The New York Times/1925/12/14/Want Population of City Recounted
Rumor Rhat Report Will Show Only 5,900,000 Displeases Democratic Leaders.
MAY ABOLISH STATE CENSUS
They Charge There Has Been Carelessness in Democratic Centres, Full Count Up-State.
On unofficial information that the State census will return a population for New York City of little more than 5,900,000. Democratic leaders are planning to ask Mayor-elect Walker to have a recount and to start a movement to abolish the State census as unnecessary and extravagant and to depend hereafter upon the Federal census for apportionment of the State into Assembly and Senatorial districts.
The revival of the Democratic movement to abolish the State census is based upon the suspicion that there has been carelessness in the Democratic centres of population and a full count in the rural Republican sections, with the result that under the apportionments to be made under the census Republican control of the Legislature will be made more certain.
Senator Bernard Downing, who is scheduled to succeed Mayor-elect Walker as minority leader of the Senate, said he was ready to sponsor a resolution to amend the Constitution to abolish the State census as wasteful, generally inaccurate and an entirely unnecessary expense.
"Why have the New York City returns been held up for six months?" Senator Downing said. "It appears that every small town up-State has been gaining in population, so that Republican legislative supremacy will be maintained. If the State census gives only 5,900,000 population for New York City, I have no hesitancy in saying that it is too low."
The Board of Health's estimate of population is approximately 6,100,000, and Dr. William H. Guilfoy, Director of the Bureau of Vital Statistics, said this estimate was probably very nearly correct.
"I have no faith in a census taken under political auspices," he said. "In 1915 the State census was too low. If the figure is no higher than now predicted, I believe the city should make a count of its own."
Lafayette B. Gleason, Director of the Census, who is also Secretary of the Republican State Committee, said that the check-up of the New York City enumeration had not been completed and that no figure had been made public.
"I expected criticism," he said, "but hardly before the figures were made public. It should be remembered that the suburban sections have increased greatly in population, particularly Nassau and Westchester Counties. Then, too, the immigration has fallen off greatly and was 5,000,000 less during the last decade than during the decade preceding. It would be entirely natural in view of these facts if New York City did not show the increase in population that is expected by some persons."