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by the Civil Service Commission open to all applicants, selection to be made in the order of rating. It is this provision which has been altered in section 7 of the present bill so as to restore the spoils system.
It can not be claimed that the Civil Service Commission can not furnish the necessary eligibles. Its president, Mr. McIlhenny, in his letter to Congressman Robbins, of June 22, 1918, says it" is amply able to do the work.” (See Cong. Record, p. 8955.)
Senator New. Mr. Foulke, right at that point, I want to say that I am pretty much in sympathy with this idea of having these appointments made by the civil service. I know very well that there have been abuses in times past, I presume by both parties--I am willing to admit that they were made by my party, as far as that goes.
But we have gotten away from the old order now. But I am just a little bit doubtful as to the ability of the Civil Service Commission to furnish the requisite number of employees the next time we take the census, by reason of the disturbed conditions, the abnormal conditions created by the war, and I want you to enlarge a little upon this reply, this general reply of Mr. McIlhenny here, in which he says in this letter to Congressman Robbins that the commission “is amply able to do the work." That is his opinion, or he would not have so stated; but it is my opinion that when the Civil Service Commission finds itself called upon to certify anything like 75,000 or 80,000 more employees next time, that they are going to find the same difficulties in supplying them that other people are finding in getting competent help, and I am a little bit curious to know upon what that opinion is based; that is, if it is anything more than just a mere opinion, or if he has made any investigation or has any reason to believe that the commission will find it an easy matter to supply employees to that extent.
Mr. FOULKE. Well, in regard to the furnishing of the employees or men for enumerators, there are 85,000 of them, and in regard to that question of enumerators there is no great difficulty because it provides that the supervisor appointed by the system set out, that they may be appointed, and if you get the supervisors all right, the question of enumerators will take care of itself. If you have nonpartisan supervisors, you will get nonpartisan enumerators.
Senator NEW. That point I do not get clearly in my mind. It is your idea to have the supervisors appointed by the Civil Service Commission?
Mr. FOULKE. Yes, sir.
Senator New. And then you would leave the supervisors free in the selection of the enumerators ?
Mr. FOULKE. I would be personally perfectly content to adopt that plan. I think that it is a practical plan. The brief says that the President can at any time appoint them by the discretion of the supervisors. That is mentioned in the brief. I believe myself that the best plan is to make the supervisors nonpolitical, and put them in for merit and merit only, and let them appoint the enumerators in their own way. That will leave out the subject of clerks of above 4,500 and special agents, perhaps five or six thousand of them.
Mr. FITZGERALD. The clerks will be under the civil-service law.
Mr. ROGER. All of the clerks, except the chief statistician, and the private secretary to the director and the appointment clerk and
disbursing clerk are under the civil service-I am not interrupting I hope in saying this—but the ones complained of, or the thing complained of is the great number of employees known as enumerators. There are 70,000 people in that division known as enumerators. If you transfer the appointment of those to the supervisor, it is exactly what we have done in the bill, except that the supervisor has not taken a competitive examination. I do not think that it would make any difference as to the politics
Senator New. But Mr. Foulke does not recommend that the supervisor be appointed as a result of an examination.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Foulke, you have a few moments left. Have you anything else that you think should be added ?
Mr. FOULKE. Well, I will come to a conclusion.
Past experience shows beyond a doubt that the grossest abuses, frauds, inaccuracies, corruption, and extravagance have followed every exemption of census employees from the provisions of the civil-service law.
The present bill is in many respects, as already shown, more objectionable than any previous bill.
There is no legitimate reason for appointing the employees under this bill without civil-service examination, for (a) the Civil Service Commission states that it is able and ready to fill the places by examination; (b) in case of an emergency requiring examination to be waived, the President has full authority to suspend the civil-service law, and in fact he has within recent months done so, notably in the cases of the Food and Fuel Administrations and the United States Employment Service.
Repeated experience shows that while plausible reasons can always be found for including exemptions in a census act, the real motive is always to be found in the opportunity thus given for patronage and spoils. At the present moment, when “politics is adjourned," and the country expects public considerations only to prevail, the passage of the census bill with patronage provisions would be a national disgrace.
Now, I want to add just one little consideration, and that is this:
The President has declared that “politics is adjourned,” and by common consent it was determined after the outbreak of the war that there should be no legislation, except that which was necessary to promote the efficiency of America in this great struggle. War measures were to be the only things considered. It is particularly unseemly that at such a time when every energy of our country must be devoted to the supreme purpose of winning the war, a political measure of any sort should be introduced in Congress to be passed by a party vote, but most unseemly of all the main purpose of such measure is to provide means to return the party to power. The bill as drawn will provide more than 100,000 places for the political supporters of the dominant party and enable an army of 85,000 enumerators in the year of the presidential election to permeate every home, farm, and manufactory and make such use of the opportunity as it is calculated to furnish to secure the political result desired.
The bill was introduced far earlier than had ever been done before, at least in recent times. The Census Committee began a consideration of the subject on February 20, nearly two years before the
enumeration was to begin and continued its sessions until April 10 (see Record, p. 8903, also H. Rept. 589). The bill from the committee was introduced on the 8th of May, reported on May 21, and pressed to immediate consideration as a privileged matter before it could even be known what ought to be the proper scope of a census in time of war if anything more were done than a mere enumeration of the inhabitants. We do not yet know what the census most needs to inquire about. The time of taking the census, too, is advanced. Last time it was taken on April 1; before that in June, and now it is advanced to January 1. Previous census bills only antedated the census period by a few months, and the last census bill passed in 1909 became a law on the 2d of July, just at the beginning of the three years' census period. This was indeed later than it should have been. But now we are beginning a whole year in advance of that period, which begins next July. Is it not a reasonable inference from this premature proceeding that the reason for it was to forestall the possibility of not being able to pass the law at the present session and having to go over to the next Congress, when changed political conditions might make it difficult to pass a bill providing extensive spoils for the party in power? If that is not the reason, why does the Democratic majority by a party vote insist on retaining the spoils features of the present bill? January 1 was said to be adopted as the time for the enumeration to meet the requirement of the agricultural census, since the 15th of April was declared to be a bad time to take the census of crops and live stock, and yet the representative of the Agricultural Department testifying before the committee (see p. 247, Hearing before Census Committee, Cong. Rec., p. 8821), declared that January 1 was pretty nearly the worst possible date on which to take a live-stock census. Does it not seem evident that the purpose of the haste is to make sure of the plunder? And this at the time of our great war!
Here is another indication of that purpose: The appointment of the census supervisors is taken away from the President, to whom it had been given in the previous laws, and the reason given is because at the time of their appointment (next July) there would probably be no Senate in session to confirm them, as if it were not evident to all that the Senate will be in practically continuous session until the war is over. The number of these supervisors, all places of political patronage, are increased from 330 to 400, increased twice as much as in the period from 1900 to 1910. Was it not natural in regard to such a bill that it required a strict party vote to advance it upon the calendar and a party vote to defeat the amendment to restrict its objects, and a party vote to provide that the power of appointing supervisors should be taken from the President and placed in the hands of subordinate Democratic politicians?
But in spite of the enormous political machine which can be thus organized, can any party afford to go before the people with such a record at such a time as this? Will not the passage of this bill actually cripple the efforts of that party to demand on far worthier grounds the suffrages of the people?
The CHAIRMAN. Is that all, Mr. Foulke?
(Thereupon, at 1.03 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned until 10.30 o'clock a. m., September 11, 1918.)
CENSUS BILL, 1919.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 1918.
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committee met pursuant to adjournment at 10.30 o'clock a. m., in the Committee Room, Capitol, Senator Morris Sheppard presiding
Present: Senators Sheppard (chairman), New, and Sutherland.
Also present: Hon. Sam. L. Rogers, director of the Census Bureau; T. J. Fitzgerald, chief clerk of the Census Bureau; W. L. Austin, chief statistician of the Division of Agriculture, Cotton, and Tobacco, Census Bureau; C. S. Sloane, geographer of the Census Bureau; F. L.
Sanford, acting chief statistician of the Division of Manufactures, · Census Bureau; J. A. Hill, expert special agent in charge of the Division of Revision and Results of the Census Bureau.
The committee thereupon resumed the consideration of the bill (H. R. 11981) to provide for the fourteenth and subsequent decennial censuses.
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. Director Rogers, of the Census Bureau, is with us again this morning, and we will be very glad to have him continue his testimony.
STATEMENT OF HON. SAM. L. ROGERS, DIRECTOR OF THE CENSUS
Mr. Rogers. If the chairman pleases, I think it will be in order for me to deal with the protest of Mr. Foulke, the chairman of the National Civil Service Reform League.
The CHAIRMAN. We will be very glad to have any light that you can throw on that phase of the subject.
Mr. Rogers. Upon the suspension of the hearings yesterday of the committee, Mr. William Dudley Foulke, chairman of the Census Committee of the National Civil Service Reform League, asked to be heard in protest made by that committee against the fourteenth census bill as it passed the House of Representatives.
I listened to the protest with interest, hoping that some suggestion would be made whereby, if adopted, the work of the next census might be facilitated or made more thorough. I was impressed, however, from what Mr. Foulke had to say that he was hypercritical of the bill under consideration in that he seemed to fear that it provided for legislation that might bring the evil results which he alleged were wrought in the administration of the legislation of former censuses by partisanship and the spoils system, practices which have
long since been disapproved and at this time would not be tolerated. It is my opinion that there is a general sentiment for higher standards and greater efficiency in the public service. My experience as Director of the Census for over three years confirms me in this belief.
During this period I have yet to have the first Senator or Representative in the Congress of the United States ask the appointment or promotion of a constituent or friend on account of party service, without regard to efficiency or fitness for the work.
I have time and again been told, when requests of this kind were made, that if the appointee was not maintaining a high standard of efficiency in the Government service, I was not to consider the recommendation.
The bill under consideration is based upon the report of a nonpartisan committee, who were highly qualified on account of their experience in census taking and their knowledge of the value of statistics and the importance of their accuracy, and is an expression of their best thought with this end in view and without a single thought of evasion of the civil-service laws or partisanship. The bill is very similar to the existing act, under which the Thirteenth Census was taken, and is progressive in respect to civil-service laws.
I do not clearly understand whether the National Civil Service Reform League recommends the classification of the enumerators referred to in the bill, who constitute about 85,000 of the appointees provided for, but, if so, I should like to say that to do so would be unprecedented and at this time inopportune. It would be an experiment without justification and would, I believe, be impracticable and unnecessary. All of the additional clerks provided for in this bill are to be appointed after examination and certification by the Civil Service Commission in the regular manner.
The following statement may be of assistance in the discussion of the sections of the bill referred to in the protest made by the league:
Section 7. Appointment of clerks and other employees: The league protests that under section 7 of the Fourteenth Census bill, which provides for the additional clerks and other employees of the Fourteenth Census force, all of such positions are placed on a patronage basis. This protest, I must say, rather astonished me, as the section specifically prescribes special-test examinations by the United States Civil Service Commission for all the additional clerks and other employees provided for by section 6 of the bill. If the positions were to be filled through patronage it would be ridiculous to have the Civil Service Commission hold special-test examinations and certify the eligibles thus obtained to the Bureau of the Census. In recommending that section 7 be amended to read as it now stands in the Fourteenth Census bill, the committee, composed of bureau officials which I appointed to consider legislation for the Fourteenth Decennial Census, made the following statement :
“Section 7 of the Thirteenth Census act provided that the eligible register should be furnished the director and the selections therefrom made by him. This requirement of law made it necessary not only for the Census Bureau to establish a register of its own, in card form, based on the register furnished by the Civil Service Commission, but also to calculate the quotas of the several States under the apportionment and to make the proper charges against these quotas as eligibles were appointed. This required a great deal of detail work of a kind which is properly the function of the Civil Service Commission, and it was for the purpose of relieving the Census Bureau of this work that the second sentence of section 7 was amended as above indicated so as to provide that certifications shall be made by the Civil Service Commission in the usual and regular way.”