Citation Edit

United States Information and Education and Exchange Act of 1948, as amended, Pub. L. No. 80-402, codified at 22 U.S.C. §1431 et seq. (also known as the "Smith-Mundt Act").

Overview Edit

The Act served as the post World War II charter for a peacetime overseas information and education exchange activities. Section 501[1] states that the objective of the Act is

to enable the Government of the United States to promote a better understanding of the United States in other countries, and to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

The section authorizes the Secretary of State to prepare and disseminate "information about the United States, its people, and its policies, through press, publications, radio, motion pictures, and other information media, and through information centers and instructors abroad."

Section 501, unlike previous government public information efforts, prohibits materials developed under the authorities of this Act from being disseminated within the United States, its territories, or possessions.

Section 502 of the Act[2] also placed limitations on the international information activities of the government so that it would not compete with corresponding private information dissemination if it is found to be adequate, and that the government would not have a monopoly in the production and sponsorship of short wave or any other medium of information.[3]

Further, in protecting the private sector and helping it, Section 1005[4] states that a duty of the Secretary of State shall be to utilize, to the maximum extent practicable, "the services and facilities of private agencies, including existing American press, publishing, radio, motion picture, and other agencies through contractual arrangements or otherwise." Further, the government was to utilize the private agencies in each field "consistent with the present and potential market for their services in each country."

References Edit

  1. 22 U.S.C. §1461.
  2. 22 U.S.C. §1462.
  3. Id. §502.
  4. 22 U.S.C. §1437.

Source Edit

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