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with the compilation and publication of the reports of the decennial census. He compiles the Statistical Atlas, which contains all the ilustrations that are used in the decennial census and special census reports, as well as those which have been prepared for this volume.
In view of the important duties which he performs I feel that he should be placed on a par with the three chief statisticians at $3,600 per annum. I might add also that in my opinion the present incumbent of this position is one of the lowest underpaid men in the Government service, and that his services are practically indispensable to the bureau. If the bureau were to lose his services it would have an exceedingly hard time to find a man to take his place.
Disbursing clerk: The Census Bureau's draft of the bill provided a salary of $3,250 for the disbursing clerk. As it is necessary for this cfficer to pay for his bond, it is not believed that his net salary will be over $3,000 a year. In the last census his salary was fixed at $2,875, making an allowance of $375 for the payment of the premium on his bond. I might state that during the Twelfth Census—20 years ago—the disbursing clerk received a salary of $3,000 per annum.
I wish to call your attention to the fact that the disbursing clerk is only a temporary officer. We have no disbursing clerk at present. That position ends with the decennial period of three years. He is an exceedingly busy man, with a tremendous pay roll.
Senator SUTIIERLAND. All of the disbursements provided for in the act pass through his hands, and they must be properly vouchered?
Mr. Rogers. Yes, sir; and he is bonded at $100,000.
Appointment clerk: In the Census Bureau's draft of the bill the appointment clerk's salary was fixed at $3,000 per annum. During the Fourteenth Census period this officer will have supervision, subject to the authority of the director, over all matters pertaining to appointments, promotions, and transfers, and in addition will have in his charge the maintenance of all personnel records for the bureau's 4,000 employees. His duties will be exceedingly heavy and he will be required to work a great deal of overtime.
Chiefs of division: The Census Bureau's draft of the bill specified $2,500 each or the chiefs of division. During the Fourteenth Census period these officers will have charge of large numbers of employees, sometimes as many as 1,000. The positions require the services of persons possessing good administrative ability, tact, and a knowledge of the statistical work of the bureau. The bureau is having difficulty in retaining competent men at salaries less than $2,500 per annum. These officers will also be required to work an enormous amount of overtime. I might add that the salary of the position has remained unchanged since 1900.
Now, if there is any doubt in the minds of the committee that men of expert statistical ability, such as the statisticians in charge of these principal inquiries of the decennial census, can be retained at $3,000 a year, I want to respectfully make it known to you now that it is a most improbable thing—I believe an impossible thing
Senator King. You will have to get them outside of the draft
Mr. Rogers. Unfortunately for these gentlemen, they are past that age, and they have grown old in the service of statistics, and in the service of the Government. They are men outstanding in the Census Bureau, and they have families, and they are daily laboring over these intricate duties of statistics in the office on those salaries, when they can get from five to six thousand dollars a year elsewhere.
That is no exaggeration, gentlemen. If these men were to leave the bureau to-day, and if we should be forced to find men capable of holding these positions, such men would not consider a salary of less than $6,000 a year. These men here are working for $3,000 a year and have been offered more money in every one of these cases.
That is no exaggeration. I will give you an illustration, because I do want this committee to understand that I am in dead earnest about it.
Some time ago I asked a professor in one of the institutions, who has been connected with the Census Bureau's work more or less for some time, to help me do what we call a special piece of work, and I appointed him as an expert special agent-statistical work, however, of the character these gentlemen are turning out in our reports continuously. I got him at $8 a day by paying his expenses to and from the office, as he would come and go. He did an expert piece of work, a scientific piece of work, and I offered him a position in a place that we had at $8 a day as an expert statistical agent of the bureau. He laughed. He said to me: “Mr. Rogers, I did this for you because of my love for my profession, and because of the time that I might give to a piece of work of this character, and as a variation from what I might be doing in my college. I am getting more than $8 a day in the college. I have done work for the Government for which I received $25 a day, and when I work for the insurance companies they give me $100 a day."
Well, gentlemen, I felt almost reproached for having suggested to him that he should come to the Census Bureau at $8 a day. Now, that is the kind of men that I will have to secure as statisticians if we maintain a high character of work. It is an impossibility to hire men nowadays at $3,000 a year. That is a condition that I would like you gentlemen to know of before we meet that proposition.
Senator KING. Of course, Mr. Rogers, you must bear in mind that if the war should end—which we all sincerely pray it may within the next year or 18 months—there will be a great fall in salaries and wages. That will be inevitable. I know from my experience here in Washington that very frequently men who have been with the departments—I have no experience with your department—and finally feel, because of their ability, that they could do better in private activities, resigned and entered private life; and you will be encountered almost weekly, if not daily, with men coming back and endeavoring to secure their old positions.
Mr. Rogers. Senator, if you will allow me to
Senator King. One minute, please. Just let me add this: Secretary Lane was telling me not long ago of a similar experience. I went down to see him in behalf of a man who had formerly been in the law branch of his department for 8 or 10 years, and he went out and began the practice of law, and he came back and he was very anxious to be put back in the same position he held in the department at $2,400 or $2,500 a year. Secretary Lane told me that he had similar
experiences constantly. Mr. Rogers. If you will allow me to make this prediction, Senator, I will say, certainly with every sense of courtesy, that you will never see the day again when wages will be as low as they have
been salaries and wages.
You will never see the time in this country again that the cost of living will be as low as it has been, and I predict, after peace has been declared, in regard to which we join in the prayer, that there will be a revival of industry and enterprise, and every sound man can have work and plenty of it. Salaries may go back somewhat, but not to the old level.
Senator King. I agree with you there, and I think that the wages of the working people of the United States have been too low, and in manufacturing centers particularly. I agree with you that the wages of the working people have been too low.
Mr. Rogers. I will add to that that the producing forces of this country have never been paid enough for the products of the farm; that is, for corn and wheat and meat-that includes it all—have never been paid for on a proper basis. They may not be as high in the future as they are now, but the producer is going to have more, and the cost of living has to be made on a different basis than we have. I should go one step further than that and say that a certain class of men will be out of employment, perhaps, but men of high statistical ability can find employment now in industrial concerns who never heretofore have employed men that developed the value of statistics. They have begun now, and I could name a number of industries which are not only employing men of statistical ability, but are employing chemists and men of that character to make research all the time, and they are highly paid men, the highly paid men of which I speak earn more money than any other class.
Senator King. The thought I have in mind is this, that there is some sort of glamour in the service for the Government which impels the men to such an extent that they are glad to get positions at a less salary when working for the Government, first, because the hours for work are very satisfactory
Senator New. As you say, Senator, the glamour attracts the moth to the flame, and I think there is no man so unfortunate, perhaps, as the ordinary Government employee who comes down here to Washington, attracted by that glamour, and thinks that he is going to get into a job that brings with it great honor and distinction. He takes that job at a salary inadequate in the first place, and he holds it for the rest of his natural life. I think that is just what happens in this case that Senator King speaks of. He leaves eventually to go out into the world and try to establish himself as an attorney or in some other professional capacity. The trouble is that nobody has known him in any such capacity, and nobody wants him, and he has not done anything for years in the way of establishing himself, and after a while he has to come back. He may go back to the State from which he came, but he can not do anything there, for nobody remembers him, and if he is not a pitiable object I do not know of anything that is.
Senator King. There is something attractive in the fact that he will have a position for life, and that the compensation is fixed, and that he is never out of a job, but he stays there as long as he lives.
Senator New. He thinks that he never need worry, but, on the contrary, he needs always to worry.
Mr. ROGERS. Before I leave-
Mr. Rogers. Yes; it is a little off from the subject, but it is very interesting.
This is one matter that I feel very much concerned about, and I can not leave it without taking full advantage of the privilege of making it strong and as plain as I can. I would like to know that the committee unanimously appreciates the situation, and I want to make just one or two more remarks about this salary question. Then I shall drop it if you see proper for me to do so.
The salaries proposed in this bill and in this statement that I make, in column 3, beginning with column 3, are not too much. If the employees were required to accept exactly the amount of money that is provided for their salaries at this time and the law governing employment, working the same number of hours, the overtime that these gentlemen would work would be more than the salaries I ask for them, and if it were practicable for me to do so I would submit this proposition, to let these men be paid on an hourly basis at the same rate which is paid them and the rate you have been paying them for the past 20 years, and if the number of hours were taken into consideration and the figures tabulated in these reports it would mean more money than is stated here in the bill.
Now, that is one proposition. It is not an increase when you measure the time and duty that they have to perform, and that does not take into account a general increase in salaries or the high cost of living, and it does not even take into account the amount they must pay on the income-tax return. It does not take that into account at all.
Now, then, if you fail to do that in this bill, I wish to say you have again added to the difficulties which we will encounter in taking the next census. It is going to be difficult enough anyway. Men are going to be very scarce. Our man power in this country is questionable. The women and the elder men and the boys must be retained in the service. We want just as few handicaps as possible, gentlemen.
Now, if it is possible to be liberal in this respect, let us retain the technical, scientific, highly educated men that are in the bureau and use them as the nucleus for the entire force necessary in the taking of the next census. They are the nucleus from which the entire force of 85,000 or 90,000 must be made for taking the entire census. Do not handicap me so that I will be compelled to change men right in the midst of this difficult work that I have got to do.
In connection with that I want to say—and then I am going to stop—that I try to be liberal with the employees that are faithful and good and efficient. When the war boards and these new commissions were created, and when they were tendered better places at from 50 per cent increase to 300 per cent increase, I consented to their going. I immediately lost practically 25 per cent of my force, and then I did stop it. And now I am retaining a great many men, you might say, against their will, because the Census Bureau, as a matter of fact, is on a lower salary scale than any other bureau in the Government service, as will be seen from the following statement contained in the last annual report of the Secretary of Commerce:
As explained in my last two reports, the Census Bureau labors under a great handicap by reason of its low average salary scale, which is causing many members of its force, including some of the most capable ones, to leave for more lucrative employment elsewhere, both within and without the Government service. The extent of this handicap will be more readily understood and its seriousness will be more thoroughly appreciated when it is stated that out of the 563 official, clerical, and subclerical positions on the statutory roll of the Bureau, only 98, or 17.4 per cent, pay salaries in excess of $1,200 per annum, whereas in the other bureaus of the department, considered as a whole, 39.9 per cent of the positions pay salaries higher than that figure. Furthermore, in 1912 (the latest year for which data are available) 36.1 per cent of the positions in all of the Executive departments combined, exclusive of those in the Bureau of the Census, carried rates of compensation greater than $1,200 per annum. That is to say, the proportion of the Census force which receives more than $1,200 per annum is less than half as great as the corresponding proportion for the remainder of the Department of Commerce and is aslo less than half as great as was the corresponding proportion in the remaining bureaus of all the departments combined five years ago.
Senator SUTHERLAND. How many chief statisticians have you on the permanent force?
Mr. Rogers. I have five, and I want one more, making six. The salaries have been provided for the present force. Now, then, I would like to say that some of those—I will
--say for instance a division chief, for whom I am asking $2,500 here; he was working at $2.000. He asked me to let him go. He was a good division chief. He went to the Shipping Board at $3,000 a year. That is a 50 per cent increase. In six months I am informed he was getting $5,000 a year, and to-day he is getting $6,000 a year.
Senator King. Who pays that?
Mr. Rogers. The Shipping Board, the Emergency Fleet Corporation. It is the Emergency Fleet Corporation that he is with.
Another illustration: I had a man engaged on accounts. I gave him $1,800, a salary which was the salary prescribed by statute, and I could not give him any more. He has gone to the Council of National Defense and he got $2,500. To-day he is getting $1,000.
Now, gentlemen, that is disturbing the Census Bureau, as you may well imagine. That is a great statistical office that ought to be maintained at the highest standard, because they are men of the highest standard, compared with any of the men employed in Government service, and if it is allowed to depreciate and disintegrate, why, you will soon have no bureau.
Senator New. The experience of the Census Bureau is that of every other bureau of the Government. They all seem to be pitted against each other, and every one of them suffers as a result of the competition thus afforded. And that is not confined alone to bureaus and departments. Take my own case. Some of my own employees have been taken away from my office by other departments of the Government.
Mr. ROGERS. I am making these remarks, gentlemen, to do my duty as a director of the great statistical bureau, in which nobody can do the work except highly qualified men, and if the standard' is to be maintained competent officers must be retained. Men must be paid for what they are capable of doing. I could recite many instances of that kind where men have gone from the bureau and have never come back. I will mention one; I do not think that I will be too personal in the matter in doing so. I had a chief statistician of inanufactures, one of those men that I am referring to here now and for whom I am asking $4,000. He was working for $3,000 a year for the Census Bureau, and the Tariff Commission wanted him. He