Page images
PDF
EPUB

Senator New. Let me ask you a question right there. In his testimony of yesterday, Mr. Foulke said:

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 ('ensus by the Civil Service Commission and selections therefrom shall be made by the Director of the Census in conformity of the law of apportionment as now provided for the classified service 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 shall be made by the director” are omitted. He may direct the entire eligible list to be certitieel and select from it for political and personal reasons the particular individuals he may desire. This is patronage, the only limit being that the man appointed must pass the examination prescribed by the director himself, the questions of which may be made as easy as he chooses.

Of course, I do not know if there is any need of encumbering the record with all of that.

The CHAIRMAN. Yes; let us have the whole idea.

Senator New. The idea being, of course, that the order of precedence, as established by the examination, is not to govern those appointments; that is, if a man passes with a grade of 70 he may be away down on the list, and he may be preferred to a man who passes with a grade of 85, and he may be preferred notwithstanding the fact that there may be several hundred applicants above the 70-grade man. What have you to say as that condition?

Mr. Rogers. I believe that my further remarks will answer your question, if you will permit me to continue with my statement.

Senator New. I thought that you were through with that particular subject.

Mr. ROGERS. No. It certainly was the full intention to make the selections in accordance with the law of apportionment and in the order of rating, as was done at the preceding census. In order to meet the objection raised, however, I shall be very glad to have the committee insert after the word "service” and before the words “ in the order of rating,” in line 22, page 5, section 7, the words “and selections therefrom shall be made by the Director of the Census."

Now, if there is any difference between us, I can not appreciate it.

Senator New. That would seem to meet that objection very well, I should think.

Mr. Rogers. Yes; it seems to me that will show good faith.

Section 9, appointment of supervisors. Section 9 of the bill as originally suggested by the bureau and as passed by the House provides for the appointment of the supervisors by the Secretary of Commerce upon the recommendation of the Director of the Census. The Thirteenth Census act provided for the appointment of supervisors by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. It has been charged by the National Civil Service Reform League that this change places these appointments on a patronage basis. The reasons given by the Census Bureau Committee in recommending this proposed change in the method of appointing supervisors are as follows:

“ This change has been introduced mainly for the reason that the Senate, in all probability, will not be in session at the time when the appointment of supervisors must be made. The next census, if the law is amended in accordance with the recommendations of this committee, will be taken in January, 1920. The present Congress will expire March 4, 1919, and the next Congress will normally not meet until December of that year. But the supervisors should be selected and commissioned between July 1, 1919, the date on which the bureau is organized on the decennial-census basis, and October 1, or 90 days before the date of the census."

In this connection I wish to invite attention to the fact that Congress was not in session when the supervisors for the Thirteenth Census were appointed. They were given recess appointments during the months of August, September, and October, 1909, and the appointments were not confirmed by the Senate until January and February, 1910. In fact, in a few cases the recess appointments failed of confirmation. As the bill which passed the House provides for the enumeration as of January 1, 1920, the supervisors, if appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate, would have begun, and in some cases practically completed, their work before their appointments would be confirmed by the Senate, unless the Senate happened to be sitting in extra session when the time came for the appointment of the supervisors for the next census.

And I could add that the appointment in every case would not in any way qualify one under the civil-service law. The selection of supervisors is largely on account of their business capacity; in other words, their business capacity to organize the work and force in a district that usually conforms to the congressional district, to come in contact with enumerators under him, to be able to see that the enumeration is done accurately and well, and then to see that the returns of the enumerators are properly made and transmitted to the Census Office. The personal knowledge of those men by any source that we may resort to is for the purpose of finding that they are men of character, that they have the respect of the community or the district in which they work, and to facilitate the appointment, which is done in that way.

Then the Senate is in session, the objection in some degree is overcome. Ilowever, there will be much delay in the selection of these men if they are appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate, for the reasons which I have heretofore stated; it will hinder the organization to appoint them in that way, and there would be more delay than is usual on account of the abnormal conditions that may exist at that time. I think

Senator New. Tell me, how are census enumerators paid-on what basis?

Mr. Rogers. There is more than one way of paying them.

Senator New. That is just what I want to know. That is not entirely clear in my mind, just how they are paid.

Mr. Rogers. Section 16, on page 15 of the bill provides for their compensation, as follows:

“That the compensation of enumerators shall be determined by the Director of the Census as follows: In subdivisions where he shall deem such remuneration sufficient, an allowance of not less than 2 nor more than 4 cents for each inhabitant; not less than 20 nor more than 30 cents for each establishment of productive industry reported; not less than 20 nor more than 30 cents for each farm reported; not less than 20 nor more than 50 cents for each irrigation or drainage enterprise reported; and 10 cents for each barn and inclosure containing live stock not on farms. In other subdivisions the Director of the Census may fix a mixed rate of not less than $1 nor more than $2 per day and in addition, an allownace of not less than 1 nor more than 3 cents for each inhabitant enumerated, and lot less than 15 nor more than 20 cents for each farm and each establishment of productive industry reported. In other subdivisions per diem rates shall be fixed by the director according to the difficulty of enumeration, having special reference to the regions to be canvassed and the sparsity of settlement or other considerations pertinent thereto. The compensation allowed to an enumerator in any such district shall not be less than $3 nor more than $6 per day of eight hours' actual field work and no payment shall be made for time in excess of eight hours for any one day. The subdivisions or enumeration districts to which the several rates of compensation shall apply shall be designated by the Director of the Census at least two weeks in advance of the enumeration. No claim for mileage or traveling expenses shall be allowed any enumerator in either class of subdivisions, except in extreme cases, and then only when authority has been previously granted by the Director of the Census; and the decision of the director as to the amount due any enumerator shall be final."

The CHAIRMAN. Proceed, Mr. Rogers.

Mr. Rogers. Section 10. Appointment of enumerators: Under the heading “Merit appointments are practicable,” at page 16 of its brief, the National Civil Service League takes the position that it is practicable to appoint the enumerators as a result of a civil. service examination. I believe that the league is mistaken in its position in this matter, as I do not feel that it is practicable or feasible to select enumerators who will only work two weeks to a month as a result of a civil-service examination. Mr. Foulke admitted this himself in his verbal statement before the committee yesterday. No criticism is made in the brief filed by the National Civil Service Reform League to the census of 1910, nor is any attack made on the law under which that census was taken. The Fourteenth Census bill passed by the House is very similar to that act.

Section 18. Appointment of special agents: In the last paragraph on page 7 of the league's brief comment is made on the appointment of special agents.

A number of changes were recommended in section 18, but the method of appointing special agents remains the same in the Fourteenth Census bill passed by the House as in the Thirteenth Census act. The only provision contained in this section that can be construed as having any bearing on this matter is the following:

No pay or allowance in lieu of subsistence shall be allowed special agents when employed in the Census Office on other than the special work committed to them, and no appointments of special agents shall be made for clerical work.

The wording of this proviso is precisely the same as in the Thirteenth Census act.

In conclusion permit me to state that the chief consideration which governed the drafting of the proposed Fourteenth Census bill was the desirability of obtaining legislation which would facilitate as much as possible and hamper as little as possible the prompt and efficient taking of the coming census.

They put very heavy penalties in this bill, if you will observe, for making fraudulent returns, etc.

Section 18 reads:

That special agents may be appointed by the Director of the Census to carry out the provisions of this act to provide for a permanent Census Office, approved March sixth, nineteen hundred and two, and acts amendatory thereof or supplemental thereto; and such special agents shall perform such duties in connection with the enforcement of said acts as may be required of them by the Director of the Census. The special agents thus appointed shall receive compensation at rates to be fixed by the Director of the Census, such coinpensation, however, not to exceed $6 per diem, except as hereinafter provided : Provided, That during the decennial census period the 'Director of the Census may fix the compensation of not to exceed twenty-five special agents, who shall be persons of known and tried experience in statistical work, at an amount not to exceed $10 per diem: Provided further, that the Director of the Census may, in his discretion fix the compensation of special agents on a piece-price basis without limitation as to the amount earned per diem: And provided further, That the special agents appointed under this section shall be entitled to necessary traveling expenses and an, allowance in lieu of subsistence not to exceed $4 per diem during necessary absence from their usual places of residence; but no pay or allowance in lieu of subsistence shall be allowed special agents when employed in the Ceusus Ofiice on other than the special work committed to them, and no appointments of special agents shall be made for clerical work: And provided further, That the Director of the Census shall have power, and is hereby authorized, to appoint special agents to assist the supervisors whenever he may deem it proper, in connection with the work of preparation for, or during the progress of, the enumeration or in connection with the reenumeration of any district or a part thereof; or he may, in his discretion, employ for this purpose any of the permanent or temporary employees of the Census Office; and the special agents and employees of the Census Office as appointed or employed shall perform such duties in connection with the enforcement of this act as may be required of them by the Director of the Census or by the supervisors of the districts to which they are assigned, and when engaged in the work of enumeration or reenumeration shall have like authority with and perform the same duties as the enumerators in respect to the subjects committed to them under this act.

The value of a prompt publication of the results of the census is most appreciated by the public, and adds much to the value of the statistics and reports.

Senator New. How are these special agents to be selected?

Mr. ROGERS. They are to be selected by the director, as has always been done. They perform only supplemental work of a temporary nature, and it is not practicable to select them through examination by the Civil Service Commission. They have never been selected in

that way.

Senator New. Do you have an examination of your own?

Mr. Rogers. Yes, sir. We have what we call a practical examination. I would not appoint a person that did not show the capacity to do the work to which he would be assigned.

Senator New. Mr. Foulk's suggestion yesterday was to the effect that the supervisor should be appointed under the civil service, and that he be given latitude in the selection of the enumerators.

Mr. Rogers. Well, that would be an inovation; that has never been tried, and I think it would be a most inopportune time to undertake

such a thing at present, and I do not believe that the supervisors would consider or stand a civil-service examination in his own locality for a position lasting only about six months for the pay that he would receive.

Senator New. Your objection is based, then, in part, I believe, on the belief that the supervisors themselves would object to such an examination to such an extent that he would not take it.

Mr. Rogers. Why, they would not take it. They would not have that much interest in it if they were subjected to a competitive examination with their neighbors in order to get a six-month's job, and I will say further that many splendid business men, who can do the work in an ideal manner, might not pass an examination as well as men of less business capacity and with less personality, just to find out whether or not they are available for such an appointment. I think that they would not care to take an examination under such circumstances, and I might say that it is going to be more of a question of getting this class of men than it is of playing politics.

The CHAIRMAN. You say you have an examination that you give these special agents before you select them?

Mr. Rogers. Yes, sir; every man will have a test relating to his fitness for the assignment that I propose for him.

Senator New. When are these appointments to be made?

Mr. Rogers. You refer to supervisors? They should be made, the bill requires that they be made, not later than October 1.

Senator New. Yes.

Mr. Rogers. But the organization must be ready at that time. I shall undertake to make the appointments as soon as the law is effective; that is, July 1, 1919; and that is the beginning of the decennial census period. if the census is to be a success, the organization of the force must be begun as soon as possible after the beginning of the decennial census period, and I must be industrious about it.

The CHAIRMAN. That is one of the reasons why you would like to have this bill enacted into a law at the earliest possible moment, is it not?

Mr. Rogers. Yes, sir; for I feel that if this legislation is not enacted as quickly as possible, it will be almost impossible for me to get the required legislation next year in time to perfect the organization, and to do the preliminary work that is considered as necessary to make the census a success.

I would like to make some more remarks about that.

The CHAIRMAN. Proceed.

Mr. Rogers. But few amendments were proposed that had any bearing on the status of the census employees in regard to the civil service act and rules; but I hope I have made it clear to the committee that such changes as were made are in the interest of the merit system. In his statement before the committee yesterday, Mr. Foulke asserted that the Fourteenth Census bill had been introduced earlier than any previous bill to provide for a decennial census. This statement is in error. The Fourteenth Census bill was introduced in the House of Representatives on May 8, 1918, whereas the original bill to provide for the taking of the Thirteenth Census was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 11, 1908-— almost three months earlier, relatively to the beginning of the cen

« PreviousContinue »