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RESULTS OF SUBCOMMISSION 1 DELIBERATIONS The resolution materials analyzed by Subcommission 1 were primarily classified under three major headings, relating to (a) statistical methodology, (b) statistical organization at national and international levels, and (c) studies and data concerning rural populations. The individual recommendations contained in the 13 resolutions proposed, together with the considerations giving rise to them, were sorted into the seven main topics which appeared to warrant separate and particular emphasis. Significance was attached to one other topic as a result of the group deliberations, bearing upon the importance of the statistical services to economic analysis and the tie between activities in the two fields. Thus, the matters referred for the subcommission's review were compressed into recommendations of 8 major resolutions for Commission action.

The themes appearing most frequently in the resolutions submitted to Subcommission 1 stressed (a) the urgency of establishing minimum standards of uniformity in the agricultural statistical services, as to nomenclature, methodologies and publication of results 1; (b) the importance of striving for a high level of technical competence in the statistical work, including plans for training programs to improve the staff engaged in the work, and the establishment of some central national agency to be concerned with technical standards and their observance ?; and (c) the urgency of setting up a permanent interAmerican committee, agency, or office to devote its entire attention to objectives and matters of common interest to all the countries in the agricultural statistical field, to study and encourage adoption of desirable uniformity of techniques and standards, to provide for interchange of ideas, publications, and experts, and to otherwise assist in the gradual betterment of the statistical record of agriculture in the American countries. Many of the proposals on the latter subject favored the organization of an entirely new inter-American agency for the purpose, and the opening discussions in committee strongly presented this point of view. However, the majority of the group, including the United States member, were not favorable to the idea of launching still another inter-American organization. It was considered preferable to first see if some existing agency, such as the Inter-American Statistical Institute, might not undertake to perform the proposed functions satisfactorily and be willing to give agricultural statistics the primary attention and emphasis desired.

1 No. 3 Argentina, No. 7 Venezuela, No. 11 Cuba, No. 13 Bolivia, and No. 14 U.S.A.

2 No. 2 Argentina, No. 6 Venezuela, No. 8 Ecuador, No. 10 Cuba, and Costa Rica (unnumbered).

3 No. 4 Argentina, No. 7 Venezuela, No. 8 Ecuador, No. 11 Cuba, No. 14 U.S.A., and Mexico (unnumbered).

There was group unanimity on the emphasis to be ascribed to the adoption of a definite system of current seasonal reports by each country, with major emphasis on forecasting probable production of the more important crop and livestock items. This proposal was chiefly advanced in the Venezuela and Argentina recommendations (Nos. 6 and 2) but received further strong endorsement by all participants in the discussions. Considerable strength appeared also for a flat declaration recommending that all countries immediately adopt the metric decimal system for official use in their statistical reports on agriculture (No. 5 Haiti, No. 18 Guatemala-Colombia). This system is already in use in nearly all Latin American countries and its universal adoption was urged primarily to assure ready comparison of agricultural statistics between countries. The United States member pointed out the potential failure of the recommendation with respect to reports and statistics for internal use in the United States, and secured approval of a modification limiting the application of the resolution only to certain summaries of U. S. data for international purposes and comparisons.

The United States recommendation (No. 16) that all countries address adequate attention to fields of study to increase understanding and provide bases for improving the welfare and standard of living of rural peoples earned full endorsement about as submitted. The subcommission provided for full consideration of the subject at one of its last meetings, in which Dr. Whetten (U. S. A.), who had recently completed 3 years' study in this field of work in Mexico, was invited to participate. A final subject, that of initiating a study of the means whereby agricultural information services might be improved both within and between countries, arose within the subcommission from an earnest presentation and analysis of the present shortcomings of these services by Sr. González, the Mexican member. While not deemed strictly within the province of Commission VI (nor apparently of any other Commission), the subcommission believed its endorsement was appropriate and drafted a suitable resolution.


Subcommission 2, concerned essentially with only a few major proposals relating to periodic agricultural censuses and the World Census of 1950, nevertheless left an imprint of thoroughness and positiveness on the products of their labor. The resolution submitted by the United States (no. 15) urging all countries to make adequate preparation for the 1950 World Census was more pointedly focussed on that year for the census in each country, by the deletion of the words “or as near thereto as possible”. In the matter of cooperation with established international agencies in securing uniformity of plans, forms, procedures, and standards for such census there was considerable question whether it was necessary to specify other than an inter-American agency, which in turn would be expected to effect essential integration with any larger international organization concerned. However, the United States member (Mr. Tolley) stressed that since a sufficient number of nations, including a substantial number of Latin American countries, had subscribed to the charter establishing the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, and since the FAO obviously would be vitally concerned with world census standards, etc., it was appropriate and timely to recognize these actualities in the resolution. Such action, he indicated also, would be a desirable corollary to the over-all recommendation being considered by the Commission on Resolutions urging full cooperation with the FAO. The subcommission acted favorably on the United States recommendation that reference be made to cooperation with both the Inter-American Statistical Institute and the Food and Agricultural Organization.

Establishment of adequate legal and financial bases for periodic agricultural censuses (no. 1 Argentina and no. 9 Cuba) was the other principal subject to receive primary consideration. In this, the objectives were set quite high by positive emphasis on a census every 5 years. Provision was also included for the Inter-American Statistical Institute to aid in every possible way by coordinating attention and effort upon at least a minimum plan of census operations. A third subject of resolution, the main aspects of which appeared to be fundamentally related to census types of operations, was that of developing uniform nomenclature for agricultural machinery, implements, motors, tools and installations (no. 3 Argentina).


Both subcommission chairmen submitted reports of the results of their activities to the full Commission at its third meeting on Tuesday, July 31. Chairman Pelayo and Chairman de Shelly each cited the excellent spirit of collaboration that prevailed, and the technical competence and studious attitude each member applied to the work of the group

The 8 resolutions presented by Subcommission 1 and the 3 by Subcommission 2 were read, discussed, and with few modifications, were approved as presented. The only change of any significance was made in the resolution pertaining to periodic censuses. Spokesmen for a number of the countries felt that to subscribe so rigidly to the goal of taking a census every 5 years would prove so unattainable to many countries with limited resources and interest that it might tend to discourage effort to do anything at all about an adequate census enumeration, even at longer intervals. Following full discussion, a modifying provision prepared by the United States member (Mr. Koenig) was approved, and inserted as the second section of the resolution.

The resolutions approved by Commission VI were transmitted to the Conference Commission on Resolutions under the following titles: From Subcommission 1: 1. Improvement of the Technical Level of Agricultural Statis

tical Offices 2. Uniformity of Agricultural Statistics 3. Adoption of the Metric Decimal System for Agricultural

Statistics 4. Inter-American Office of Agricultural Statistics 5. Close Relation Between Statistics and Agricultural Economics 6. Knowledge of the Rural Population 7. Forecasts of Crop and Livestock Production

8. Inter-American Agricultural Information Service From Subcommission 2:

9. Agricultural and Livestock Censuses 10. World Census, 1950

11. Classification and Specification of Agricultural Machinery Commission VI held its fourth and last meeting on Wednesday morning, August 1, to consider the statement of its Rapporteur, Sr. Núñez, summarizing the work of the Commission for presentation to the Conference. President Peralta then announced that the Commission's business appeared satisfactorily completed, expressed his hearty appreciation of the active interest, and splendid spirit of cooperation demonstrated throughout the sessions, and commended the subcommissions for the thoroughness of their technical appraisal in digesting and expediting the matters for which the Commission was responsible.

Subsequently, the Commission on Resolutions approved the proposals developed by Commission VI, with only a few significant changes. One of these resulted in the merger of proposals 1 and 5; the other altered the suggestion of an “Inter-American Office” in proposal 4, to a “Permanent Section ... in the Inter-American Statistical Institute”.

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