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various subjects affecting the population. Most of these letters are written by organizations that are especially interested in a particular phase of our social life. They will all be given an opportunity to submit their desires in that matter, and then we will decide whether there is sufficient room on the schedule to carry all of them, or whether some of the inquiries now on the schedule should be removed and others substituted. Such matters are finally decided by the Secretary of Commerce. There are a great many questions to be considered in deciding upon it. The first is whether the inquiry is one that can be made by the enumerators of the individuals; whether the answers would be sufficiently accurate to justify the inclusion of the inquiry. The second is whether it would be possible to make a tabulation and correlation of the facts reported in reply to the inquiry within any reasonable expense. You know we will have about a hundred and twenty or a hundred and twenty-five million people to be enumerated in the next census. The primary object of that census is to get a correct enumeration of all the people for reapportionment purposes. To accomplish that we have got to show the population for each minor civil division of this country-every ward, every precinct in every city, every township, and every minor civil division, and there are about 70,000 of them. Now, the population of all these minor civil divisions has got to be shown accurately, and I am going to try to make it accurate, so there can be no question about its use for apportionment purposes. That is the primary purpose of the census, and everything else should be made subordinate to that object.
Now, the first thing you will want to know about the census of population is sex, how many males and how many females; and, as a rule, the second is age, the number of people of voting age and other ages; and there has been a very persistent request that these ages be shown for separate ages, 1-year, 2-year, 3-year, all the way up. In addition to that you want to know the place of birth, especially for aliens; what countries they come from; then they want to know the place of birth of the parents, what language they speak, and you have got to get the occupation of the individual. You want to know whether they have gone to school, if they are of school age, whether they can read and write.
Now, just those facts that I have enumerated are those that have been included in preceding censuses, and when you show them by States and cities the correlations mount up into the hundreds of millions, so that there is a question about the addition of any further inquiries.
It has been suggested that the census should show the number of rooms occupied by each family, and the dimensions of the rooms; should show whether each family has a bath tub; whether they have a Frigidaire; whether they have an incinerator, and such inquiries, some 25 or 30. The persons making suggestions of that kind do not realize the amount of work that they are putting upon a census of 125,000,000 people, so that those are questions that have got to be considered in determining whether or not certain inquiries should be included in the schedule. It is a very serious matter. The law heretofore has specified to a certain extent what inquiries should be in the schedule... We consider that unfortunate, because it results in the continuation of certain inquiries that are not essential at all. Changes in the population, social and industrial conditions, make it necessary
for the census to adapt itself to these conditions in order to make inquiries that will develop the facts that will be most instructive. So it is not a matter of discretion purely with the Director of the Census. It has got to be considered by a large number of people.
On the question of literacy. Some people seem to think it is a very simple matter to ascertain whether a man can read and write, but it is a very difficult matter for the enumerator to find out, because he may come to your home and you are not in, and your wife is not in, and he may have to obtain the information from some other person in the house, or, failing in that, he has got to come back to your house until he finds some one there that can give him information about your family. The person who gives that information probably doesn't know whether you can read or write. He says, “Why, yes; I imagine he can read and write." The enumerator has to take that say so.
The people who have made these suggestions about literacy have made this kind of a suggestion, that each enumerator should be armed with a number of cards, cards containing printed inquiries.
Mr. Johnson, Printed in English?
Mr. STEUART. Yes; in English; and he will give one to a man; and if that man holds up his left hand, he will know he can read, because the card says, “Hold up your left hand.” That is theoretically all right, but the enumerator does not see every man he enumerates, and so it is impossible. All he can do is to ask somebody whether that man can read and write and take their say so for it.
Mr. Johxsox. Do I understand that the law which caused the last census had a little more detail as to population enumeration and vital statistics than the law we are now proposing?
Mr. STEUART. It had nothing about vital statistics .
Vr. STEVART. The old law specified just what should go in the population schedule, as I remember it. That is what we thought we had better leave out this time.
Mr. MOORMAX. I would like to ask you, in that connection, if it is contemplated to reduce the number of questions with reference to the agricultural features of the census, or to reduce the amount of detailed information at all. Is that contemplated?
Mr. STEC'ART. No. My impression now is that the amount of detail on the agricultural schedule will be considerably greater than it was on the last agricultural schedule.
Wr. THURSTON, Vay I ask, Mr. Chairman-
Mr. THURSTON. Will the schedule containing the interrogatories be prepared by a board in the Census Bureau or will it be prepared by just one or a few persons?
Mr. STEV ART. I have just explained that. It will be prepared after conference with the people who have made suggestions.
Mr. THURSTOX. And it is your idea that the law should be elastie to the extent that the officials in the Census Bureau shall have the power to designate all of the interrogatories rather than to have them fixed by the Congress; is that it?
Mr. STETART. That is it.
Mr. THURSTON. There might be just such & division of opinion among the group in the Census Bureau on that subject as there would be, for instance, among the members of this committee.
that ough to specify Doctor, tics, Mr. No some
Mr. JOHNSON. We were just asking some questions leading up to the actual population statistics, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. Doctor, do you think it would be practical for Congress to specify the schedules? Wouldn't a great deal go in that ought not go in, and considerable be omitted that ought to be contained therein? Mr. STEUART. I don't think it would be advisable.
The CHAIRMAN. It seems to me an administrative department could attend to that better than the Congress could.
Mr. THURSTON. I find in my contacts with the departments that they are prone to take the position that Congress has not sufficiently designated their duties, and that therefore there is an open space left to construction. They say that Congress has neglected to point out the way.
Mrs. Kahn. Isn't there a schedule here of the last population census?
Mr. STEUART. The law, Mrs. Kahn, in the last census had this: “The schedules relating to the population shall include for each inhabitant; name, place of abode, relation to head of family, color, sex age, conjugal condition, place of birth, place of birth of parents, nationality or mother tongue of all persons born in foreign country, nationality or mother tongue of parents of foreign birth, number of years in the United States, citizenship, occupation, whether or not employer or employee, whether or not engaged in agriculture, school attendance, literacy, tenure of home and encumbrance thereon, and the name and address of each blind or deaf and dumb person.”
Mr. Johnson. Now, exactly on that point. It is contemplated, of course, to carry out about the same thing next time.
Mr. STEUART. Yes.
Mr. Johnson. You know of nothing there that you would eliminate, do you?
Mr. STEUART. Well, I wouldn't like to say that I would eliminate any of that, Mr. Johnson. It seems to me that all of the facts that are enumerated in that law would be important, but it may be that some other inquiry is of greater importance than some of those enumerated in the law—of greater importance now. And if we insert that in the schedule, we will possibly have to eliminate or reduce some of these. For instance, the birthplace of the mother and father of a native citizen may not be as important as some other inquiry that would show a more important feature of our social condition.
Mr. JOHNSON. The reason I am asking—I will be very frank-it is a companion subject to that which turns up all the time in the committee of which I am chairman; that is, immigration and naturalization. Our committee has worked for a long time trying to devise a better form of naturalization. These paragraphs in the census that call for the native tongue of the parents I believe were inserted several censuses back through the activities of Representative Sabath of Illinois, who was for more than 20 years on the Immigration Committee, and was very anxious to get these statistics as to the foreign born. Our laws are built on that same thing now. We are dependent upon the census. I don't know that I can suggest anything more, but to my notion it would be highly important to have those.
Mr. STEUART. I think those are the most important features and they ought to go in there.
Mr. JOHNSON. Particularly if we carry out what is the long-range view of the Immigration Committee, to bring about an amalgamation of the peoples here and reduce the alien feeling. We are trying to devise a method that will pick out the persons who have been here a long time and can not prove legal entry. Our estimate a year or more ago made that about a million, three hundred thousand. We are inclined to think now it is a great many more than that, including children brought here by parents in the days when entry was not checked up much, and under the new laws we find the children can not prove the entry of the parents, and it is a problem. I don't suppose the census could go into such a detail.
Mr. STEUART. The Census Bureau would not consider making any change in that without consulting you or your committee.
Mr. JOHNSON. I wouldn't be the best informed person, but I am glad to hear that.
Mr. STEUART. Any committee that is concerned in any part of the census must be consulted before making any change in that feature.
The CHAIRMAN. Does any gentleman, or Mrs. Kahn, wish to make any further inquiry of the director? Or does Doctor Steuart wish to impart further information on his own part to the committee?
Mr. STEUART. Mr. Chairman, I have gone over the hearings of the committee very carefully and have talked with the gentlemen who have been before the committee, and my impression is that there are just two things of prime importance. The first is that Congress pass this law at this session.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Mr. STEUART. That is of great importance, for us to know what we are going to do.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that is the disposition of the committee. We are holding our hearings right along, and we want to get this bill out.
Mr. STEUART. The second thing is the date of the enumeration. There seems to be more interest in that than in any other phase of the law as it was drafted, and you have a letter from the two Secretaries, Agriculture and Commerce, on that subject, which states the attitude of the two departments.
The CHAIRMAN. May I read this letter, with the permission of Doctor Steuart and the committee? It is a letter from the Secretaries of Agriculture and Commerce, and is dated March 28. The committee has not been in session since this letter was written.
WASHINGTON, March 28, 1928. Hon. E. HART FENN,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. FENN: There appears to have been considerable discussion as to the most appropriate time for taking the 1930 and subsequent censuses of population and agriculture. It is our understanding that some misconceptions on the part of your committee may have been occasioned by the apparent conflict of opinion at the hearings between representatives of our two departments. Therefore, we are writing to assure you that since the hearings the Departments of Commerce and of Agriculture have thoroughly considered the question and have mutually agreed that from the standpoint of the interests we represent, it would be most advantageous to take the censuses of population and of agriculture in the late fall, with a view to completing as much of the enumeration as possible prior to Christmas. We believe it would be well to begin the canvass on or about November 1, and to make the count as of that date.
The supervisors employed at the census of 1920 almost uniformly reported great difficulty in getting the work done during the winter months. This was the case not only in the rural districts but also in the cities, and the Bureau of the Census found it almost impossible to make a correct enumeration of the population. There is a greater shift in the population now than at any preceding period in our history. Larger numbers of people leave their usual places of residence early in the spring, and do not return until the late fall. If the census is taken as of April 1, there would be a considerable portion of the country for which the enumeration could not be made until late spring or summer. We have concluded on the whole, therefore, that it is essential that the enumeration of the population be made at some time in the fall. The winter has been tried and proved entirely unsatisfactory. The summer months are not desirable because of an increasing proportion of the population being away from their usual places of residence.
Agricultural conditions and roads in rural districts are better in the late fall than in midwinter or early spring. It is believed that the change from January 1 to a month or six weeks earlier will not notably affect comparability of data. The farmers are closer to the operations of the census year than in the spring, thus reducing the percentage of error arising from inaccuracies of memory. The fall has the advantage in that most crops are fully harvested, and farmers are in a position to estimate those for which the harvest is not quite complete. The livestock inventory is approaching, or has approximately reached the point where the complications of births, slaughterings, and marketings are less disturbing to the balance sheet. Finally, the most vital advantage in favor of the fall lies in the fact that the usual moving date of the farmers comes in the period between Christmas and March 1.
These are therefore the views of the two departments, but we wish to assure the committee that any date fixed by the committee will be acceptable to the departments Respectfully yours,
Secretary of Commerce. W. M. JARDINE,
Secretary of Agriculture. Mrs. Kahn. And they recommend November for both?
The CHAIRMAN. Well, in the fall. They don't tie themselves down.
Mr. MOORMAN. I would like to ask the doctor what occasioned the change of heart on the part of the Department of Commerce with reference to the time of taking the census? Mr. STEUART. What was that?
Mr. MOORMAN. Three or four representatives of the Census Department testified here that April 1 was preferable. What changed their idea about that so suddenly?
Mr. STEUART. Well, I don't know that there was any pressure brought to bear to have them change their ideas. I have been connected with every census since 1880. I have worked in them. The enumeration of the population has been made as of August 1, June 1, April 15, January 12
The CHAIRMAN. The last one was January 1, was it not? Mr. STEUART. January 1. It was changed to January 1, at the request of the Department of Agriculture, because they thought the enumeration of the agricultural activities shortly after the end of the calendar year, as closely after the end of the calendar year as possible, would result in more accurate figures being given by each farmer. I think that was the sole reason for the change. Now, these gentlemen who testified before you probably had that in mind and did not realize that it could be advanced to November 1 or December 1 with greater advantage. As a matter of fact, I started the census of 1925 on November 1.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the agricultural census?
Mr. STEUART. The agricultural census. The law said January 1, but I found that it was impossible to get the enumeration satisfactorily on all sections of the country as of January 1. Weather con