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If now your serious consideration of a Nation-wide population census at the half-way point could be put into effect, it would naturally please us, and we could lay aside all thought of a census of California alone. Our interests lead us to refer to the following points which may be interesting in this connection: 1. The taking of such a middecennial census will naturally provide employment for a large number of people in the white-collar class all over the Nation, even though the period is a short one. This would naturally be governed by the extent of the census to be taken and the experience of the Bureau of the Census will enable you to easily estimate the number of employees probably required, as well as the cost based upon its extent. 2. The recent rapid decline of the birth rate, which has been Nation-wide, and has affected the usual methods of estimating population between the decennial periods would be freshly registered by such a census. If the death rate, particularly in cities, has been reduced, due to the more economic life of the people which has prevented many types of diseases increasing, that will also be registered. 3. There has undoubtedly been a distinct movement from urban to rural life as the result of the lack of industrial and similar kinds of employment in the great cities. This should be measured and recognized in all work requiring population statistics as the background. 4. Under the present disturbed economic conditions business men everywhere are examining the fields of their endeavors much more accurately and closely. Indeed, they are forced to, and the data of the census of 1930 has now become almost 4 years old. 5. Under the various existing new forms of administration of Government, developmental projects of varying magnitudes are constantly being proposed and examined. In nearly all cases the population to be served or benefited from such projects are matters to be investigated. A new count of population should be of inestimable value in arriving at the proper decisions regarding the acceptance of such projects. 6. As to the date of taking such a middecennial census, we lean toward the choice of a date such as January 1, 1935, or April 1, 1935, for the reason that this would give an even 15-year comparison with the census of January 1, 1920, or an exact 5-year comparison with the census of 1930. It would seem unfortunate from the angle of our committee, which has recently given this matter its study, to choose a new date never employed in a previous census, such as November 1934, as above suggested, since this would cause unnecessary computations in practically every use of the new data that would be acquired. It may be of general interest to you to know that in our thinking of a California State-wide census, we were considering providing for a census by house to house canvass covering the age, sex, race, and citizenship, and marital status, together with the fact of whether the individual were a permanent or transient resident of the place where found. We were also considering that this census should be taken by the same enumeration district boundaries as utilized by the last preceding Federal census. Finally, it should not be overlooked that the data from the new middecennial census would provide not only work during the census period for those who took it, but would also open the printing presses of the Nation, as well as start publishers, advertising agencies, and countless lines of activity which would tend to restore more normal conditions. Yours very truly, Los ANGELEs CHAMBER of CoMMERCE, ARTHUR J. ARNOLL, Secretary and General Manager.
Mr. FLETCHER. Was the communication from that official of a medical association speaking for the American Medical Association?
Dr. RICE. I do not know; but I assume she wrote the letter in her capacity as a Public Health official of the city of St. Louis.
The next is a letter from Dr. A. W., Hedrich, secretary of the vital statistics section of the American Public Health Association, and a member of the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the letter will be inserted at this point.
(The letter referred to is as follows:)
BALTIMORE, MD., December 26, 1933. Hon. DANIEL C. RoPER,
Secretary of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: At the suggestion of Professor Chaddock I wrote before the holidays to about 15 health officers asking them to write to you concerning the desirability of a special census in 1934 or 1935. By this time you have doubtless heard from some of these officials.
May I at this time add my own voice in support of the project. Owing to recognized social disturbances, population estimates toward the end of the 1920–30 decade were seriously in error in many places. During the current decade the errors promise to be even larger unless the special census is taken.
Dr. Rice. The next is a letter from Governor Pinchot, of PennsylVanlø.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the letter may be inserted at this point. (The letter is as follows:)
CoMMON weALTH of PENNsy Lv ANIA, Governor's OFFICE, Harrisburg, Pa., June 22, 1933. Hon. DANIEL C. RoPER,
Secretary of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: I have recently learned of the proposal to take a middecennial census of population, and I am told that you are considering it.
While there are many who have a better right to speak on this subject than I have, nevertheless I can fairly say that I am convinced that such a census, especially because of its relation to the employment status of those who are over school age, would be of real value.
In Pennsylvania we find ourselves severely handicapped in dealing with current economical, social, and welfare problems on the basis of the 1930 census. Reliable information concerning population and unemployment is in greater demand now than probably any other class of census information.
I am sure you will give serious consideration to this question, and in the meantime I want to renew my congratulations on the magnificent record of the administration to which you belong and my congratulations to you personally.
Mr. FLETCHER. Is there any educational organization requesting this information?
Dr. RICE. I do not know; at least, I do not recall any formal endorsements from any strictly educational organizations; but it was pointed out that a large section of the endorsements have come from educators, or persons attached to educational institutions, particularly from economists, statisticians, and sociologists.
The next is a letter from Dr. Charles W. Decker, health officer for the city of Los Angeles.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, it will be included in the record at this point.
(The letter referred to is as follows:)
Los ANGELEs, CALIF., January 4, 1934.
Hon. DANIEL C. RoPER,
DEAR MR. RoPER: Abnormal shifts of population coincidental with the unsettled economic conditions invalidates much of the statistical findings of the last census. Los Angeles, the fifth city in size in the Nation, is more affected possibly than any other great city. In normal times the travel to and from this city exceeds that of most other cities of the world. A special census is needed that our vital statistics as well as commercial reports may be predicated upon a correct foundation of census data.
I most respectfully urge that the Congress be called upon to authorize a special Federal census in 1935. The value of such an effort to other communities and the entire Nation, in my judgment, justifies a census in the midseason between the Government's normal census periods. Such a census would have the additional advantage of employment relief to a very large number of the destitute “white collar” class of our citizenry and render a definite profit to the Nation for the effort. I am,
Mr. ELLENBoGEN. Governor Pinchot seems to be interested in the age of the unemployed. Your census will show the ages, will it not? Dr. RICE. Practically all censuses will include age. That is to say there are certain minima of information which would have to be taken in any census. Mr. ELLENBogEN. I mean the unemployment census—not the population census. Dr. RICE. Both will include it. Certainly sex would be on the list of questions or information, and certainly age would be on it, I should Say. Mr. FLETCHER. I understand that in your State, they have adopted the middle-age requirement, or a o age beyond which employment is not given. For that reason, this information would be especially valuable to Governor Pinchot in helping to remedy that situation. The CHAIRMAN. It would be important to show whether an unemployed individual was 30 years old or 80 years old. Dr. RICE. Yes, sir; decidedly so. The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed with your statement. Dr. RICE. The next is a letter from Dr. Thomas Parran, Commissioner of the Department of Health for the State of New York. The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, it will be incorporated in the record at this point. (Said letter is as follows:)
STATE of NEw York, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, Albany, January 3, 1934. Hon. DANIEL C. RoPER, Secretary of Commerce, Washington, D.C.
MY DEAR MR. SECRETARY: In view of the unprecedented movement of the population of the country in recent years, a quinquennial Federal census, always recognized as desirable, has now become a matter of vital importance. I need not elaborate upon this point in a letter to you, an expert in the field of statistical practice.
It seems to me that the only argument on the negative side is the matter of expense; but by limiting the number of items on the census schedule, the cost could be kept within modest limits.
As commissioner of health of the State of New York, I should like to state that to us the need of current population data has become particularly pressing because our former mid-decennial State enumeration has now been abolished. Unless a Federal census is taken soon, the statistical indices, basic in public health work, will become with each year less and less dependable. I, therefore, earnestly hope that you will find it possible to make provision for a census either during the present year or in the year 1935.
Very truly yours,
Dr. RICE. Mr. Chairman, I could submit a substantial number o other letters, or a much larger number which are in my office, but do not want to over burden your record. However, those which have been submitted are fairly representative of the statements made in the others; and I think the committee will agree that they are spontaneous as to their source. The CHAIRMAN. Then, that will be sufficient, unless you find something later that you desire to include. Dr. RICE. If you would like to have them, I have editorials here from three or four newspapers, which happen to agree with our view. In general, they are in support of this proposal. The CHAIRMAN. Do they analyze the matter, or present reasons for the proposed census? Dr. RICE. I should say they do within the usual limits of newspaper editorials. These are editorials. The CHAIRMAN. From what papers? Dr. RICE. First, from the Jacksonville (Fla.) Times Union; second, from the Springfield (Ohio) News; third, from the Rochester (N.Y.) Democratic Chronicle; fourth, the Cincinnati (Ohio) Post, and last, the Newark (N.J.) Evening News. Mr. ELLENBoGEN. I do not believe you have a letter from Mr. Ickes, do you? Dr. RICE. A letter was received from Mr. Ickes by the Secretary of Commerce, but I do not have it here this morning. Mr. ELLENBogEN. I want the committee to know that I have a letter from Secretary Ickes, in which he says that he is in sympathy with the purposes of the bill. The CHAIRMAN. Do you think that should be included in the record? Mr. ELLENBogEN. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. Without objection, the letter will be included in the record at this point. (The letter referred to is as follows:) THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR, Washington, D.C., February 21, 1934.
Hon. HENRY ELLENBogEN,
MY DEAR MR. ELLENBogEN: Your letter of February 8, calling attention to H.R. 7765 which you have introduced for the purpose of taking a census of population, unemployment, and agriculture as of November 12, 1934, has been received. While I am in sympathy with the general purposes of the bill, the Department of the Interior and the Public Works Administration would have no function under it, and I am, therefore, not in a position to make a report as you suggest. I assume that you have requested Administrator Hopkins to advise you of his views on the proposed measure.
Mr. FLETCHER. I wonder if it would not be helpful to have you furnish an analysis of the requests that have come to you, showing the specific reasons for requesting the proposed census, classifying them as economic reasons, social reasons, educational reasons, financial reasons, industrial and employment reasons, and so forth, with a brief statement summarizing the whole field of applications or appeals made in behalf of this proposal. I suggest that so we will not have to depend so much on scattered information.
Doctor RICE. I would suggest that a statement submitted by the Director yesterday, but in very brief compass, attempted to do that thing, particularly from the standpoint of the Federal Government agencies. I have two additional documents here, one of which is a memorandum which I submitted to the personal assistant to the Secretary of the Interior at his request, setting forth from my own viewpoint some of the considerations involved. I have, likewise, a memorandum which was prepared within the Census Bureau prior to my connection with it, last year, and which was submitted to the Secretary of Commerce, at his request, a portion of which, I think, might serve the purpose. If you care to have them, I will be glad to submit both of those statements.
The CHAIRMAN. I think that would be proper, for the reason that the session is drawing to a close, and the Members will not have the usual opportunity to read and digest the hearings. If a detailed, but not lengthy, statement of the purposes for which this census is desired could be incorporated in the record, it would be helpful in enabling the Members to get at a glance the reasons offered in support of the proposal.
(The memorandum referred to is as follows:)
JANUARY 12, 1934.
To Mr. Harry Slattery, personal assistant to the Secretary, Department of the nterior. From: Stuart A. Rice.
This will confirm our conversation respecting the proposed census of population to be taken in conjunction with the forthcoming census of agriculture. All existing population estimates for areas less than the Nation as a whole are of such questionable accuracy as to be unusable for most purposes. This fact results primarily from the extensive movements of people incident to the depression. ontributing factors are changes (possibly selective) in birth rates and death rates, and changes in immigration and emigration. All of the usual requirements for accurate population data at any other time, except for congressional reapportionment, apply fully to the present period. That is, with the one exception noted, failure to take a new census now would have the same effect as a failure in ordinary times to take a decennial census. In addition, there are special reasons for regarding a population census in 1934 or 1935 as unusually important. These are related, for the most part, to the efforts of the to stration to lift our country out of the depression. I will mention some of eSe: Plans for revival of the lagging capital goods industries, and particularly for slum clearance and residential construction, demand accurate population data. In other words, the provision of decent housing for human beings required knowledge of where people now live. This need pertains equally to a program of public works and to the stimulation of private enterprise in the construction field. A corresponding demand applies to the allotment of public funds for relief purposes. It is apparent that equitable allocations of Federal funds, either for public works or for relief, can scarcely be made without knowledge of the present distribution, among States, cities, and minor civil divisions, of the population which will benefit from such disbursement. Birth rates and death rates, essential for actuarial calculations and for the promotion of public health, are currently based upon population estimates supplied by this Bureau. We feel unable longer to make these estimates, except for the whole of the United States. Wide publicity has been given to the alleged abnormally low death rates recently prevailing in New York and other large cities, with the implication that these represent an incidental benefit from the industrial depression. There is reason to believe that these rates are fictitious and misleading because calculated upon estimates of population which are much too high. There is particular interest in the extent and character of unemployment. This interest is basic to a Civil Works project now under the administration of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, designed to test out various methods of making enumerations of the unemployed, and of subsequently estimating unemployment. The chief value to be obtained from this project would result from the