The scope and character of the present survey were conditioned by the time limits imposed by the operating schedule of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government. Extensive field study with detailed appraisals of individual statistical series was out of the question. It was necessary to draw to the fullest extent possible on the experience and existing knowledge of governmental statisticians, members of private research institutions, and members of advisory groups sponsored by organizations of labor and business and professional societies. This aid was generously given. Administrators and staff members of Federal statistical agencies described their operations and their problems in comprehensive written reports and extended personal interviews. The Labor Advisory Committee of the Division of Statistical Standards, the Committee on Business Statistics of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, and the Census Advisory Committee of the American Statistical Association appraised existing procedures for us and made detailed suggestions for the correction of defects. John W. Tukey, serving as chairman of an informal advisory group set up by the American Statistical Association, gave us the benefit of his own review of the problems of statistical administration. In group discussions, in personal meetings, and in written comments on our draft report the members of the research staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research reviewed our procedures, findings, and recommendations and contributed to the substance of the final report. We would acknowledge particularly the help of Arthur F. Burns, Solomon Fabricant, Thor Hultgren, and Geoffrey Moore. Our special thanks are due, also, to N. I. Stone of the Board of Directors of the National Bureau, who has drawn upon his wide experience in industry and in government in giving counsel and advice.
The first major task in our survey of statistical agencies, an intensive review of the present organization and activities of