which would alert the Department to propaganda problems, delineate the socio-psychological character of specific target audiences and provide content for propaganda output. Studies were to be made of popular attitudes, [Page 926] aspirations and symbols, the effectiveness of various media in moulding public opinion, and the responsiveness of specific target groups to various kinds of messages.
Technical research with reference to overt penetration of the Iron Curtain and the development of unconventional devices and techniques for affecting public attitudes and frustrating the control of the Kremlin behind the Iron Curtain.
The establishment of a high priority for government intelligence and research concerning hostile jamming.
The appropriation of funds for discretionary use of unconventional devices for affecting popular attitudes.
The establishment of mechanisms among NATO and other countries for promoting shared interests in the information field, as they pertain both to indigenous and to external audiences.
Stimulation of public utterances by American government officials and leading personages in civic, labor, religious and other fields, in order to promote established propaganda themes and create source material for propaganda use, was to be regularized and expanded.

8. The programs for Germany and Austria presented, at the time of the preparation of Annex V, special problems resulting from the recency of the take-over from the Army. The plan called for a moderate expansion of program in 1952, with activity stabilized in 1953 at an annual expenditure in Germany of $55 million dollars in American and foreign currency, and in Austria of more than $5,000,000 in dollars and schillings.

ii. to what extent has this program been completed?

9. Contracts for manufacture of only two of the megawatt shortwave transmitters in the United States and for only five megawatt medium-wave transmitters overseas have been let. Sites for the two megawatt short-wave transmitters in the United States are being sought and are expected to be obtained by the time the facilities are completed. Sites overseas for the five megawatt medium-wave transmitters facilities have been selected. Actual construction of bases has begun at Manila and on Okinawa. An agreement for short-wave broadcasting has been negotiated with Ceylon;11 it will serve as a step toward agreements on medium-wave broadcasting which will carry the Voice of America broadcasts more powerfully into the Indian sub-continent. Work on three bases remains to be started. Funds were made available for a floating radio transmitter in an extension of the ring concept.12

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10. Congress so far has refused, however, to appropriate funds for the completion of the ring plan,13 and construction of facilities for the three remaining megawatt transmitters in the United States and the nine overseas is being held in abeyance. Funds required total approximately $89 million. Inasmuch as ability to penetrate the jamming screen by which the Soviet orbit seeks to shut out the free world depends principally on strength of signal, failure to complete the transmitter ring reduces the potential capability of the United States to penetrate the Iron Curtain.

11 The number of program hours broadcast daily by the Voice of America now exceeds by four the goal of 57; while the number of languages projected under the plan has been met. The 21 new languages added in the past year have all been selected to meet program needs for the areas of major concern. Five additional languages have been projected for Fiscal Year 1952.

12. The regional production center in Manila is in operation, and a regional office is in operation in London. Production capacity is approaching the level envisioned in the plan, with some 47 million booklets and leaflets being produced as against 60 million projected. Production of magazines, photo materials, film strips, posters and press wordage approximately attains the rate of acceleration anticipated and approaches the level at which it was to be stabilized.

13. Although the number of information centers overseas has increased from 105 to 128 over the past year, it falls short by 36 of the total planned in the program to implement Annex No. 5 to NSC 68/3.

14. Fifteen selected books have been translated into 28 of the 30 languages projected under Annex No. 5 to NSC 68/3, and have been issued by sources other than the United States Government. For example 66,900 copies of six books emphasizing the dangers of communism to national and group interests have been translated into Chinese and distributed throughout Chinese-speaking areas in Southeast Asia.

15. The number of persons who were selected under the exchange of persons program, exclusive of the programs for Germany, China and Austria, totalled 3,900 in Fiscal Year 1951. Because of low per diem allowances and statutory requirements rigidly defining the categories of exchanges, only one-third were in the fields of labor, journalism, radio and films as well as the other principal priority groups.

16. Documentary films were being produced in 32 of the 35 planned languages by the end of Fiscal Year 1951. Of 500 mobile units planned, 145 were in operation while another 180 were being manufactured for early shipment overseas. More than 2,000 16mm. motion picture projectors—one-third the planned number—were in use at 94 posts conducting [Page 928] film programs; another 2,000 projectors will be in the field early in calendar year 1952. The production of motion pictures in the Near East and Far East for theatrical distribution under the imprint of principal American film companies was on schedule. In addition, the Department of State has engaged an American Supervising producer to supply feature and documentary films to be made in Italy and France by local producers, ostensibly as private ventures, for regular commercial distribution. Work with Hollywood producers for the stimulation of feature film projects promoting propaganda objectives overseas is dependent upon subsidization for anticipated losses and has been held up for lack of funds.

17. Funds were appropriated for only 40 of the 92 positions planned to provide intelligence research support to the information program. These positions have been filled. Contracts for outside research to determine popular attitudes, evaluate program effectiveness, and develop new information techniques totalled $241,900 during Fiscal Year 1951, as compared with $2,394,500 estimated to meet the needs of the present situation in Fiscal Year 1952.

18. Principal research undertaken with reference to penetration of the Iron Curtain was undertaken by a group of scientists of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. During Fiscal Year 1951 they presented a report with recommendations of vast implications for the overt propaganda program. These concerned methods for penetrating any jamming curtain which might be devised, methods for giving greater fidelity to radio signals, and designs for a small battery-powered receiver which will have a relatively long life-span. The project for distributing a receiver of this type is contingent on strengthening the signal power of radio broadcastings, through developing the ring plan and other transmitting facilities.

19. Negotiations to establish a high priority for governmental research and intelligence concerning hostile jamming are only just under way.

20. The sum of $10,000,000 sought to permit discretionary use of unconventional devices for affecting popular attitudes and countering Soviet propaganda, largely through indigenous sources, has not been authorized by the Congress.

21. An international information service has been established in NATO,14 but is operating on a relatively restricted scale.

22 A unit has been established within the Department of State to facilitate the implementation of information policy directives through public utterances by authoritative official and unofficial spokesmen.

23. The program for Germany envisioned under Annex No. 5 to NSC 68/3 called for an annual expenditure of $55 million in Fiscal Year 1952. Because of economies effected since take-over of the German [Page 929] program from the Department of Army, however, it has been possible to reduce the estimates for an optimum program, with the result that $44 million rather than $48 million was requested for Fiscal Year 1952. The program for Austria will require $4,916,000 in Fiscal Year 1952, as against $3,584,000 the year before. The new rate is at approximately the optimum level projected under Annex No. 5.

iii. what difficulties are being encountered or anticipated in completing this program?

24. Lack of Appropriations. The failure by Congress to appropriate funds in the amounts requested has resulted in:

Indefinite postponement of the completion of the radio ring.
Indefinite postponement of the inaugurations of new programs, especially the exchange of persons, in critical and vulnerable areas.
Elimination of planned increase in confidential support of informational activity on the part of indigenous groups.
Limitations on flexibility and authority in negotiating with other governments with regard to sites for facilities and cooperation in planning.
Drastic reduction in funds available in the United States and abroad for representation purposes, thus curtailing an important means of developing fruitful relationships with groups and individuals important to the execution of the program.
The limitation on six top staffs, unless modified by further action of Congress or by subcommittee interpretation, makes impossible the provision of adequate executive and policy direction and supporting services to the program.

25. Lack of Full Support from Other Federal Agencies.

The Voice of America has failed to acquire a sufficient number of medium-wave channels overseas to permit flexibility and experimentation in operations so to maximize program listenership and impact. The crowded radio spectrum, enemy counter-measures such as jamming, and—to a degree—the difficulty of adjusting the requirements of various United States and friendly foreign interests continues to be obstacles to the achievement of goals in the voice broadcasting field.
Failure to acquire higher priorities in the fields of research and intelligence, has affected research on facilities implementation and has denied the Department of State adequate reports on monitoring of Russian jamming.

26. Legal Obstacles to Fulfillment of Program.

The unique requirement of Section 1001 of Public Law 402 for a complete FBI investigation and clearance prior to the entrance of an employee on duty is the source of extraordinary delay in staffing operations quickly. It also results in the loss to the program of talented individuals with numerous employment opportunities.
A prohibition still exists against advertising in other countries activities sponsored under the program in any English language publication, with the result that, as in India, where English is an important [Page 930] publication language, advertising cannot be fully used to attract an audience to the program.
The appropriation language of the House Appropriations Committee denies authority to pay for the shipment of the household effects of aliens hired abroad for employment in the United States, with the result that the employment of such aliens is likely to become increasingly difficult. The operation of the Voice of America is likely to be most affected.
The report of the House Appropriations Committee on the 1952 appropriation request carries a statement that would preclude anyone but the Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs from making at government expense speeches concerning the program. This has the effect of sharply curtailing efforts to enlist the support and cooperation of private agencies in achieving the objectives of the program.
The limitation of per diem payments to $10 under Public Law 402 has made it impossible to bring the desired number of government officials and national leaders to the United States under the exchange of persons program.

The per diem often must serve as maintenance in the United States and as compensation for loss of income at home, and thus discourages national leaders, journalists, labor leaders and others who would benefit from long tours in this country. Other agencies of the government (e.g. ECA, Department of the Army) do not have this per diem limitation.

27. Administrative Obstacles to Fulfillment of Program. Effective operation of the Voice of America is hampered by the inability of the Public Buildings Service to acquire with the funds appropriated by Congress suitable quarters in New York to house the operation.

28. Operational Obstacles to Fulfillment of Program. Effective operation of the program is hampered by the difficulty of employing personnel in highly skilled fields, particularly motion picture production and technical radio production.

29. Political Obstacles to Fulfillment of Program.

The acquisition of sites for facilities in other countries has been hampered by the reluctance of other governments, sometimes under the influence of third governments, to make sites available.
The development of cooperative information efforts by governments of the free world has been hampered, as in NATO, by the lack of indigenous governmental information agencies and the failure to activate fully the Information Service of NATO itself.

30. Psychological Obstacles to Fulfillment of Program.

The program has suffered from the indifference and the lethargy that have interfered with the rapid development of other elements of the security program. Effective propaganda reflects vigorous action in other fields. In the lack of such action, propaganda becomes relatively ineffective, and the need for a vigorous program becomes less persuasive and urgent.
The program also suffers from the heavy emphasis placed in some quarters on the purely material elements in the security program. The rapid development of military strength is the key element in the [Page 931] security program, but military power dissociated from a persuasive idea may neither deter an enemy or persuade an ally.

iv. what is the estimated adequacy and timing of the present program?

31. The program designed to carry out the responsibilities of the Department of State under Annex No. 5 of NSC 68/3 may be said to be adequate in scope if funds are made available and the obstacles cited in Section III are removed. Emphasis within the program might be made more nearly adequate by the inclusion of North Africa which is an area requiring intensified psychological action.

32. The program is not, however, timed to achieve maximum impact in promoting the national objectives. The need to promote the development of deterrents to communist aggression, particularly among the captive peoples of the Soviet world and the armies of the satellites, is more urgent than ever. So also is the need to promote among still free peoples a sense of urgency, a stiffened resolution and a constantly nourished realization of the interests which they share with the people and the Government of the United States.

33. Already six months at least have been lost in completing the radio ring, the major purpose of which is to help to create, within the Soviet world, deterrents to aggression, and in intensifying efforts to build confidence and will among the free peoples. The technical instrumentalities by means of which psychological attitudes are created and nourished cannot be produced quickly, but even more difficult to create rapidly and surely is the desired psychological attitude itself. A gun not produced today can still be produced next month. A psychological attitude not created or supported today may never be brought into being. A gun is always a gun, but it is a less effective weapon in defense of freedom if it passes into the hands of a soldier whose will has been undermined, whose resolution is infirm and whose convictions concerning the purpose for which he has been armed are shaken.

34. The current program should be carried forward rapidly. If the appropriations previously recommended for radio facilities are increased by approximately 15%, the radio ring can be in operation in between eighteen and twenty-one months from the date when the funds become available. Provided the obstacles cited in Section III are removed and funds are made available, other activities can be operating at maximum levels within a year.

35. Within the current program, other measures should be taken to reduce the time span in which psychological operations required by the present situation can be underway. These include the following:

The establishment of additional production offices, one in the Near and Middle East.
An increase in the programs for the exchange of persons, with virtually exclusive priorities on those countries most vulnerable to communist aggression and subversion and on those groups and individuals—labor leaders, peasant leaders, journalists, teachers and officials—deemed capable of having immediate influence on groups and governmental actions.
The intensified development of radio programming in the field, thus increasing the immediacy of impact through familiarity with local circumstances.
Increased activity among indigenous groups, either directly on the part of the Department of State or by providing guidance and support to other agencies of the Government.
Acceleration of stockpiling of propaganda materials and facilities in this country and at fall-back points abroad for use in certain eventualities.
Completion of research on, and production of, small radio receivers for distribution in target areas.

v. should the target dates for readiness be reaffirmed or modified?

36. Funds are not now available for the achievement by the information and educational exchange programs, notably those financed under Public Law 402, of desired levels of operation by the target dates set in Annex No. 5. Only if funds become immediately available can the radio ring be in operation before the end of Fiscal Year 1953. Otherwise the target date must be put ahead into Fiscal Year 1954.

37. No specific target dates for the maximum operation of other aspects of the program, particularly those financed under Public Law 402, were fixed in Annex No. 5 of NSC 68/3. If funds are made available early in the calendar year 1952 and major obstacles to the fulfillment of the program are removed, these activities can be at or near maximum operation within a year.

  1. Serial master file of National Security Council documents and correspondence and related Department of State memoranda for the years 1947–1961, as maintained by the Executive Secretariat of the Department of State.
  2. This study constituted Annex 5 to National Security Council report 114/1, “Status and Timing of Current U.S. Programs for National Security,” August 8, 1951. For the text of NSC 114/1, see p. 127. Sections 41–45 concern the information program.
  3. NSC 68/3, Annex 5, “The Foreign Information Programs,” is printed in Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. i, p. 452.
  4. The United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948, approved January 27, 1948; 62 Stat. 6.
  5. The Public Affairs Program for Germany was under the authority of the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany and was authorized by Public Law 759, approved September 6, 1950; 64 Stat. 595.
  6. The Public Affairs Program for Austria was under the authority of the U.S. High Commissioner for Austria and was authorized by Public Law 759, approved September 6, 1950; 64 Stat. 595.
  7. Approved August 24, 1949; 63 Stat. 630.
  8. The Chinese Student Aid Program was authorized by Public Law 327, approved October 6, 1949; 63 Stat. 709.
  9. Approved August 1, 1946; 60 Stat. 754.
  10. The Iranian Student Aid Program was authorized by Public Law 861, approved September 29, 1950; 64 Stat. 1081.
  11. For the text of the agreement, concerning use of the facilities of Radio Ceylon, effected by an exchange of notes May 12 and 14, 1951, see United States Treaties and Other International Agreements, vol. 2, p. 1041. For documentation concerning the interest of the United States in establishing communications facilities in Ceylon, see vol. vi, Part 2, pp. 2013 ff.
  12. The transmitter was installed aboard the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Courier. Its use was initiated on March 4, 1952, with an address by President Truman, broadcast from the Courier over the Voice of America; the text of the address is printed in the Department of State Bulletin, March 17, 1952, pp. 421–422.
  13. See editorial note, p. 919.
  14. The NATO Information Service.