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can not say what he is going to sell it for, because a great many of the farmers in our country hold their tobacco back a good while, I believe.
Mr. Moorman. Yes.
Mr. Greenwood. What suggests itself to me as a much more important proposition is the season of the year. The weather conditions at certain seasons of the year, it seems to me, are a much more important matter than it is to get a certain date.
Dr. Hill. I know weather conditions have a lot to do with getting the information. We found that out 10 years ago when we started the 1st of January to take the census.
The Chairman. What I have said, gentlemen and ladies of the committee, has been to bring out your ideas in regard to this, and not to give you my ideas, because I have not any opinion.
Mr. Rankin. On that suggestion, doctor, taking what you found out 10 years ago, and from all your experience, you think April would be a much better time to take the census of populatioo, do you not?
Doctor Hill. It would be a better time than January.
Mr. Rankin. Or December?
Doctor Hill. Or December, I should think.
The Chairman. The suggestion of the department is April 1. So far as the census of population is concerned, that seems to be a pretty good date, do you not think so?
Mr. Rankin. Yes.
Doctor Hill. Therefore, in deciding upon the date under the law when this census should be taken, in accordance with the opinion of the Department of Agriculture, we proceeded upon the assumption that the census of agriculture, at any rate, should be taken in the late fall; and then the question came up, which fall? Should we take it in the fall of the decennial year, 1930? In that case we would have to cover the crops of 1930. Heretofore the census of agriculture has always covered the crops of the ninth year, i. e., 1909, 1919, etc. So that it seems to us, so far as the census of agriculture is concerned, it is best to take it in the fall of 1929. Therefore we fixed it upon that date.
Coming now to the census of population, the question was whether or not we should take the census of population in the fall of 1929. There were a good many of us there in the census—those who were in conference, at least—who felt a reluctance to break away from the decennial year in taking the census of population.
Beginning with 1790, the census of population has been taken in the tenth year, and we did not quite like to go over to the ninth year. I might say we have experimented in taking the census of population in recent censuses. For a time it used to be taken as of the 1st of June, and we found it was a bad time because many people had gone away then on their summer vacations. Then we went back to April, in 1910, and we abandoned the census in April mainly for these reasons I have given, because in the opinion of the Department of Agriculture, at any rate, that was a bad time for the census of agriculture.
The Chairman. For agriculture?
Doctor Hill. Yes; it was good for the population, but bad for agriculture. That was the assumption on which we proceeded. So we went back to January and took both censuses in January. We ran into big snows and very bad weather conditions and these delayed us in various parts of the country.
Coming back to this question, I want to say that we perhaps paid too much attention to what might be called sentimental reasons for taking the census in the tenth year. There will certainly be considerable economy in taking the two censuses together, as well as certain other advantages; and if we are to take the census of agriculture as of the 1st of November, 1929, we should take the census of population at the same date, even though it may not be in the tenth year. This is not my individual opinion. I have talked it over with my colleagues, and I talked it over with Mr. Steuart before he went away, and he said it would be agreeable to him to make the censuses together.
The Chairman. That would necessitate an amendment to the bill?
Doctor Hill. That would necessitate an amendment to the bill; yes, I am sorry to say; but I think it ought to be done, so that would be my recommendation in regard to that point.
The Chairman. You would take the decennial census the year preceding the even date of 1930?
Doctor Hill. Yes; and that is not so great a change as it seems, because we took it last time as of the 1st of January. Now, if we go back two months we are still covering a decennial period less two months. We are within two months of the completion of the decennial period. It sounds greater than it is.
The Chairman. Would there not be sentimental opposition to that?
Doctor Hill. I apprehend there may be; yes.
Mr. Rankin. The Constitution provided the census should be taken in 1790, and then during every 10-year period thereafter.
Doctor Hill. Every 10 years thereafter.
Mr. Rankin. If you took this census in the fall of 1929, would not that bring together the census of 1920 and the census of 1930 both within that one 10-year period?
Doctor Hill. Yes; within that period.
The Chairman. I think there would be constitutional questions there.
Doctor Hill. Just one point I want to bring out in that connection before we adjourn. This question of the taking of the population census in the fall has been brought up more than once, as I know, having had to read the report, but it has always been met with this objection, that if you put the census in the fall of the year, probably, as far as the stability of the population is concerned, it is about as good a time as any. You can not get the American population all at home at any time.
Mr. Rankin. Not now.
Doctor Hill. But if it was put in the fall, every other census would coincide with a presidential election, and we certainly could not organize a good census in the midst of the excitement of an election. But if we take the ninth year, it will never coincide with, a presidential election.
Mr. Rankin. Suppose we find that there is a constitutional objection to taking it in 1929, and possibly there are other objections, and the committee should decide that it is necessary to carry it over to the year 1930; your recommendation is that they both be taken at the same time.
Doctor Hill. I think they ought to be.
Mr. Rankin. I think you are correct; I will say that. Then what time of the year would you have it taken—January or February, or March, or April, or May, or June, or later?
Doctor Hill. If you carried it to 1930, I think the fall of the year is the best time, and I should say it should be taken in the fall of 1930.
Mr. Rankin. You would not recommend January, would you?
Doctor Hill. No.
Mr. Greenwood. What length of time is given to the taking of the census now?
Doctor Hill. We hope to wind up the bulk of the work in about a month or six weeks; would you not say so, Mr. Gosnell?
Mr. Gosnell. Yes, sir.
Doctor Hill. But in case there is some reason, as for instance enumerators falling down on the job, sometimes we do not get the last returns before six months.
The Chairman. You get the population figures later than you do the agriculture figures?
Doctor Hill. No; we get them both at the same time.
Mr. Moorman. Do you base your entire objection to the taking of the census in April on the reasons that you have assigned before this committee?
Doctor Hill. Yes.
Mr. Moorman. Do you think that those reasons are sufficient to control the matter, even in the event that it might be determined to take the censuses together, as you advocate, and take them in April, 1930?
Mr. Rankin. I am just as strong on taking the agricultural census later, in the spring, as I am the census of population. You know I represent a cotton State. **The cotton crop in the United States sells for more than any other agricultural crop produced. If you take this census in the fall of the year and stand by that census, it will be a physical impossibility, will it not, to include the entire cotton crop for that year?
Doctor Hill. I suppose it would be.
Mr. Rankin. Then what is the census worth of the cotton crop of 1929, when you leave it suspended in midair with anywhere from 300,000 to 1,500,000 bales of cotton unaccounted for?
The Chairman. Suppose you took it the 1st of April?
Mr. Rankin. The last ginning occurs about March; that is the last ginning report, is not that right, Mr. Austin?
Mr. Austin. March 20.
Mr. Rankin. And that is considered the cotton crop of the preceding year; and any time after that you can get an accurate census of the cotton crop.
Doctor Hill. Ultimately the census bureau gets the complete cotton crop not only for the census year but for every year. That is the only crop, I believe, for which we do get complete anuual figures.
Mr. Rankin. Then you would not depend on these figures, but would take the statistics compiled later from other sources?
Doctor. Hill. How was that the last time, Mr. Austin?
Mr. Austin. We got the acreage and the number of bales on the farm schedule.
Doctor Hill. Of course, I suppose it had to be partially an estimate on the part of the farmers. They could measure the cotton that had been ginned up to date, but they made an estimate as to how much there was still to be ginned.
Mr. Rankin. But there are hundreds of thousands of bales of cotton in the fields, and you could not estimate it.
Mrs. Kahn. Then so far as the cotton crop was concerned, April would be quite all right?
Mr. Rankin. I think it would.
Mr. Moorman. In view of that question, it is also true that corn would be ungathered and tobacco handling and selling would not be complete, and other crops that are among the biggest crops in the United States would be in exactly the same attitude that cotton -would be in, too; is not that true?
Doctor Hill. I do not know about the tobacco crop. You do, of course. I do not know about the corn crop. My impression is that the bulk of the corn crop is harvested before the end of November, is it not?
Mr. Moorman. No, sir, it is not always.
Mr. White. The gentleman has voiced my opinion exactly. It is impossible to make an accurate census of the production of corn in the States of Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri until much later.
Mr. Moorman. And it is impossible to include cattle in that situation at all?
Mr. White. It can not be done; it includes cattle also; and the proposition that it is merely a cotton argument is not exactly representative of the situation.
Mr. Rankin. I just knew more about cotton than anything else.
Mr. Greenwood. Mr. Chairman, the suggestion I would make is this, that in view of the discussion that has gone on, we should start the 1st of May. In the first place, in my country and in most places, that is in the Middle West, the roads are much more settled and the weather conditions are much better than they are the 1st of April.
The next reason is that the people do not leave home for a tour until about the first of June. The country schools are held from April into June, and people generally do not leave to go touring until after the schools are out. They have to stay there on account of the children. All this argument about cotton and about the sale of livestock for slaughtering purposes would practically be over with by that time. These winter conditions of ginning cotton and other conditions will be over with.
More than that, the tenant farmers change their places and are settled in them by April, because the breaking of the land and the cultivation and planting has to be done in the latter part of April or May, and I think May is a better month than April. It moves it up a little further, and gets these statistics in regard to livestock, cotton, and those things better. The people have not started out for their summer touring and vacations until about the first or middle of June.
Mr. Greenwood. As to weather conditions, May is better than April.
The Chairman. Are not these statistics taken from the previous year?
Mr. Ogg. Mr. Chairman, I would just like to correct a statement in the record. After I sat down, I found that I had made a mistake in regard to one thing. Some one asked me a question.
The Chairman. I am sure you did not intend to make an inaccurate statement.
Mr. Ogg. No, sir; I did not. Some one asked me if this suggestion that I made about December 1 had been suggested by the department to me. I do not know who asked the question. I said that it had not; but thinking it over, I remembered that some time ago they told me they had recommended for the census November 30.
Mr. Lozier. Mr. Chairman, may I make this suggestion before we adjourn? I do not know what arguments have been advanced for taking the census of agriculture in November and December, but I am quite sure you would not get the results, so far as the Middle -West is concerned. There is no question in the world with anybody who lives in the Middle West, like the gentleman from Kansas and myself.
The Chairman. If I might take the words out of Doctor Hill's mouth, he said that he would be in favor of having the agricultural and population censuses taken on the same date. Is not that correct?
Doctor Hill. Yes.
Mr. Lozier. We know from practical experience, as a matter of fact, that in the Middle West the farmers have cleaned their slates and have the old buisness all wound up and have started on a new program more in April and May than at any other time of the year.
Mrs. Kahn. Then the crop estimates would be as of the preceding year?
Mr. Lotier. Yes.
The Chairman. We will adjourn until next Monday.
Mr. Moorman. I would like to get clear on a ceratin matter. Did you say that the gentlemen had practically agreed that both censuses should be taken in April?
The Chairman. Doctor Hill said so.
Mr. Moorman. Is that correct, Doctor.
Doctor. Hill. I said that it was desirable that both censuses should be taken together.
(Thereupon, at 12 o'clock m., the committee adjourned until Mondav, January 23, 1928, at 10.30 o'clock a. m.)