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The CHAIRMAN. May I make this statement to the committee: I have been a member of this committee for many years, considering my limited service in the House, and I have found during that time that if there is one agency of the Government that makes an earnest effort to furnish accurate statistics, without any politics or partisan influence of any kind or character, it is the Census Bureau. I was intimately connected with Mr. Steuart, the former Director of the Bureau, and I know he was devoted to his duties, and that he was a man of strong integrity. He gave to the country in each and every instance as accurate a census as it was possible to make. My contact with the officials of the Bureau of the Census during the last three administrations has convinced me that it is one of the most efficient and nonpartisan bureaus in the Government. That is especially true, in view of the fact that Mr. Austin is the only official in the Census Bureau who holds a political appointment. Practically ever other employee in the Census Bureau is under the civil service, and, if I am correctly informed, only the Director of the Census holds a political office. I simply make that observation in order that the administration of this Bureau under the last three Republican administrations may be given the credit to which I think it is entitled, as having been devoted to its duties, and as having given the country a very fine administration of this important governmental activity. Mr. KINZER. Have you any estimate that you can give this committee as to the compilation force, or the number of persons necessary to be employed here in the Department in the compilation and the completion of this proposed census? Dr. RICE. I would prefer that Director Austin answer that. Mr. AUSTIN. For the 1930 census, we employed in the Washington office, from first to last, besides our regular civil-service force, about 7,000 people. This time, that number will not exceed 4,000. Some of those people were employed for only 30 days. We start with a minimum, run it up to the peak, and then bring it down again. Mr. KINZER. You say there will be about 4,000 employed? Dr. RICE. That will be the maximum number at any time. For the 1930 census, the number ran a little over 7,000. Mr. KINZER. Covering what period of time? Mr. AUSTIN. That varies. Mr. KINZER. Would it be 2 years, or a few months? Mr. A UsTIN. It takes 2 years to complete the work. That would take it to the final publication. There would be few people employed in the Washington office, outside of our civil-service force, during the latter part of the period. As you know, when these census schedules come in, we make the compilations and give the figures immediately: Then, as we get our statistics ready for publication in bulletin and volume form, we use a smaller force over a longer period of time. As for the time of the publication of the final volumes, of course, we have no control over the printing. Mr. KINZER. About how long will you employ those 4,000 people, or how many will you employ for a year? Mr. AUSTIN. We will not employ 4,000 people for a year. That would be our maximum number. Some of those people will be employed for 60 days and some, perhaps, about 3 months. We do not employ them unless we need them. We do not waste money in the Census Bureau.
Mr. FLETCHER. What will be the salaries paid to these employees, approximately? Mr. AUSTIN. Salaries will correspond to those paid regular civilservice employees. Most of them will be paid $1,260 and $1,440, less the 5 percent. Mr. FLETCHER. Then, you will have to secure these employees locally, will you not? You cannot bring in people from the outside for that length of time, can you? Mr. AUSTIN. We expect to ask the Civil Service Commission to hold examinations throughout the United States. That will be a census examination, like those they have held previously for our decennial census periods. They will hold examinations for that purpose. That makes the people who take that examination, or those who pass it, eligible only for temporary employment in the Census Office, and they will not be eligible for appointment elsewhere. They will be certified to our Bureau for appointment. They are certified from the top of the register down. Mr. FLETCHER. Having in mind some unhappy experiences with the enumerators who took the business census, do you not think they should all take the same kind of examination, and that you should have an eligible list for all of them? Mr. AUSTIN. No, sir; I think it would be a waste of time and effort, to say nothing of the expense involved, to give an individual a civilservice examination when he is going to work only 2 or 3 weeks. Mr. FLETCHER. Then, you will be putting that up to us, and this is a political “hot potato.” Mr. CRUMP. What portion will be civil-service appointees? Mr. AUSTIN. Those who serve in the Washington office will be given a civil-service cxamination. That will be the civil-service group. Mr. CRUMP. That whole group? Mr. AUSTIN. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. This is a limited sivil-service examination, the questions being formulated especially with reference to this particular work. They are not given a thorough comprehensive civil-service examination. Mr. CRUMP. What do you mean? Is it a mental test? The CHAIRMAN. It is a written examination, to ascertain their capacity for this particular service. May I say that these matters were very thoroughly discussed when the census legislation was pending for the Fifteenth Decennial Census, and it was the opinion of Dr. Steuart, and his then associate, Dr. Hill, both of whom were very efficient men, that it would be a waste of time and money to hold a civil-service examination in the case of enumerators who would complete their work, some in 2 weeks, some in 3 weeks, and some, perhaps, in 4 weeks. May I call attention to the further fact, that at the present time the Civil Service Commission, is unable to hold examinations, because no appropriations are available with which to pay the expense of those examinations. I think the concensus of opinion of everyone connected with the Census Bureau is that it would be unwise and inexpedient to select these enumerators by a civil-service examination. Mr. FLETCHER. May I ask if we could designate those enumerators from the business census to continue to do this work?
The CHAIRMAN. Answering the gentleman from Ohio, I would say this, that I do not think that this census, if it is to be efficient and if it is to be worth while, should be hedged about by limitations as to the personnel of the enumerators. I remember telling Dr. Steuart when we were preparing for the Fifteenth Decennial Census that Congress wanted an accurate census. I said, “Doctor, we want an accurate census; we have confidence in your Bureau, and we will give you all the money that is necessary to take that census, but we are demanding that it be an accurate and efficient census.” Mr. FLETCHER. Who will determine the appointment of enumerators in the local districts? The CHAIRMAN. I suppose they will be appointed by the supervisors. The supervisors will be appointed by districts, and I understand the census districts will be identical with the congressional districts. Mr. AUSTIN. They will be this time. Mr. FLETCHER. Who appoints the supervisors? Mr. AUSTIN. The Director of the Census. We expect to follow the same method that we followed in 1930. That is the law under which the Fifteenth Decennial Census was taken, and we are not varying from that. Those previous methods of handling the work have been found, over a period of years, to be the most efficient and the most economical ways of handling the census. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. I would like to ask what it will cost to hold a civil-service examination for these employees in the District of Columbia, because, I take it, that examination will be given throughout the country. In the State of Pennsylvania we held an examination for the State Liquor Board, and thousands and thousands of people took part in it. The eligible list was an enormous one, containing several hundred thousand names. The same thing is likely to occur in this examination, and I am wondering if it is worth while to spend money on such an examination. The CHAIRMAN. Not for enumerators, I think. Mr. ELLENBogEN. I mean employees in the District. The CHAIRMAN. There are many unemployed census clerks who would want positions of that kind, and who would be willing to come to Washington on temporary appointments. Mr. ELLENBogEN. I am wondering if it would be worth while to hold such an examination. The CHAIRMAN. Speaking for myself, the chairman is of the opinion that this examination should be held in order that the Census Bureau may have the information the Civil Service Commission will supply as to the qualifications of the appointees. It would be manifestly unfair for the committee or the Congress to say to the Census Bureau, “We want you to take an accurate census, but we are going to compel you to accept employees who have shown no capacity for efficient service.” I think if this census is justified, and if it is to be taken, it should be handled as it was in 1930, when the fifteenth decennial census was taken. The people employed in the Census Bureau should be qualified to function efficiently. I do not believe that we should send a lot of clerks, tabulators, and stenographers to the Census Bureau and say to the Bureau, “You must take these people, without any showing as to their qualifications; while, on the other hand, we will hold you responsible for their work.” Mr. FLETCHER. The chairman is certainly right about that. Mr. CRUMP. In the first place, it would be bad business. This is poor politics for everybody in the South and West, and if we can get rid of it, we will be better off. Dr. RICE. While I am on the stand, may I say that one of the witnesses who was here yesterday, Miss Goodykoontz, who is the Assistant Commissioner of Education, wished to present her testimony but she had to leave. She has just telephoned me to know whether the committee wishes her to come again today. I think I can present the viewpoint of that office, if the committee desires me to do so. Of course, the committee has many witnesses before it. The CHAIRMAN. I believe it would be more appropriate for her to come before the committee and speak for her particular agency. Have you completed your statement? Dr. RICE. Yes, sir; unless there are some questions. Mr. ELLENBogEN. I would like to ask this gentleman to give us a breakdown of the estimated amount of $7,540,000. Mr. KINZER. I understand that Mr. Austin made the statement yesterday that he would see that a rather detailed statement of the purposes and the cost of the proposed census would be filed for the Record. That statement would include data as to the number of enumerators and the approximate staff required here in the Bureau. Mr. AUSTIN. I have such a statement here. The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the statement will be filed and incorporated as a part of the hearing. (The statement referred to is as follows:)
Census of unemployment, employment, and occupations
Preliminary work (to be made immediately available) - - - - - - - - - - - - - $150,000
ESTIMATED EMPLOYEES FOR FIELD WORK
Supervisors: Number, 475 for approximately 4 months; salary, $800 plus $1 for 1,000 population and $1 per hundred for farms reported in his district; average salary, $1,400.
Assistant supervisors: Number, 475 for approximately 3 months; salary, $150 per month.
Stenographers and clerks: Number, 2,000; salary, $75 to $125 per month.
Enumerators: Number, 100,000 for 2 weeks in cities and 4 weeks in rural districts; salary, 3 cents to 20 cents per person enumerated, plus 2 cents per unemployed person enumerated; 20 cents to $5 per farm enumerated; average salary, approximately $4 per day.
Mr. ELLENBoGEN. Do you think this amount of $7,540,000 will be sufficient to do the work that ought to be done in connection with this census?
Dr. RICE. Mr. Chairman, that is a question that I must answer with a little difficulty. There will be demands, of course, for a good deal of information which we cannot obtain. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. I have been advised that the amount is insufficient, and that is the reason I asked the question. The committee ought to know whether more money should be allowed the Bureau of the Census for this work. Mr. AUSTIN. The Director of the Budget has approved this amount for this census. As I said yesterday, this census is primarily for the use of the Federal Government, and not for the public at large. If there are any special tabulations for any outside organization, or that any organization of the Federal Government wants done after our work is completed, we will do that work, but they will have to pay for it. We are continually doing that. We have authority under the law to make special tabulations and charts. We have, probably 12 or 15 special tabulations being made in the Census Bureau now. The CHAIRMAN. They are made at the expense of the applicants. Mr. AUSTIN. Yes, sir; at the expense of the applicants. We have authority to do that. We are making tabulations now for Mr. Hopkins' organization here for the Civilian Conservation Corps, for the N.R.A., and some for the Department of Agriculture. Those things run along in the Census Bureau continually. We require them to give us a statement of exactly what they want, and we make an estimate of the cost. Now, if our estimate is excessive, after the work is finished the balance is returned to the applicant. That is something the Census Bureau has been doing for years. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. Mr. Gill testified that his department, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, would like to have information as to units, or family units. Under this set-up, will that information be available to them? Mr. AUSTIN. If that is done at this time, it will require more money, and we will have to go back to the Budget Bureau to get more money, if they want to provide more. I would like the committee to leave that to the Census Bureau, and let us work out the most efficient and most economical way that we possibly can for formulating the schedules and compiling the information. Then, if we cannot give all they require, it will be time to go to the Budget for additional InnoneV. The CHAIRMAN. If we get a census bill, it will be one that has the approval of the President and the Director of the Budget. Now, this legislation has been delayed, because the Director of the Budget only recently authorized the expenditure. Mr. AUSTIN. That is correct. The CHAIRMAN. And if we tried to enlarge unreasonably the scope of this proposed census, we will get nowhere. And I speak out of an experience of 8 or 10 years' service on this committee when I say that if we attempt to enlarge these schedules and include all the information that all the members of this committee want, and all the information which the other Members of the House want, this census will cost $30,000,000 or $40,000,000. Mr. CRUMP. Right there, let me ask this, What do you propose to include, and what do you propose to omit? Now, take my town as a concrete case—the city of Memphis, Tenn. How far do you propose to go in making a survey of the population there?