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—Wide World Photos
Above, huge balloons are readied to carry
freedom's message to Soviet-controlled
Czechoslovakia in "Winds of Freedom" project sponsored by Radio Free Europe.
Below, political refugees hold freedom
balloon which inspired them to seek refuge
in West Germany after slave labor in Czech
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"The only I hi"?
e I . S., contrarj
. Streibert i- "■
r to swing the
lion in Vietnam or to fight off Ked
propagandists in Indochina if no election is held." Do you think we are effectively countering the heavy Soviet
propaganda in this crucial area of tin-
Mr. Streibert: I don't know on what
he bases the statement that we- are nol
putting forth the effort. Prior to Geneva, our information activity was working very effectively with the French in
what was actually psychological warfare. We were very effective in influencing the population to support the
tree Vietnamese and in stimulating enlisting in the army and support of the
rmy. Much of that was not done specifically in the name of the U. S.: we
worked through and with the Vietnamese government, so it was not fully
understood. Now. since Geneva, you
have had for a short period a question
of where do we go from here; and the
agency is Fully prepared In give ils complete resources ice winning the election
in Vietnam and to convincing the free-
Vietnamese that they should resist com-
U.S.S.R. OUTSPENDS U.S. ON
Miss Mc.Grory: In other words, you
think we can compete and are competing in this area, and yet just on the
basis of money spent alone, it would
swm that we were being swamped. I
FACTS FORUM NEWS, January, 1955
have heard the amount of Soviet propaganda expenditure quoted as up to two
billion dollars, and yet our total budget
is $77 million. Now I have further
heard it said that by sheer saturation
the Soviets are reaching more of the
people—that their propaganda is aimed
at the masses, in simple, visual terms
that they can all understand—whereas
we, with our more limited funds, are appealing more to opinion leaders and sort
of the elite of the country. Are you satisfied with that policy, if indeed it is
Mr. Streibert: No, it is not. In
Indochina, for instance, it is not primarily a question of money; it is a
question of method of attack and the
effectiveness of it. We would devote all
our resources from other areas to whatever was necessary in Indochina. As to
the rest of the area, we are at a disadvantage where the Soviets have Communist parties to work through. There
is no question but that they have greater
resources and do have their mechanisms; and we have to use our advantages in working against them. We spoke
at the beginning of the broadcast of
truth, for example.
Miss McGrory: The old agency,
which under the State Department suffered probably the severest congressional investigation in modern history,
at least was able to wring $123 million
out of a supposedly unsympathetic Congress, while you, with presidential backing and separate organization, were only
able to get $77 million. How do you
propose to counter the attitude of Congress in the next session?
Mr. Streibert: I am not concerned
primarily about the money as much as
the understanding and backing. That
high budget in the past was given as a
result of the Korea situation, I believe,
and I am opposed to substantial increases and then decreases. A former
director of this information administration referred to these budgetary changes
as in the nature of the trajectory of a
yo-yo; and it has been true in the past.
Now the most important element in effective information work is stability,
c onsistency, reiteration; and if the Congress should feel that the existing level
is as high as it should be, at least we
will have the consistency of operating
at this level.
Miss McGrory: Do you think that
the budget is sufficient?
Mr. Streibert: No, I do not. I think
we can productively use scenic additional
funds in the nature of what we were
denied last year—some $10- to $15-mil-
lion. Rut you have a long lead time in
increasing your activities and in using
additional funds productively, so thai
if we were to be handed the job of
spending Iwicr as much next year as we
are now spending, 1 would not wish to
undertake it. It could not be done productively.
Mr. Madigan: Mr. Streibert, in a recent article in a national magazine, a
gentleman named Martin Mercer, the
right arm and assistant to your predecessor, Dr. Johnson, said: "We were
caught in a squeeze play between the
forces of Representative Tahc-r.
(R-N.Y.), Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and the forces
of Senator McCarthy—between those
who were crippling the program in the
name of economy and those who wanted
to cripple it in the name of security."
Now in the light of your answer to
Miss McGrory, am I to draw the conclusion that you would no longer run
into this opposition on an economic-
front from Mr. Taber or from a security
front from Mr. McCarthy?
Mr. Streibert: The appropriation
we received this year was under the
Appropriations Committee chairmaned
by John Taber. We have discussed this
program with Mr. Taber. I think his
main concern is: Is the money being
spent productively and effectively and
USIA BACKED BY PRESIDENT
Mr. Madigan: In ibis same- article,
Mr. Mercer places some of the blame
on President Eisenhower, Secretary
Dulles, and former President Hoover
—Wide World Photos
Communist propaganda leaflets (above)
—designed to undermine morale of U. S.
soldiers in Korea and influence them to sur-
render—were left in front of American lines
or left behind by evacuating Reds.