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In November 1931 the President circulated a letter to the members of the Commission which in part was as follows:
In view of the fact that it is now over a quarter of a century since Schlesinger by photography began to determine trigonometric parallaxes by a long focus telescope, and fifteen years since Adams and Kohlschütter derived the first spectroscopic parallaxes, it would seem appropriate to take stock of our present position and to make plans for future development.
Will you be good enough, therefore, to furnish such statements concerning the following topics as are appropriate to the work of your observatory?