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Mr. DUNN. I introduced a bill asking $20,000,000,000 to take us
i. of this rut, and I believe that we will have to pass some such legisation.
The CHAIRMAN. If there is nothing further, we will hear the next witness.
Mr. RICE. There are a number of gentlemen present who are anxious to get away. I would be glad if you would hear Mr. Gill at this time.
STATEMENT OF CORRINGTON GILL, REPRESENTING THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY RELIEF ADMINISTRATION
Mr. GILL. This proposed census, Mr. Chairman, is of great interest to us. We have been engaged for 9 months in distributing relief to needy unemployed persons throughout the country. Administratively, it is very difficult to know whether you are giving relief to unemployed people because they happen to be unemployed at the moment, or to that group of so-called unemployable people who are not able to work. The work that we are doing is such that we must have as clear a picture as we can obtain of unemployment conditions, where the bad locations are, so far as unemployment is concerned, and all the other related data that it is possible to obtain. Reliable information concerning the number of persons unemployed is practically nonexistent at the present time. In October 1933 we took a census of our relief cases. We asked for the case records of all the 13 million people that were on the unemployment relief rolls in this country. We tried to find out something about their employability, whether they had had jobs within the last 12 months, and other data relative to employment, but we were not able to obtain such information.
For the limited data we were able to obtain, however, the census was very successful. We obtained about 95 percent complete returns, and we now know the age of everyone who was receiving relief last October, and we know the sex and color or race of each person and the size of families receiving relief. It has been and will continue to be of great use to us. This proposed census of unemployment would probably be of even greater use. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration is very definitely in favor of such a census as this, particularly if the questions asked are so worded that they will make the information comparable to our information, so we can use it administratively. I have particular reference, for example, to the unit of relief. We give relief to families, and, generally speaking, not to individuals. Therefore, the whole of our information is on the basis of families. We have at the present time, for example, about 4,500,000 families, plus some 400,000 single individuals receiving relief. Now, if this proposed census is on the basis of individuals, it will be helpful. If it is on the family basis, then anything that will give the family composition will be even more helpful. One of the greatest uses that this census would be to us would be the population side of it, as I see it. We have information concerning relief cases by counties, and the question immediately arises as to what percentage of the population in a given county is on relief.
We are now using the 1930 census as a basis, but reluctantly, because we know that substantial shifts in population between areas
have occurred since 1930. We use the 1930 figures because we must have some basis for comparison. In a given county, for example, we may know that there are 1,000 families receiving relief, but that does not tell the whole story, because we do not know for certain how many people there now are in the county. We need to know how many people there are in the county to see the relative size of the problem. We make such comparisons State by State. Those State by State comparisons, as to the percentage of families, on relief, are not as bad, or are not as conclusive, as when you get it down into the counties, because of the size of the areas covered. This information has been of great interest. It is of most interest, of course, to persons engaged in this particular work. It is of more interest probably than any other figures we have, except, perhaps, those concerning the size of the relief load. . In Alabama, for instance, 18 percent of the population were receiving relief; in Arizona, 7 percent; in Arkansas, 12 percent; in California, 9 percent; in Ohio, 12 percent. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. What is the figure for Pennsylvania? Mr. GILL. For Pennsylvania, 14 percent. Those figures are for November. We have later figures, of course. Mr. KINZER. You are not distributing relief to all of those people? Mr. GILL. Yes. Mr. FLETCHER. Are those percentages of the entire population, or do they relate to families? Mr. GILL. We give relief to families. These are families. Mr. DUNN. You say you are giving relief to 4,500,000 families? Mr. GILL. Yes, sir; that many families are receiving relief. Mr. DUNN. How many do you figure to a family? Mr. GILL. Four people. Mr. FIESINGER. Then, you figure that there are about 16,000,000 people out of work. Mr. GILL. Not necessarily. Mr. FIESINGER. What would you estimate was the number of unemployed in the United States right now? Mr. GILL. The only figure I would use would be the estimate of the American Federation of Labor, which, I think, is probably the best. Mr. FIESINGER. Their estimate is 11,000,000. Mr. GILL. I understand that is their estimate. Mr. DUNN. You are affording relief to about 400,000 individuals. Mr. GILL. Yes, sir; to 400,000 single persons in addition to members of families. Mr. FLETCHER. Would not the proposed child-labor laws increase the number of families requiring relief, or the families having children under 18 years of age? Mr. GILL. It might, conceivably. In October 1933, when we took a census of relief, we found we had 5% million children under 18 years of age receiving relief. y estimate of 4% million families now receiving relief is as of the close of the C.W.A. program. The C.W.A. program had cut our relief program very heavily during the winter. Mr. FLETCHER. There is no record of the number of families needing relief in 1928 or 1929, as compared with the number at the present time?
Mr. GILL. No, not for the entire country, although for 1929 there are figures for certain cities, and it is possible to show the size of the problem now as compared with 1929 in urban areas, with certain qualifications; but it is none too good a comparison. Mr. DUNN. How many millions of dollars was expended to give 4% million families that relief? Mr. GILL. In April we estimate expenditures will be about $120,000,000 or $125,000,000. That is not Federal money entirely, because State and local money comes in there to the extent of probably $30,00,000. Mr. DUNN. That is for the year? Mr. GILL. No, that is for 1 month. , Mr. ELLENBogEN. You said the figures for Pennsylvania showed 14 percent of unemployment, I believe. Mr. GILL. No, I did not say unemployment. Mr. ELLENBogEN. Or families on relief. Mr. GILL. Yes. Mr. ELLENBogEN. Do you have any figures showing the number of unemployed in relation to the number of people of employable ages? That would be a much more useful figure. Mr. GILL. We have information as of last October, showing the number of persons by sex and by age, but that does not necessarily mean that every one of those persons was unemployed. To some extent, I think, this possibly emphasizes Mr. Ellenbogen's interest in the phraseology of the questions. A good many people to whom we are giving relief are technically employed. We are giving supplemental relief in many cases. For example, a man who has 10 children has a job which possibly gives him $5 a week, and we will assume that in that locality $5 a week is not enough to pay rent, light, heat, fuel, and food for that : family, so we would supplement that with a small amount of relief. Mr. ELLENBogEN. Have you seen the questions Dr. Truesdell has in mind? Mr. GILL. No, I have not. Mr. FLETCHER. What do you say the cost of this census would be? Mr. GILL. I have not the figure on the census. I believe the bill provides for that. Mr. FIESINGER. It is $7,540,000, is it not? Mr. AUSTIN. Yes. Mr. FLETCHER. Without this legislation, authorizing the expenditure for the taking of this census, you would continue guessing at it and would waste more money than the cost of the census, would you not? Mr. GILL. No, I would not say that. You mean in giving relief to the unemployed? Mr. FLETCHER. Yes. Without the information which the census will supply, if taken, you would be handicapped to the extent of perhaps wasting, through guessing, more money than the cost of the census will amount to; is that not so? Mr. GILL. Not necessarily. Mr. FLETCHER. Then why have this census? Mr. GILL. I think it would be of material aid. In order to get relief, a person has to go into a relief office and give his life history,
and after that a case worker goes to that family's home and investigates the case. So it is not a question of wasting money, but it would be of great help materially, particularly on the administrative side. We would know, for instance, in Pennsylvania, if we had the unemployment figures—and this would also apply to all the other States— whether 14 percent of the families in Pennsylvania was too high or too low a proportion of the number of families to be receiving relief. Mr. KINZER. How would that aid you in the distribution of relief? Mr. GILL. That gives us a clue. Mr. KINZER. You are giving relief to those who need it? Mr. GILL. Yes. Mr. KINZER. Through local agencies? Mr. GILL. We grant funds to the States which in turn make grants to local agencies. Mr. KINZER. You do not mean to tell the committee, do you, that the distribution you would make through your relief department would be dependent upon the figures and the data given you under a census to be taken? Mr. GILL. No; but it would be of material aid in administering relief. That is, we would know if a given State had a very high unemployment problem, and we would be able to find from our figures whether they were giving very little relief as compared with an adjacent State. We would know whether that State was not giving enough relief, or an adjacent State was giving too much relief. Mr. KINZER. Would the Federal Relief Administration be governed or controlled in its distribution of relief by any amount that the State or local communities would fall down on? They would not, would they? Mr. GILL. No. The only statement that I wanted to make was that this would be of help to us. Mr. KINZER. Just as a matter of information? Mr. GILL. That is right, but very important information. Mr. KINZER. It would be important if the conditions remained after the census as they were at the time of the taking of the census, if there is no resumption of industry. Mr. GILL. As I understand it, the information would be available in less than 2 months, and the condition would not change that rapidly. Mr. KINZER. And you would continue your relief work through your local agencies? Mr. GILL. Yes. Mr. KINZER. But of course, the age of the child would not prevent you, or actuate you to delay extending relief to those who needed it? Mr. GILL. No; but the problem is Mr. KINZER (interposing). A flexible one? Mr. GILL. Wery. Mr. ELLENBogEN. It would help you to have the amount of the appropriation so you could use it? Mr. GILL. 1 should think it would be a very definite help. Mr. ELLENBogEN. Mr. Austin told us that 6% million dollars of the 7% million dollars would be used for field work, to give employment. If you do not spend 6% million dollars for giving employment in taking the census you would spend it in R.W.D. work, and so you would not be spending any money that you would not spend for relief.
Mr. GILL. That is a pretty broad assumption. It assumes that every employee would be from the relief roll. r. ELLENBogEN. I believe if the C.W.A. looked at it from that point of view that statement would be correct. Under the C.W.A. you did not have to be on relief rolls to get a job. Mr. KINZER. Do I understand the Congressman to mean that this census would result in the saving of the administration of relief? Mr. ELLENBogEN. No; I mean that Mr. Hopkins' department gives two sorts of relief, one direct relief and the other work relief, and by the taking of this census 6% million dollars would be spent in giving work relief to over 100,000 people, covering every community in the United States, including enumerators and field supervisors. Mr. KINZER. Will that make this emergency permanent? Mr. ELLENBogEN. No; but if they would not spend it for taking the census they would spend it for raking up leaves or shoveling Snow. Is not that correct? I mean, you would not spend it in giving relief jobs. Mr. FLETCHER. There has been a great deal of criticism of the efficiency of these enumerators that have been taking the business census referred to by the Director of the Census. How would the selection of the personnel for this work be determined? Would they be civil-service employees, or will they be only persons recommended by local political organizations? I should think we should have very efficient people to do this job. I would like to have information as to how these people will be selected, and the type of people, with the qualifications. Mr. GILL. I think that question should be asked of somebody from the Census Bureau. Mr. ELLENBogEN. The enumerators were never civil-service employees. Mr. GILL. I have brought along with me this map [indicating map). I do not know whether you can see it, but it shows, county by county, the percentage of families receiving relief. When that percentage is over 15 percent it is shaded, and when it is over 50 percent it is solid black. This is as of December last. It is about the only way we can indicate, for our own administrative use, the bad spots in the country. If we had more current information on population, we could use these figures with a good deal more assurance. Mr. KINZER. From your experience and information, has there been an increase or a decrease in the need for relief in those centers? Mr. GILL. In these particular centers? Mr. KINZER. Yes; or generally. Mr. GILL. It shifts. Those that are heavily shaded on this map are, roughly speaking, the same month after month. r. KINZER. This map is as of 5 months ago? Mr. GILL. As of December last; that is right. Mr. KINZER. How does that compare with the present situation? Mr. GILL. It is worse now than it was before. The data from which this map was made were taken during the C.W.A. program, when relief was light. In April of this year the relief load was as heavy as it has been in any month in the history of the country. April of this year corresponds, roughly, with March of last year. We have a very heavy seasonal movement in relief, reaching a peak in