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said, “No; I would not leave Mr. Rogers and the Census Bureau for $1,000. I have great regard for Mr. Rogers and I love my work. I grew up in it and I have been trained in it.” They gave him $4,500 and he left. He is getting $5,000 to-day. He has left his associates, the other three men, behind. They are pegging away at $3,000. It is useless to go on, but I could give you many other instances.
Senator King. We appreciate that what you say is absolutely true, and I think that the way these bureaus have acted is indefensible. I have offered an amendment to many of these bills creating the new organizations to the effect that they shall not be engaged in that sort of work, but in only one instance have I been able to keep the amendment in the bill as it passed the Senate.
Mr. Rogers. This matter must have attention.
Senator SUTHERLAND. But you can not keep good men from resigning. Their pay is inadequate. You can not keep them from resigning when they get a higher rate of pay elsewhere.
Mr. ROGERS. This 25 per cent that I am referring to has not all gone to the Government service. I had a classifier of the causes of death. He is a man capable of working in insurance offices—that is, for insurance companies. He did not go into the service of the Government, but went to New York and went to work for an insurance company, where he got twice as much as he was getting.
I feel that it is my duty to tell you about that. When I lose a chief clerk at $2,500, as has been stated at different times, it would be a far better thing—it would be a very poor trade for the Government to save $1,500 in the salary for the men than that I let such a man go.
Now, gentlemen, all I am asking here is that the principal officers be recognized. They form the nucleus around which the vast army of men is working.
The CHAIRMAN. It is quite evident, Mr. Rogers, that you can not finish this morning, and Hon. William Dudley Foulke, the chairman of the census committee of the National Civil Service Reform League, is here to be heard, and I think it would be well to have you suspend and come back to-morrow morning. How long will it take you to make such a statement, Mr. Foulke?
Mr. FOULKE. I should think about half an hour, Mr. Chairman. Of course, if there is any cross-examination or anything of that sort, it would be somewhat longer.
Mr. Rogers. I would be very glad myself to suspend in order to give Mr. Foulke an opportunity to be heard.
The CHAIRMAN. Will you be here to-morrow morning then?
The CHAIRMAN. I presume that we had better have Mr. Rogers discontinue at present, and when we conclude with Mr. Foulke we will adjourn to meet to-morrow morning at 10.30.
Mr. Rogers. I am very pleased to suspend, and I am certainly pleased to know that you are going to have a continuous session, for I think it is very important that this bill should be disposed of at this session.
The CHAIRMAN. You will be here then to-morrow morning?
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM DUDLEY FOULKE.
Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, I appear as the representative of the National Civil Service Reform League, to discuss certain features of this bill on account of the distribution of political patronage which is involved in it. This is a pamphlet which I will submit here, and while it is headed “A Protest against the Census Bill” it is not intended as a protest against the whole bill at all.
We have nothing to say either for or against the proposition of taking a census at the present time, but the reason I am here is because I have acted as chairman of the committee of the National Civil Service Reform League, which had under consideration the operation of the census of 1890 and 1900, and in making inquiries in regard to the census of 1910 I have had an opportunity to find out what the results have been of certain provisions which were practically the same as those contained in the present proposed census. There are certain unfortunate clauses which will undoubtedly lead this bill to disastrous results. The fact is that there will be employed, under this census bill, field men to the number of 80,000 to 85,000—that is, census enumerators—and 4,500 special experts, and 3,500 of which have to do with temporary clerical affairs, making a total number of men not far from 100,000, and everyone of those employees, with the exception of 15 statistical experts and 4 stenographers, are patronage appointments, which will be inevitably appointments under the spoils system of political parties.
I want to call your attention particularly to section 3 of this bill. You will find this at page 2, lines 19 to 23.
The chief statistician, the disbursing clerk, the appointment clerk, the chiefs of divisions, and the private secretary to the director shall be appointed without examination by the Secretary of Commerce upon the recommendtaion of the Director of the Census.
The effect of this is to make all these positions subject to patronage. Those appointments are made upon the recommendation of the Director of the Census, and very naturally they will inevitably be distributed among the Congressmen and will be congressional political appointments from political recommendations. As I say, the effect of this is to make all of these positions subject to patronage.
Now, section 6, you will find on page 5, lines 3 to 14:
That the additional clerks and other employees provided for by section 6 shall be subject to such special class of examinations as the Director of the Census may prescribe, the said examinations to be conducted by the United States Civil Service Commission, to be open to all applicants without regard to political party affiliations, and to be held at such places in each State as may be designated by the Civil Service Commission. Certifications shall be made by the Civil Service Commission upon request of the Director of the Census from the eligible registers so established in conformity with the law of apportionment as now provided for the classified service, in the order of
Senator SUTHERLAND. Where are you reading?
Mr. FOULKE. Page 5, section 7, at the beginning of that section. I call your attention particularly to the following paragraph:
Certifications shall be made by the Civil Service Commission upon request of the Director of the Census from the eligible registers so established, in conformity with the law of apportionment as now provided for the classified service in the order of rating.
Now, on the face of it, that looks as if it was intended to appoint them in the order of rating; but, if you will compare that with the census law passed July 2, 1909, you will find that the essential words are left out. The law of 1909 provided that the appointment must be made from those who are graded the highest. That has been left out.
Section 7 in the law of 1909 provided that:
Copies of the eligible register, so established, and the examination papers of all eligibles shall be furnished to the Director of the Census by the Civil Service Commission and selection therefrom shall be made by the Director of the Census in conformity with the law of apportionment as now provided for the classification in the order of rating.
But the proposed law provides that: Certification shall be made by the Civil Service Commission upon request of the Director of the Census from the eligible registers so established, in conformity with the law of apportionment as now provided for the classified service in the order of the rating.
The words "selection therefrom shall be made" in the order of the rating have been omitted. Of course, the certification is always made from the Civil Service Commission, and is always made in the order of the rating. Now the certification shall be asked for by the Director of the Census, and under that wording he may certify the whole list of eligibles, and the appointments may be made at his discretion. The words " selection shall be made by the director” are omitted. He may direct the entire eligible list to be certified and select from it, for political and personal reasons, the particular individuals he may desire. This is patronage, the only limit being that the men appointed must pass the examination prescribed by the director himself, the questions of which may be made as easy as he chooses—that is, substantially the patronage of the entire clerical force of the Census Department. The experience of two censuses show disaster, and that was omitted in the law of 10 years ago, but it is now restored. That, I say, is wrong. Thus even the census clerks, who by the law of 1909 were in the competitive service, become subject to patronage. Mr. Helm, chairman of the House Census Committee, in his analysis of the bill before the House (Cong. Rec., p. 8816), refers to the change as follows:
Section 7, change in method of making certification by the Civil Service Commission so as to relieve the Census Bureau of certain detail work properly belonging to the Civil Service Commission.
Here there is nothing to show this vital change from the competitive to the patronage system. The House of Representatives evidently misunderstood this section, for it was repeatedly stated in the debates that these census clerks are still under the civil-service rules.
Thus Mr. Aswell, a member of the Census Committee, says (Cong. Rec., p. 8955):
All of the employees of the Census Bureau are now under the civil service and this bill provides that those employed in the bureau shall be under the civil service.
It is to be remarked that the draft of the proposed bill containing this change was prepared in the office of the Hon. Sam. L. Rogers, Director of the Census, who personally appeared before the House
Census Committee and asked that the bill be favorably reported. (Record, 8903, 8904.) All the appointments under this section will be controlled by him.
Now, that is not the fact. If those essential words were put in, that the appointments shall be made in the order of the rating, then it will be the same as the census bill of 10 years ago, but this bill leaves out those words, and the House of Representatives evidently misunderstood the significance of it, because it had been turned over from the competitive system to the patronage system, that old system which exitsed up to 1910. We say that the appointments ought to go to the fittest men, and should be determined by the competitive examination.
Senator SUTHERLAND. Do you believe that an examination is always the test for the fitness of men in this work?
Mr. FOULKE. Well, I mean to say that it is a great deal better test than the discretionary appointments, which inevitably show, as I shall show hereafter, they are inevitably controlled by political considerations, and they are not controlled by the question of the fitness of the applicant for the office he seeks. If you will allow me to follow this in a little further I will show you the experience that I have had in this matter.
By section 7 the director may appoint, for not exceeding six months' duration, persons having previous experience in operating mechanical appliances whose records in operating such appliances are satisfactory to him, and may accept such records in lieu of the civil-service examination. This makes these places also patronage appointments. The 60 days' period provided by section 7, Census law of 1909, is extended to six months.
Now, the law of 10 years ago—under that law the period was 60 days. Now it is extended to six months. Experience has shown that every extension of those periods has resulted in political appointments.
Now comes perhaps the most vital feature of all. It has relation to the appointment of 400 supervisors, who are subject to patronage, by section 9 of the bill.
By section 9 of the bill it is provided that the supervisors of the Census shall be appointed by the Secretary of Commerce upon the recommendation of the director, the whole number not exceeding 400.
This makes these places also patronage appointments; and by section 10 each supervisor is to designate to the director suitable persons and with his consent to employ such persons as enumerators.
By former bills the supervisors were appointed by the President, with the consent of the Senate, and now the appointments are to be made by the director.
The Director of Census is a political appointee. Whatever security was given against the appointment of politicians by the fact that such appointments were made by the President and discussed in the Senate is now lost. Political appointments for the places are certain to occur.
You will find that on page 10 that the number shall not exceed 400-I should say by section 10.
The number of enumerators will be 85,000. The supervisors, being patronage appointees, will naturally and inevitably appoint enumerators on a political and patronage basis.
By section 18 of the bill it is provided that special agents may be appointed by the director to receive compensation at rates to be fixed by him. There is no provision that they shall be chosen by competitive methods, and the provision in section 19 that all applicants shall be examined and appointed solely with reference to their fitness and without reference to party affiliations has been proved by repeated experience to be entirely valueless.
The result is, if these provisions are retained, that the entire census force is consigned to the system of patronage and political spoils, except 15 statistical experts and 4 stenographers.
Now, the previous experience under these patronage appointments in the two censuses of 1890 and 1900 was extremely disastrous in the character of the employees selected, the extravagance of the work in the lack of the accuracy and public credit given to the census. The result of the work under such a system is discredited even in advance of the enumeration, for if the party in power has a free choice between a nonpolitical and a political agency for taking the census, and chooses the latter, composed of officials of its own political faith, the presumption is against the fairness of a census so taken. The results will reflect the bias of those who take it. And even if it were fair, many would not believe it to be fair. And if at the close of the work inaccuracies are shown, resulting to the advantage of the party by which it is taken, the work is sure to be attributed to political manipulation.
Now, that thing has actually occurred, as we have seen.
In the census of 1890 the employees were selected without competition. As the supervisors were appointed by political methods, naturally the appointment of enumerators became a matter of political patronage. Republican Members of Congress nominated great numbers. Sometimes the Democratic Members procured the appointment of a few, but the great mass were Republican. In many places the enumerators were instructed by the supervisors and others to do political work.
Thus Supervisor Douglas in New York wrote to his enumerators:
As it is of the utmost importance that a Republican Member of Congress be elected in this distriet I shall feel personally obligated if, on the day of the election, you will work specially for Benjamin F. Williams for Republican candidate.
Senator SUTHERLAND. Was not that a month after the enumeration had taken place? The election was in November, and the census was taken as of the 1st day of June, and the enumerations had taken place, had they not?
Mr. FOULKE. No.
Senator SUTHERLAND. The elections were held in November, but the enumeration was made in the preceding June. These men were out of the Government employ at that time, were they not?
Mr. FOULKE. I infer from this that they were in the Government employ.
Senator SUTHERLAND. This is evidently written just before election time, and the census was taken in June, and the enumeration was done in two weeks in the cities and a month in the rural districts, so this was really months after the enumeration, and that letter was a letter to a man who had been associated with them and was purely a personal matter, and he had no control over that data whatever.