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December 9, 2016
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July 10, 2000
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PDF icon CIA-RDP61-00391R000100180038-0.pdf203.69 KB
Approved For Release 2000/08/22 : CIA-RDP61-00391 R0001 00180038-0 omCS NDIMUNDJM UNITED STATES GOVERNmaNT : Mr. Henry Kearns Asst. Secretary for International Affairs ATTN: Mr. John Shepard, Bsport Policy Staff Robert W. Burgess Director, Bureau of the Census SUBJECT: Exchange of Census Observers with the U.S.S.R. The pending proposal for as euehangs of population census observ- ers vith the U.S.S.R. has much merit and should be supported vigorously by the Department of Commerce and the Bureau of the Census. The prin- cipal advantages accruing to the gaited States from such an exchange are twofold: The opportunity to acquire an improved understanding of Soviet data and data collection processes, thereby en- hawing the capability of 'united States intelligence em 13' tB to rt F;e accurate studies and evaluations of demographic and economic situations, trends, and tend- encies in the U.S.S.R. 2. The opportunity to become sequatted with the state of development of the art of census-taking and With unique administrative and methodological solutions for mare-or- less universal census-taking problems, thereby providing United States statisticians and census technicians with information that may be of value to this country in the formulation of population census plans sad programs. The U.S.S.R. plans to conduct its next population census as of 15 January 1959? This will be the first major census taken there since 1939, and its results -- to the extent that they viii be made available -- are bound to be the subject of the most intensive study by all concerned with up-to-date intelligence for the U.S.S.R. many important studies and evaluations of the population and labor force of the U.S.S.R. now necessarily depend on out-of-date statistics or on figures of more recent vintage whose reliability and accuracy cannot be assessed adequately. Very few of the 1939 census data have been published, for example, and the draft program of the U. & S.R. Central Statistical Administration for the forthcoming population census calls attention to the dissatisfaction of Soviet authorities with alternative current sources of statIstieal information. The pervasive effects of World War II in terms of war losses, abnormally curtailed fertility, extensive redistribution of population, *DOC Exempt Letter On File* Approved For Release 2000/08/22 : CIA-RDP61-00391 R000100180038-0 .Approved, For-Release 2000/08/22 : CIA-RDP61-00391 R0001 00180038-0 Page 3 1- ttorandum to Mr. Henry Kearns 6. Sffectiveness of pre-census enumeration district inspection and of post-enumeratlon control tours in reducing error. These devices are not used in the United States. 7. Mapping available to enumerators and problems of boundary delineation. 8. Decentralisation of office operations. 9. Tlsbulation plans and operations. Under this proposal, it would be most advantageous for the United States' observers to be very experienced in census-taking, to have a good knowledge of the Russian language, and to have some knowledge of Soviet society, geography, economics, and public administration. Since these attributes will rarely be found in a single person, the ambers of the observer team will have to be selected so that their abilities are com- plementary and mutually reinforcing. As their quid pro quo, the Soviets would have the opportunity to observe the 1960 census of the United States, and, if they wished, any earlier pretests that may be held. Inasmuch as statistical data for the popilstion of the Unites States have been freely available to the U.S.S.R., as have technical details on our census-taking processes, the potential balance of advantage from the proposed exchange appears to be heavily in favor of the United States. The principal benefit accruing to the Soviet Union would probably be in the area of the use of new high-speed computing machine procedures for tabulation of census data. The Bureau of the Census is prepared to undertake the role of host 'to a two of Soviet census observers. The Interationai Statistical Pro- grams Office of the Bureau of the Census has had considerable experience In this role and has in being a staff which could be assigned, to the task with relatively little additional preparation or disruption of other acti- vities. The Director of the Census has already invited all American countries to send census observers to the United: States to witness a trial census to be held in mid-October 1958. It would be possible to extend a similar invitation to the U.S.S.R. within the framework of the proposed exchange of census observers. Whether or not this is done, the organisational capability to supervise the activities of a Soviet observation team exists and could be employed during the period of the 1960 census proper. Approved For Release 2000/08/22 : CIA-RDP61-00391 R000100180038-0