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There are several collateral reasons why that is a useful change. In the last Congress we were taking the bill as sent to us by the House, as drawn by the House, because some of us felt that it was our responsibility to try to agree with the House decision; but I think it was a weakness in that bill that these particular identifications were in it, and this is the basic reason.
This could not be a permanent enabling act with those identifications in it. Why? Because, if Congress at any time were to make an actual apportionment by the method of equal proportion, or if it were to change the membership of 440, that, by implication, would have repealed this bill. That is precisely the way a similar measure in 1850 was repealed. It never was actually repealed, but it has been repealed by implication. This bill would have suffered the same fate. At any rate, it was open to that hazard. In the form in which it is now written, it entirely escapes that hazard, and it stands as a permanent enabling act, paralleling and authenticating the Constitution, and doing nothing else.
When the last bill was before the Senate, the chief differences of opinion attached to these relatively minor questions of detail, and particularly to the question of the method that should be pursued. It never was a major consideration, in actual fact, because the selection of methods would have affected only three seats out of 435 in 1920; and on the basis of the 1930 estimate, it would have affected only one seat out of 435. But in spite of that actual minor relationship of the question of method to the main problem, the question of method was magnified on the floor of the Senate to a fatal degree. That difference on the floor of the Senate, in turn, reflected a difference in the country at large among the scientific experts, the great mathematicians of the country, as to what is the proper method of actually making an actual apportionment.
During the last four weeks, with the invaluable cooperation and assistance of Doctor Steuart and Doctor Hill, we have brought all of these experts together in a common unanimous recommendation of the phraseology that is in this bill. The advisory committee of the census met last Saturday in Washington, and I have a letter from Doctor Steuart which is in the Congressional Record to-day, and for that reason I have not it with me. I have this letter from Doctor Steuart transmitting to me the resolution which the advisory committee adopted. That advisory committee consists of Prof. Walter F. Willcox of Cornell, Col. Robert E. Chaddock of Columbia, Willford I. King of Columbia University, George F. Warren of Cornell, and Prof. George E. Jarnett of Johns Hopkins. That is the complete membership of the advisory committee on the census and it unanimously indorses the phraseology of this bill.
Senator JOHNSON. You say all these statisticians agree?
In addition to these gentlemen, three surviving members of the advisory committee as it existed in 1921 when it made its last report in favor of the specific method, namely, the method of equal proportions, have been in terviewed, and I can add that they, too, agree to, and indorse the phraseology in this bill; and I am now speaking of Prof. Carl W. Doten, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Prof. Edward R. A. Seligman, of Columbia; and Prof. Wesley C. Mitchell, of Columbia.
I should like to note, in passing, that Messrs. Doten, Mitchell, and Willcox have been presidents of the American Statistical Association, and that Professors Seligman, Mitchell, Willcox and Chaddock have been presidents of the American Economics Association, these two associations being the ones upon whose recommendations the advisory committee of the census is created.
In addition to this, the phraseology of this bill is indorsed for the first time by Doctor Hill, the statistical advisor of the Census Bureau; and it is indorsed by Doctor Steuart, the Director of the Census; wherefore it is possible to say that the phraseology proposed has the unanimous approval of the experts especially related, directly or indirectly, with the Census Bureau, or the Government, in this capacity.
If we can proceed upon this basis, all of us hope that subsequentlyunrelated to this issue, but subsequently—we can have for the first time a special joint committee of the House and Senate to canvass in an intelligent and constructive way the question of what method ought to be pursued by Congress in making an actual apportionment; and after this is out of the way I hope to press for that sort of a group which can provide Congress in 1930 with a document which does, for the first time, traverse all of the constitutional phases and all of the mathematical phases of this perplexity, so that when Congress in 1930 does fix the actual census figures and does confront the actual constitutional responsibility of making an actual apportionment it will have the benefit of all this information.
The pending measure does nothing except to force Congress to do its constitutional duty in 1930, or to accept a ministerial apportionment in 1931 which recognizes the 1930 census and simply maintains the status quo with relation to membership and method of apportionment. It is for the first time, then, in 140 years an enabling act validating Article 1 of the Constitution. I think that explains the situation briefly.
Senator Johnson. I think the Senator from Michigan is entitled not only to the thanks of this committee, but, generally speaking, to the thanks of all of those who have labored in vain in the past. He ought now to have some recognition of his accomplishment, because it is an accomplishment that seems almost incredible.
Senator FLETCHER. I have a letter here from the American Protestant Alliance which proposes that there shall be an amendment to this effect:
Aliens shall be excluded in counting the whole number of persons in each State for apportionment of Representatives among the several States, according to their respective numbers.
Senator BURTON. That is a matter of constitutional amendment.
Senator SACKETT. I would like to offer an amendment along that line, for the record. I said at the last session I wanted to offer a similar amendment in the committee. The question now is whether I shall offer it to-day or offer it in the executive session.
Senator Tyson. I want to do the same thing.
Senator SACKETT. I offer this amendment, that at the end of line 6 the words be added, “Who are citizens."
Senator Tyson. You mean in the reapportionment bill.
Senator BURTON. That would not be valuable without a constitutional amendment. That is contrary to the Constitution.
Senator SACKETT. The point is that there were no aliens the day the Constitution was adopted. Everybody that was in the United States immediately became citizens by the adoption of the Constitution; and this complies with the meaning of the word “persons” the day the Constitution was adopted, in that it gives to each State then a representation according to the people who have estate in the State.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be pending when we bring the matter up.
Senator SACKETT. The Constitution says: "Excluding Indians not taxed”; but they are all taxed now.
The CHAIRMAN. I would like to offer for insertion st the end of to-day's record two letters. One is from Secretary Jardine, dated December 5, 1928, and the other is from Secretary Hoover, dated January 26, 1928.
The committee will meet in executive session at 10 o'clock Saturday morning (The letters referred to by the chairman are as follows:)
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
Washington, D. C., December 5, 1928. Hon. WESLEY L. JONES, Chairman Committee on Commerce,
United States Senate. DEAR SENATOR: I understand that the bill to provide for the fifteenth and subsequent decennial censuses (H. R. 393), which passed the House at the last session, is referred to the committee of which you are chairman. Among other things, this bill specified that the date of enumeration for the census of agriculture should be May 1, 1930. At the time of the hearings before the House Committee on the Census representatives of this department made an extended argument to show how seriously such a date would impair the accuracy and adequacy of the results with respect to agriculture. They urged the committee to fix the date as of November 1, and the Director of the Census also publicly advocated that date. The Secretary of Commerce, Mr. Hoover, and I also wrote a joint letter, dated March 28, 1928, to the committee indorsing this proposal.
I understand that you have been led to believe that the Department of Agriculture has withdrawn its opposition to the May 1 date, and I am writing this letter to assure you that this is not the case, and to give you the reasons for our insistence on what might appear an inconsequential consideration. Inasmuch as our argument, together with the supporting facts, was published in the House hearings, I shall at this time only briefly summarize the points.
1. The period between Christmas and April 1 is the time when most of the changes of occupancy of farms take place. On the basis of statistical data available in this department we estimate that for the crop year 1925–26 about 14 per cent of all the farmers of the United States changed to new farms. Census figures for 1925 showed that 42 per cent of all tenant farmers moved to new farms. As to time of movement, the department has information only concerning tenant farmers, but it is known from observation that the time of movement of owner farmers corresponds to the movement of tenants, for obvious reasons. The department's figures show that 65 per cent of the tenants move in the period from December to March, inclusive, mostly from Christmas to shortly after March 1. It is obvious that many of our inquiries concerning acreage and production of crops and production of livestock products on a given farm during the preceding year could not be answered by a man who has just moved on that farm. It is also obviously impossible to ask the newcomer to give the information for the farm which he occupied during the preceding year, for this would result in indescribable statistical confusion.
2. The taking of a census in the spring is likely to result in great inaccuracy in the enumeration of fall-planted crops because of the tendency to confuse the acreage harvested the previous year with that planted in the preceding year but to be harvested in the year in which the enumeration is made. The department has had this experience in the case of its own crop-reporting inquiries.
3. Likewise, a schedule dated May 1 would result in the confusion of springfarrowed pigs, and of spring lambs, calves, and colts with the livestock crop of the preceding calendar year. Furthermore, as the department is required to obtain an age classification of the different kinds of livestock as a basis for its annual estimates and other statistics, so serious a change of date as from January 1 to May 1 would enormously impair the comparability of the results for particular age groups with the corresponding groups in 1920 and 1925. For instance, the number of calves or pigs on farms on May 1 of a given year will be vastly different from the number that would be reported in January. This is most serious to this department because it has been making annual estimates as of January 1 since 1867, and the census constitutes a most important basis for its estimates. Even the change to November would make some difference in comparability, but it would be much less serious because it would not be affected by the spring crop of young animals.
4. Careful investigations made by statisticians of this department show serious loss of accuracy due to lapse of time between the event reported by the farmer and the time of the inquiry. If the census is taken on May 1, this department will be asking farmers to report on crops planted in some cases a year and a half previously, and in some cases harvested a year earlier. A fall date brings the report at least six months nearer the fact reported.
It has been objected that if a census should be taken in November many crops would not have been fully harvested by that time. This department submitted data to the House committee to show that this would not ve a very vital consideration. In the case of the great majority of crops but little remains to be harvested by November. The principal exceptions are corn, cotton, rice, sweet potatoes, and sugar beets. However, if the enumeration is not begun till November 1, the greater part even of these crops will have been gathered by the average date of enumerators' visits, and even if the visit occurred on November 1, the farmer is in a position by that time to reckon very closely the actual result.
Furthermore, for cotton and rice this department relies largely on ginning and mill reports, respectively, for statistics of production. For corn and other crops our yield per acre reports permit a very close estimate of production if we can secure an accurate acreage base.
The question of the constitutionality of an enumeration in November, 1929, has been raised. The Constitution provides that the census should be taken "within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of 10 years." If this means that exactly 10 years shall intervene, we have violated it every time we have made a change of date. “Within every subsequent term of 10 years” must signify that not more than 10 years shall elapse in each case from the date of the First Census, the first Monday in August, 1790. It is clear that November 1, 1929, would be well within the period.
The last two censuses have been taken as of January 1 of the even year. From a statistical standpoint this date is not greatly inferior to the date we have suggested, November 1, except for the fact that after that date farmers are moving in large numbers. If the entire count could be made on January 1, the results would not be seriously affected, but inasmuch as some six weeks or two months intervenes between the beginning and end of enumeration, a census begun January 1 is open in part to the objection that a large number of farmers will have moved, and to the further objection that weather conditions are very unpropitious. Furthermore, many people at that time, both from the country and from towns and cities are away from home at winter resorts of various kinds or on holiday visits.
The record of the hearings before the House committee has been searched to find cogent reasons for the selection of May 1, but have not been able to find such
If the consideration is one of population at home, the results of inquiries to our crop correspondents for each of several years indicate that the number of persons engaged in agriculture, on farms is not greatly different for November 1 and for May 1.
In view of these considerations this department would like to suggest the following amendments to the phraseology of the bill as it passed the House:
Page 1, line 5, change “1930” to “1929.”
It is also noted that inasmuch as the bill provides also for the interdecennial census the title of the bill is not precise.
The matters to which I have called attention are of such great importance to the research and extension work of this department and its various collaborating agencies as well as to the innumerable agencies both in and out of agriculture which utilize the statistics of the Bureau of the Census and of the Department of Agriculture, that I am confident your committee will give most serious consideration to the above suggestions. Sincerely yours,
W. M. JARDINE, Secretary.
INDORSEMENT OF A CENSUS OF DISTRIBUTION BY HON. HERBERT HOOVER
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,
Washington, D. C., January 26, 1928. Hon. E. HART FENN, Chairman Committee on the Census,
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. DEAR MR. FENN: In accordance with our conversation, I wish to state my reasons for supporting the inclusion of the authorization for a census of distribution in the bill which pertains to the taking of the Fifteenth Decennial Census now under consideration by your committee (H. R. 393).
During the last few years the business world has developed widespread use of systematic statistics in the better guidance of business. Through the recommendations of your committee, the census of manufactures has been changed from quinquennial to biennial. It has added greatly to the stability of the producing industries. Likewise, you increased the frequency of the national census of agriculture from decennial to quinquennial with a like result.
In addition to these great national stock-taking efforts of the Government, business men themselves have largely to supplement the figures with more specific current statistics, but they are dependent upon the Government work for their basing points. Trade associations in almost every industry are compiling monthly or quarterly figures regarding the operations of their own businesses. The Bureau of the Census attempts to gather together in its monthly Survey of Current Business many of the more significant figures of this kind. That publication now lists more than 1,500 separate current statistical items, most of them collected originally by private business organizations.
The significance of this vast array of statistical information can not be overestimated. It enables the business man to substitute facts for hunches and guesswork in the formation of his business judgments. It has contributed to the sustained and unprecedented prosperity which this country has and is enjoying. I believe that to no inconsiderable extent this is due to our increased development and use of business statistics of both public and private origin.
If, however, we look over the array of business statistics available, we find that these relate almost entirely to the production and stocks of commodities. Almost none of them relate to the movement of these commodities from the producer to the dealers or the consumer. Coincidentally, it may be noted that by far our greatest advance in business technique and efficiency has been in the field of production. Marketing and distribution are still carried on for the most part along the lines with which our fathers were familiar. To some extent the failure in distribution to make the same progress as production is due to our lack of statistical information and definite facts in this field. Also, it is to be observed that we have made far less progress in reducing the costs of distribution than we have in production. As an indication of this, if we take the factory and the retail prices of commodities at 100 for 1914, we find that to-day falling prices are from 140 to 150, while retail prices are from 165 to 170.
In any event, it is certain that there is relatively little specific information on the distribution of commodities. We do not even know the volume of our retail trade nor can we guess at it within $10,000,000,000. To the best of our information there are upwards of 1,482,000 retailers and some 82,000 wholesalers engaged in our domestic business. These men collectively, and many of them individually, have approached the Department of Commerce asking for some fundamental statistics regarding their operations. They are convinced that large economies could be brought about if such information were available. We believe that these men are entitled to some assistance from the National Government in a task which they can not perform for themselves. For this reason, we have suggested to you that provision should be made in the next decennial