Today…peace is endangered by the weapons of false propaganda and misinformation and the inability on the part of the United States to deal adequately with those weapons.
Truth can be a powerful weapon on behalf of peace. It is the firm belief of the Committee that HR 3342, with all the safeguards included in the bill, will constitute an important step in the right direction toward the adequate dissemination of the truth about America, our ideals, and our people.
…This work has been going on for 29 months in the State Department. The time has come when Congress should give the program its official sanction. Further delay in taking action will seriously embarrass the President and the Secretary of State in the conduct of foreign relations, since information in the modern world is an exceedingly important instrument of policy.
What’s the topic? Some readers may recognize HR 3342 as the resolution put forward by a Representative Karl Mundt, conservative republican from South Dakota who, before Pearl Harbor, was an ardent isolationist. While serving on the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), Mundt worked vigorously with Senator H. Alexander Smith (R-NJ) to gain passage of what was officially known as Public Law 402: The United States Information and Educational Exchange Act of 1948.
The above quotes are from the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations recommending the Senate pass the bill, which it did without dissent (earlier, the House voted 272 to 97 in favor). It was signed into law by President Truman January 27, 1948, and later became known as the Smith-Mundt Act.
Cited in Robert William Pirsein’s The Voice of America : An History of the International Broadcasting Activities of the United States Government, 1940-1962, Dissertations in Broadcasting. New York: Arno Press, 1979.