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Mr. LOZIER. I have had numerous inquiries from reclamation engineers, and I told them that I understood from the Census Bureau that it was contemplated under the blanket authority of the bill as originally promulgated, but I think it wise to cover it specifically in this bill.
FURTHER STATEMENT OF W. M. STEUART
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Doctor Steuart will resume. Mr. JOHNSON. I would like to ask one question. I am sorry I haven't had time to read the law for the last census
The CHAIRMAN. You will find it in the record. Mr. JOHNSON. Yes; but I will save time by asking questions. In the last bill, did the Congress provide the pay of enumerators? Mr. STEUART. Yes, sir. Mr. JOHNSON. That was in the law? Mr. STEUART. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. This doesn't. Mr. JOHNSON. It is not in the law this time? Mr. STEUART. No, sir.
The CHAIRMAN. We have a statement as to what the general cost of the census will be, and when the bill goes through the allocation of the money, or the appropriation of the money will have to go to the Committee on Appropriations, and they will doubtless take into consideration and have figures from the Census Bureau, to show exactly what amount is necessary to pay these enumerators, and what they are going to pay them, and this, that, and the other.
Mr. JOHNSON. My information is that the last census faced some difficulty on account of shortage of funds.
The CHAIRMAN. They didn't pay them enough.
Mr. STEUART. Don't say “some difficulty,” Mr. Johnson. It was terrible.
Mr. Johnson. I don't doubt it. Now, I want to ask this question of the director in regard to these dates. Is it easier to get competent men to be enumerators in November than it would be in April?
Mr. STEUART. Well, that was, our opinion.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you ever have trouble in getting them, Doctor? I have been solicited already for jobs.
Mr. STEUART. Oh, yes. Every man that wants to be appointed is not the man who should be appointed.
The CHAIRMAN. I don't doubt you there. Mr. STEUART. In fact, these men who want to be appointed are very generally the men who should not be appointed.
Mr. Johnson. Now, then, this has got to be a very big country, and in 10 years' time conditions have greatly changed. I think the showing of the next census in the cities will stagger the people. I think the conditions you will find in Porto Rico as to unemployment and malnutrition will startle the people. I don't see why, if this committee has had time to mull it over and think about it, that we shouldn't determine on a very big, first-class census. I want the agricultural people to have everything they need in whatever season is best for them, and I think we can readily afford the money to have an individual and separate population census.
Mr. STEUART. Mr. Johnson, that was my idea in making the original draft of the law, but that idea doesn't conform to the ideas of a great many of the people. It is all right for you to say that you will give us enough money to make the census, but it is hard work sometimes to get that appropriation.
Mr. JOHNSON. I know that.
Mr. STEUART. I don't want to have the census fail. At the same time, I do want to take a correct enumeration of the population. My own experience last time, in January, in New York City, where there are more difficulties attending the population problem than any other place, because of the changes, has shown me that it is very difficult to get enumerators who would go out in January and February and enumerate the people. They just wouldn't go. Blizzards were frequent, snow was drifting about. We had to get women to go out, and they wouldn't go, and they didn't enumerate the people. In some of the apartment houses the enumerators had to go back a dozen times to make the enumeration. Finally they would throw it up. They couldn't do it, and we would have to have somebody else go around. I went to New York myself and personally supervised a large proportion of the enumeration in Manhattan, and I am free to say that January is a very unfortunate time to try to enumerate the population, even in cities. And the difficulties in rural districts are much greater.
Mrs. Kahn. Would April 15 be a good date for the population?
Mr. FITZPATRICK. There are thousands of folks, both husband and wife go to business during the day, and the apartments are locked up all day until about 7 o'clock in the evening, and the next door neighbor can't give them any information, can't even tell them their names.
Mr. STEUART. There are only a few hours you can work at night, about two hours, and who can you see in a couple of hours? Probably you will find a man at dinner. Maybe he and his wife are out to dinner, and you have to wait until he comes back. Maybe the enumerator would enumerate four or five people and get 3 cents a name. They won't do the work for that money.
Mr. JOHNSON. I know in the Northwest they wouldn't do it.
The CHAIRMAN. Under this bill, if it goes through, leaving the compensation with the bureau, it would enable you to pay a different per diem, or whatever you might call it, in different sections of the country?
Mr. STEUART. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. For instance, a man in Washington-I have been through the State very delightfully-different parts of the State are very remote and very hard to get to, and the men might have to have a subsistence allowance or something of that kind. Would that be taken into consideration by the bureau?
Mr. STEUART. Yes, we do that. We did that for the 1925 census.
The CHAIRMAN. And the men who did the city work would not have as great expenditures, because they would go to their homes for meals, or they would be right there in the locality.
Mr. LOZIER. I think this question of population lies right at the root of it. I know in the Middle West the enumerators almost went crazy—I mean the supervisors. They would get an enumerating force, and they would all start out, and they would work a day or two and have all kinds of trouble and couldn't get anywhere, couldn't find anybody at home, and then there would come in a message or a letter, “You will have to get somebody else to do this job,” and the supervisors ran all over the country looking for men, because the compensation was such that with the weather conditions that had to be faced no competent men would undertake the task of taking the enumeration.
The CHAIRMAN. At the price. Mr. LOZIER. At the price; yes.
Mr. STEUART. You don't have to go to the West to find it, southern Maryland, western Maryland. The supervisors came into my office time and time again and said, “I haven't got a man to enumerate such and such a district.”
Mr. Johnson. I thought this—I don't want to suggest anything revolutionary, but if we could divorce the population census, so that we could know that was Title I of the bill, and have the population enumeration made with the aid of the Post Office Department, and your other enumeration, agricultural and all the other activities you undertake, made by your special enumerators, and provide for the payment of some extra per diem or extra per item to the post office establishment and take them in, we might develop another system. I know it looks rather startling.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. You are advocating a separation of the two censuses, the agricultural and the population?
Mr. JOHNSON. Yes; I would like to get a date in the zero year for the population and have it made pretty carefully.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Doctor Steuart, would you, for the sake of accuracy, think the two censuses should be separated?
Mr. STEUART. That was my idea when I prepared the law.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Why shouldn't we have them separated? Is there any opposition on the part of the administration, or the Director of the Budget?
The CHAIRMAN. It will add to the cost. Mr. STEUART. Two reasons why they should not be separated have been submitted. One is the cost. The second is that certain men think you get a more accurate census of agriculture if the enumerator is required to enumerate the population at the same time he visits the farm. The population of a certain community, for instance, ought to be so many, and if he hasn't got that many, he has missed some farms, and he is sent back. I personally do not attach very great importance to that. I think that the proper thing is to separate the two. Have the enumeration of the population, which is the thing provided for in the Constitution, made independently and accurately, and the census of agriculture, manufacturies, mines, water, irrigation plants, and everything else entirely separate.
Now, this is a big country, with a tremendous population, and a tremendous number of different political organizations that we have got to get the population of, and the enumeration of the population is a sufficient job for any one period of time, it seems to me. But there are other features that I have spoken of that seem to be controlling.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Doctor Steuart, if the two were separated, couldn't a good case be made out to show there wouldn't be any specially large increase in cost? You would be building up an organization, assuming you took the agricultural census in the fallI don't say you should—but if you did, instead of building up a huge machine all at one time you would be working up gradually to the taking of the population census around April 1, and you would have your machinery well oiled, well manned. You would be weeding out the supervisors who were not competent, so that when you got around to April 1, to take your population census, you would have an organization built up for that purpose which had gone through the taking of the agricultural and natural resources census. I don't see that there is going to be any additional cost.
The CHAIRMAN. Two millions, they estimate now.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. I think it is worth two million, but you will have to show me it will cost two million more.
The CHAIRMAN. That is the estimate of the Bureau of the Census. Mr. JACOBSTEIN. I would suggest that they perhaps ought to look into it again. Certainly in business it costs more to build up a huge machine in a short period of time than it does to build it up by degrees.
The CHAIRMAN. This is a short period of time anyway. Mr. JACOBSTEIN. Look at Mr. Lozier's suggestion, where men come in for a week and drop out and others have to come in. That costs money.
Mr. MOORMAN. The only trouble about that would be that you would be experimenting on the farmer and obtaining your force at the expense of agriculture, and when they get efficient you would put them to taking the population census. Any way you start, agriculture gets the hot end of it. That is what I object to.
Mr. JACOBSTEIN. This machine you are building up would be taking the agricultural census just as well as the city population, and one reason I am in favor of an April 1 census for population is to overcome the opposition, the argument made for reapportionment in 1930. They said when you take the agricultural census in the middle of the winter, it is not fair to the farm population. And it isn't, because migration is toward the city in the winter time, so I think you get a more accurate picture of the population of the country
districts around April 1, provided you have an adequate machine to take it. As Mr. Johnson suggests, if you haven't got a competent computation force, it doesn't much difference when you take it.
Mr. MOORMAN. I agree you will get a better picture on April 1, but it is just as true that you will get a better picture if you take both censuses together. One is as certain as the other.
The CHAIRMAN. Isn't the computation force always in existence at the Bureau of the Census? Mr. STEUART. There is a nucleus force.
The CHAIRMAN. I mean the organization is there.
Mr. THURSTON. I would like to revert to one suggestion made by the doctor and see if we can not clarify this a little. As I understand, it is somewhat difficult to do this work in the winter months.
Mr. STEUART. You are perfectly right there. Mr. THURSTON. And it takes about two or three months to do the work. Is that true?
Mr. STEUART. Well, I think that over 50 per cent of the population is enumerated in one month or less. I am just now recalling the percentages. Then 45 per cent of the remainder is enumerated in the next month.
Mr. THURSTON. If that be true, if 50 per cent would be taken in the month of November and 45 per cent in December
Mr. STEUART. These percentages were on the last January enumeration. I think if we start in November we ought to take 95 per cent of it in the one month.
Mr. THURSTON. I thought if you meant it took two or three months, starting in November, in the inclement weather, you would have two or three months
Mr. STEUART. The two or three months are to pick up the odds and ends.
The CHAIRMAN. If you started the 1st of April, what percentage would you get by the 1st of May? Can you estimate?
Mr. STEUART. A large percentage of it.
Mr. MOORMAN. Can't you get just as many between April 1 and May 1 as you can between November 1 and December 1?
Mr. STEUART. Possibly. Mr. MOORMAN. Well, why not absolutely? What condition could intervene that would make it possible not to get as great a number?
Mr. Johnson. Spring fever.
Mr. STEUART. I don't think the spring weather is as good to enumerate the rural section of the country, or to get around in, as the fall of the year. Now, the 5 or 10 per cent of the population that would not be enumerated between April 1 and May 1, would be in the rural districts. Take Washington, Montana, and the northern New England States. There are certain sections there that do not have good roads and are not cleared out, and you could not get the enumerators. I would try to get all the enumerators appointed to begin work on April 1. That would be my effort, but I am very certain a good many of them in those sections would not start until May 1, or May 15, and they would have as a reason that the weather is bad and the roads are bad and they can't go out.