|Table of Contents|
Front Cover 1
Front Cover 2
Table of Contents
Panels and Panelists
The Historical Development of the United States Policy Toward the Offshore Areas
The Present Status of the United States Offshore Areas Relations in a Regional and International Context
The Cultural and Social Impact of United States Policies on the Offshore Areas
New Directions in United States Offshore Areas Policies
Recent Developments in United States Virgin Islands Relations : Political Status Options
Recent Developments in United States Virgin Islands Relations : Economic Factors & their Significance
Recent Developments in United States Pacific Offshore Areas Relations
OqS orT reas
at the College of the Virgin Islands
St. Thomas Campus, U.S. Virgin Islands
March 27 and 28, 1981
EDITED BY DR. PAUL M. LEARY
PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL SCIENCE,
COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Published by College of the Virgin Islands
Copyright 0 1981, all rights reserved
COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OFFICIALS
Mr. Ralph M. Paiewonsky, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Dr. Arthur A. Richards, President
Dr. George A. Condon, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Mr. Malcolm Kirwan, Vice President for Financial Affairs
Dr. Orville Kean, Dean of Instruction
CONFERENCE PLANNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS
Paul Leary, Chair
Toya Andrew, Staff Assistant
Preface ......................... ................................... 4
Introduction ......................................................... 5
Panel and Panelists. ......................... ........ ... ..... .......* 8
Welcome ing Remarks ................................................... 11
PANEL I: "The Historical Development of United States Policy
Toward the Offshore Areas"..................... .... 13
PANEL I1: 'The Present Status of United States-Offshore Areas
Relations in a Regional and International Context . ..... 19
PANEL III: "The Cultural and Social Impact of United States
Policies on the Offshore Areas" ................... ... 27
GENERAL SESSION: "New Directions in United States-Offshore
Areas Policies"...................... ............. 43
PANEL IV: "Recent Developments in United States -Virgin Islands
Relations: Political Status Options" ................... 50
PANEL V: "Recent Developments in United States-Virgin Islands
Relations: Economic Factors and Their Significance". ......... 58
PANEL VI: "Recent Developments in United States-Pacific Offshore
Areas Relations"..................... ....... ....... .66
Upon the conclusion of the Conference on "Recent Developments in United-States
Offshore Areas Relations" held at the College of the Virgin Islands on March 27 and
28, 1981, work began on a transcript of the proceedings. Both organizers of the
meeting and participants believed that a permanent record of what occurred would
be an important contribution to a better understanding of these small but not
unimportant American territories, commonwealths and trusteeships. In addition,
remarks were made in some cases by individuals who played an important part in
policy formulation for the offshore areas. They deserve to be circulated more widely
in the interest of both the general public and specialists in this field.
In transcribing and editing the transcript, every effort was made to produce a
faithful reproduction of presentations. Of course, in any transcription from oral to
written forms, some editing is inescapable, but in no instance did it alter the substance
of the speaker's position. To be completely certain that this transcription was an
accurate reflection of the participants' positions, a draft version was circulated to
them with an invitation to make such changes as they believed were in order. Hence,
the remarks reprinted here represent the comments made at the conference as
edited by me and, in a number of cases, the participants. However, there is no
significant difference, in my judgment, between the presentations at the conference
and as they are presented here. In any event, a complete set of recording tapes,
both audio and visual, is available at the College of the Virgin Islands for anyone
interested in reviewing them.
There is one significant omission. Much of the excitement and dynamism of the
conference was due to the interchange between audience and panel following the
latter's presentation. However, it was simply not possible to include a transcript of
these remarks for several reasons, including the poor quality of the recordings, lack
of identification of speakers, and the time and expense involved. Again, those
interested in that portion of the conference may refer to the tapes made of all
Most of the difficult work of transcription was done by my secretary, Ms. Mildred
Crocker, whose efforts here and in many other areas related to the conference
deserve the gratitude of all concerned. In addition, Ms. Kimbrell Cobb did most of
the typing of the final version of the transcript a long and tedious job. I wish to
express my appreciation for her efforts also. Financial support for this transcription
was provided by the Virgin Islands Education Information Center. The former
director of the center, Mr. Frank Peterson, made a notable contribution both
through financial assistance and personal effort.
Finally, the administration of the College of the Virgin Islands provided most of
the budget for the conference and unfailing moral support as well. The President of
the College, Dr. Arthur Richards, and the Dean of Instruction, Dr. Orville Kean,
were especially supportive. For their contributions and those of numerous
others thank you. It is an indication of what a truly collective effort this under-
taking was that space does not permit individual expressions of appreciation to
The Conference on "Recent Developments in United States-Offshore Areas Relations" occurred at a time of restiveness
and change in the territories controlled by the United States: Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Marianas and Micronesia
in the Pacific; Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. A new spirit of questioning and self-examination is
particularly evident in Guam and the Virgin Islands which have been under American sovereignty for over half a century. Their
concerns were partly caused by events in Micronesia, the area that has most recently come under United States control. Puerto
Rico, of course, has long questioned the nature of its relationship with America.
Within the last decade two dramatic events occurred in Micronesia or, more formally, the Trust Territory of the Pacific
Islands. Since 1947, the United States has administered a trusteeship over a vast area of the Pacific under the auspices of the
United Nations Security Council. The political entities involved are (from east to west) the Marshalls, Kosrae, Ponape, Truk,
the Marianas, Yap and Palau. In 1969, negotiations began regarding their political status following the end of the trusteeship.
The fragile unity of the trust was undermined in 1972 when the Marianas District (the "Northern Marianas") undertook
separate talks which resulted in the establishment of a new Commonwealth in permanent union with the United States. Sub-
sequently, three entities the Marshalls, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia (Yap, Truk, Ponape, Kosrae) -
negotiated a political arrangement of a very different kind. A draft compact of "free association" was concluded. Under its
terms the associated states have control over domestic and foreign affairs and the right to unilaterally terminate the association
with the United States. Substantial American financial assistance for a fifteen year period is provided. In turn, the United States
exercises authority over defense, and will continue to do so for fifteen years even if the political association is revoked by a
The significance of these events for the other territories derives from the flexibility demonstrated by the United States in
accommodating its interests in Micronesia. The Northern Marianas Covenant provides for a greater degree of autonomy and
greater benefits for the new commonwealth than are enjoyed by the older territories. Guam in particular has used the Northern
Marianas agreement as an argument in support of its own concerns about the federal relationship. The same interest has more
recently been demonstrated by the Virgin Islands which, like Guam, has an active status commission. The example of the Northern
Marianas will certainly enter into their deliberations.
If the Marianas Covenant demonstrated the willingness of Washington to expand the significance of the territorial status -
or at least a more generous interpretation of its limits the Micronesian free association agreement indicates that if political
realities demand it, novel forms of political arrangements can be devised. While initially the United States sought a permanent
political relationship with all of Micronesia along traditional territorial lines, the insistence of the Micronesians themselves on
a looser connection eventually prevailed. While it is true that Micronesians were never under the full sovereignty of the United
States, and were never U.S. citizens, legal technicalities had less to do with the arrangements finally made than did political will.
The Northern Marianas insisted on a close relationship. They not only managed to break a policy of promoting Micronesian
unity that the United States had previously insisted upon (with the encouragement of the U.N. Trusteeship Council); they were
able to transform themselves into citizens of the United States (effective upon the end of the trusteeship) and a new Common-
wealth with greater self-government than the established territories. The other Micronesians, stubbornly insisting on their rights
of self-determination, gained point after point in protracted and often difficult negotiations lasting over a decade. Hence, if the
political will exists, major changes in U.S.-Offshore Areas relations are possible. The Marianas and Micronesian examples
Beyond the events within the territorial system itself, external developments are also provoking a new self-consciousness in
the Offshore Areas. United Nations' interest continues regarding "non-self-governing" Guam, American Samoa and the Virgin
Islands. Visiting missions from the Decolonization Committee will have come to all these areas in the last five years the first
time such events were permitted by the United States. The Puerto Rican status issue remains a controversial one, with repeated
efforts by Cuba and other third world nations to return the Commonwealth to the list of colonies under the authority of the
Decolonization Committee. Assuming the draft agreement with Micronesia is approved by the United States following its review
by the Reagan Administration, questions regarding American policy in the trusteeship are certain to be raised when the Security
Council considers its termination. Given the Northern Marianas Covenant's "permanent" political relationship, the discussion
may widen to include the nature of the present U.S. territorial system. How, in an era of decolonization, can the United Nations
authorize an expansion of a territorial system presently defined as colonial?
Regionally, both the Pacific and Caribbean offshore areas exist in a transformed political environment. The last ten years
have witnessed the emergence of a large number of small, independent states. With nationalism has arisen a concern for regional
cooperation. Guam, Samoa and the Northern Marianas presently participate in regional organizations. Puerto Rico and the
Virgin Islands are both seeking an expanded role in the Caribbean. Such activities, and the example of other small and
economically dependent islands governing themselves, will certainly cause some re-examination of their present political status
among the offshore areas. While both present political loyalties and economic factors would seem to mitigate against any signifi-
cant loosening of the relationship with the United States, new forces are abroad in the world and their impact may be profound.
The participants in the Conference often addressed the topic of change, albeit from different perspectives. Several called for
a more coherent and consistent U.S. policy toward the Offshore Areas, arguing that it can no longer be a matter of ad hoc
responses. Thus, Ms. Ruth Van Cleve, a federal official long involved with territorial affairs, characterized the period prior to the
Carter administration's attempts to define a more coherent position in the territories as "muddling through", with results that
were primarily beneficial. Her fellow panelist, Dr. Luis Passalaqua of the University of Puerto Rico, agreed that the United
States had never had a consistent policy towards it dependencies, but has adopted different postures at different times as a
result of international political events and pressures. The results, in Dr. Passalaqua's judgment, have been less than benign. The
United States finds the present confusion to its advantage as it uses the Offshore Areas as "counters" in its global strategy.
The view from Washington was also defined as primarily a stragegic one by Dr. James Nathan, a political scientist from the
University of Delaware, in his examination of U.S. Caribbean policy. Nathan criticized the preoccupation with security issues
and called for a broader perspective that would include economic development based on a regional approach. Gordon K. Lewis
of the University of Puerto Rico, in disagreeing with Ms. Van Cleve's characterization of U.S. policy as one of "muddling
through", described that doctrine as "a legend invented by the English in order to befuddle their enemies". Rather than ad hoc
responses with no over-all pattern, Lewis viewed U.S. actions in the Caribbean, including its treatment of Puerto Rico and the
U.S. Virgin Islands, as part of an expansionist foreign policy. Lewis called for decolonization, with dependency replaced by
national independence within a framework of regional cooperation and international non-alignment.
If there was vigorous disagreement regarding the nature of past and present federal policy toward the Offshore areas, the
representatives from the federal government connected to the formulation of that policy gave indications of a new flexibility
on the part of Washington. Jeffrey Farrow, a White House Staff member from the Virgin Islands, played a key role in the
formulation of the Carter initiative on the territories. Farrow called upon the territories to seize upon the Carter invitation
to discuss political status, and to do so energetically: "Territorial Americans must organize their resources aggressively to secure
the political development, economic opportunities, financial and technical assistance, enhanced Federal program treatment and
improved Federal policy-making that is their inherent right." Farrow envisioned a constitutional amendment a form of
"associated statehood" that would integrate the territories into the American political system on an equal footing while taking
into account their distinct situations.
Farrow's call for a dynamic territorial stance on status and federal relations was echoed by Tom McGurn, who led the Reagan
Administration transition team on territorial matters. In line with the Reagan stance toward federal governmental aid,
Mr. McGurn called for a re-examination of the pattern of federal aid that has encouraged dependency in theOffshore Areas,and
for new economic programs that would promote long-term self-sufficiency. He too recommended that the Offshore Areas
explore a variety of future political status relationships with both the federal government and regional neighbors. He warned:
"If you do not take advantage of this opportunity in a vigorous manner, then your choices by default will be made by the
Federal government. The resulting options are most likely to be less than adequate or desirable for the Offshore Areas".
A further indication of receptivity to new initiatives on the part of the Offshore Areas was contained in remarks by Jim
Beirne, a Senate staffer involved with territorial questions. Beirne noted that the Northern Marianas Covenant contained a
provision which prohibits the alienation of land. Whereas a similar provision in the 1950 Guam Organic Act was deleted
because Congres then held it to be inconsistent with common U.S. citizenship, the Marianas agreement was accepted a
recognition of the need to take into account the special nature of the small Offshore Areas. So, too, the United States has
exhibited a greater willingness to support involvement in international organizations by U.S. territories, particularly in the
Pacific region. Beirne characterized the new flexibility of Congress as ... the movement ... to get away from formulas that
were set in stone or to rely too heavily on past experiences, and to recognize that different situations demand different
treatment, and some appreciation for local concerns."
All three present or former government officials cited above stressed the need for territorial initiative and indicated that
a spirit of accommodation prevailed in Washington. All, of course, assumed that changes would be made within the framework
of continued U.S. sovereignty over the Offshore Areas. While Micronesia has negotiated a form of association with the United
States that provides for independence if the Micronesians decide to exercise that option, there are significant special elements
in the Trusteeship that must be considered, as Peter Rosenblatt, the U.S. Ambassador who negotiated the accords, pointed out.
Micronesians were not American citizens, and exhibited no desire for a permanent attachment to the United States. Hence,
they were treated as "foreign" during the status negotiations. But while Rosenblatt cautioned against ignoring the significant
difference between the Micronesian situation and that of the long-term U.S. possessions, he acknowledged that the flexibility
exhibited in arriving at the free association status may be a harbinger of things to come; "I cannot stress too often that the
degree of flexibility which has been achieved in our relationship with the Micronesian states is a function of the fact that they
made the basic decision not to be Americans. Had they chose otherwise, much of the flexibility would not have been available,
at least not as of the present. Who knows what lies in the future as the United States Government continues along the path
of taking a more relaxed attitude towards autonomy in several different areas by the U.S. Offshore Areas?"
Ambassador Rosenblatt's question about the future of the Offshore Areas was one which surfaced continually throughout
the Conference. A spirit of questioning was apparent, even among participants from Guam and the Virgin Islands who remained
committed to close association with the United States. One area of concern was insensitive and inconsistent treatment by the
federal government which did not take into account the impact of programs and policies on the Offshore Areas. Thus, Speaker
Tanaka of the Guam Legislature indicated: ". .. our people consider themselves as part of the United States, although I do not
believe it is desirable that Guam maintains its status as an unincorporated territory. I do believe we will always desire to maintain
very close political, economic and social ties with the United States. However, because Guam is not now, nor will be in the near
future, a member of the union of the United States, it feels that it should not be bound totally by laws, regulations and treaties
governing the acts of member states. It must be able to develop itself politically, economically without the undue and crippling
interference of the Federal government".
Another area in which questions were raised related to economic dependence on the United States and its psychological,
cultural and social costs. A process of population change and Americanization had disturbing overtones for several participants
from the Virgin Islands. Dr. E. Aracelis Francis described the conflict of cultures which exists in the Virgin Islands as a result
of the dichotomy between an American culture disseminated through resident continentalss" and the media, and the
traditional West Indian way of life. She warned: "Right now we seem to be on a collision course ." Senator Ruby Simmonds
pointed to the emphasis on tourism in the Virgin Islands as another factor which has caused cultural erosion and the loss of
identity: "We do have a unique culture, but what has happened here in the Virgin Islands is that because of our tourist-oriented
economy, we have tended to adopt the American culture in order to please the visitors to our shores while we have given up
much of what we had. This has been a very clear mistake, I feel." In one of the more eloquent presentations at the conference,
Julio Brady, the head of the Virgin Islands Federal Programs office, discussed the costs of the American connection, and called
for a reassessment among Virgin Islanders of their fundamental identity, together with greater collaboration among all Offshore
Areas faced with similar dilemmas: "I think that with these common bonds that overwhelm any disparity in our cultures, we
ought to band together and move forward as a unit so that we can fashion perhaps the greatest political achievement since the
birth of the United States of America: freedom-loving people who together can get from a very powerful sovereign way of life
which will not be destroyed by the super abundance of that great power, but whose own identity will be fostered, nourished
The Conference proceedings make it clear that the political relationship between the United States and its Offshore Areas
will witness major alterations in the next decade. If these ties are not re-examined and re-structured with mutual care and
understanding, the present strains may compound themselves and become unbearable. At present the Offshore Areas, in most
cases, are seeking to fashion a relationship with the United States that will remain close, yet protect their special interests.
The exact political form of their relationship commonwealth, statehood, integration through constitutional amendment -
is still not defined. However, if the search for accommodation fails, and if the emerging economic, social and cultural problems
of these areas are not addressed effectively, then a trend away from close association may grow stronger. Independence or free
association along Micronesian lines may become increasingly popular.
American policy makers will be challenged in the '80s to fashion policies for the Offshore Areas that are consistent with
both the United States' interests and ideals. The leaders and peoples of the Offshore Areas themselves must act with energy,
imagination and integrity to develop a relationship based on equality, dignity and self-respect. Hopefully, the Conference on the
Offshore Areas, and this transcript, will play some small part in that process of re-examination and change.
March 27, 1981
Honorable Juan Luis, Governor
United States Virgin Islands
Dr. Arthur A. Richards, President
College of the Virgin Islands
PANEL I: "The Historical Development of United States Policy
Toward the Offshore Areas"
Dr. William Boyer, Chair
Professor of Public Administration
University of Delaware
Professor Marilyn Krigger
Associate Professor of History
College of the Virgin Islands
Professor Luis Passalacqua Christian
University of Puerto Rico
(former Director, Institute of Caribbean Studies)
Ms. Ruth Van Cleve
Department of the Interior
(former Deputy Assistant Secretary,
Territorial and International Affairs)
PANEL II: "The Present Status of United States-Offshore Areas
Relations in a Regional and International Context
Mr. Daniel Strasser, Chair
U.S. Department of State
(former U.S. Representative before the United Nations
Mr. Alexander Farrelly
Attorney, U.S. Virgin Islands
(past Democratic candidate for Governor, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Dr. Gordon K. Lewis
Professor of Political Science
University of Puerto Rico
Dr. James Nathan
Associate Professor of Political Science
University of Delaware
Mr. George Eustaquio
Staff Aide to Guam's Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
PANEL III: "The Cultural and Social Impact of United States
Policies on the Offshore Areas"
Dr. E. Aracelis Francis, Chair
Fellow, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(former Executive Director, Office of Planning and
Development, Virgin Islands Department of Social Welfare)
PANEL III (Cont.)
Dr. Klaus Albuquerque
Associate Professor of Sociology
The College of Charleston
Dr. Leonard Mason
Emeritus Professor of Anthropology
University of Hawaii
Dr. Manuel Maldonado-Denis
Professor of Political Science
University of Puerto Rico
Senator Ruby Simmonds
U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature
GENERAL SESSION: "New Directions in United States Offshore
Mr. Jeffrey Farrow
(former Associate Director for Domestic Policy, White House)
Mr. Tom McGurn
Administrative Officer, Office of Technology Assessment
(Reagan Transition team member for Territorial and
International Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior)
Mr. Ron De Lugo
Delegate to U.S. Congress for the U.S. Virgin Islands
Ambassador Peter Rosenblatt
Attorney, Washington, D.C.
(former U.S. Ambassador, Micronesian Status Negotiations)
Thomas Tanaka Speaker, Guam Legislature
March 28, 1981
PANEL IV: "Recent Developments in United States-Virgin Islands
Relations: Political Status Options"
Mr. Arnold Leibowitz, Chair
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Ms. Edith Bornn
Attorney, U.S. Virgin Islands
Member, U.S. Virgin Islands Status Commission
Mr. Julio Brady
Federal Programs Coordinator
Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands
Mr. Albert Sheen
Attorney, U.S. Virgin Islands
Mr. Jack Coghill
Chairman, Alaska Statehood Commission
PANEL V: "Recent Developments in United States-Virgin Islands
Relations: Economic Factors and Their Significance"
Dr. Auguste Rimpel, Chair
Vice-President, Booz-Allen & Hamilton International
(former Commissioner of Commerce, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Panel V (Cont.) Dr. Jerome McElroy
Associate Professor of Economics
University of Notre Dame
(former Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Research
of the Department of Commerce, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Dr. Orville Kean, Dean of Instruction
College of the Virgin Islands
(former Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Research
of the Department of Commerce, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Mr. Valdemar Hill, Jr.
President, Chamber of Commerce, St. Thomas-St. John
Mr. Richard Miller
U.S. Department of the Interior
PANEL VI: "Recent Developments in United States-Pacific Offshore
Mr. James Beirne, Staff Member
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Professor J.R. Fernandez
Graduate School of Public Administration
University of Puerto Rico
Mr. Gordon Law
Former Official, U.S. Department of the Interior
Ambassador Peter Rosenblatt, Chair
Attorney, Washington, D.C.
(former U.S. Ambassador, Micronesian Status Negotiations)
Mr. Joe San Agustin
Minority Leader, Guam Legislature
R x S .. 1962
DR. PAUL LEARY I would like to welcome everyone to the opening session of the conference. My name
is Dr. Paul Leary, and it is my distinct honor this morning to introduce to you the Governor of the Virgin Islands, Governor Juan
Luis, who will make the welcoming presentation.
GOVERNOR JUAN LUIS I would like to welcome today, the President, Dr. Richards, honored guests from
other territories and offshore areas of the United States, from the Virgin Islands and fellow Virgin Islanders. It is indeed an
honor and a privilege to welcome you to the Virgin Islands and to the College of the Virgin Islands for this the first of what we
hope will be many annual conferences on the relations between the United States and its offshore areas, including territories,
commonwealths and even states. We are happy to be hosting all of you at this conference. Before proceeding I would like to
acknowledge the generous support of Dr. Richards and Dr. Leary and of the other members of the conference planning commit-
tee and all those who have worked long and hard to make this conference a reality. To those who have given their generous
support, I would like to express on behalf of all the participants of this conference, our sincere thanks. As you deliberate this
morning and throughout the conference on these most important issues dealing with developments in relations with the United
States and its offshore areas, I wish you success in bringing about successful discussions targeted at promoting the education of
our people and in maintaining a satisfactory relationship between the offshore areas and the United States. There is no doubt
that our ties with the United States will be strengthened as you develop progress in our social, political and economic status.
The program is self-explanatory. I consider it to be timely. I am encouraged by the topics to be discussed, and I think that
this conference will open avenues towards improving our ties with the United States. I do realize that while all the offshore
areas do have common problems, that they are problems unique to each area, and so I feel that it is wise to develop this strategy
that all the problems that are common to us should be approached from that perspective, and those that are unique to each
area should be dealt with in a different manner. I wish to leave you this morning with the thought that the concerted effort
that we are about to put forward will result in benefits to all the territories. Personally I would like to remain here and be a
participant in this program, but unfortunately circumstances which I face will not permit me to do so. Again, let me wish you
all success in your endeavors. Thank you very much.
DR. LEARY Thank you, Governor. It is now my privilege to introduce the President of the
College of the Virgin Islands who will add his welcoming remarks. Dr. Richards.
DR. ARTHUR RICHARDS Ladies and Gentlemen there are so many important people here this morning that I
won't have a chance to call everyone's name, but I do want to extend the hospitality of the College to you and to let you know
if there is anything we can do to make your stay a little more comfortable, just let us know. I would also like to take the op-
portunity to let you know something about the College because I think it is a unique opportunity for people of the offshore
areas to know what is happening to higher education in the Virgin Islands.
We started in 1963 with approximately 47 students and about 8 faculty and administrators, and today we have a campus on
St. Croix and an ecological research station on St. John and some 2,500 students in all both day and night. We offer several
degrees in the associate area, occupational programs such as nursing, banking and finance and other preparations that are needed
in the Virgin Islands. We also offer 14 different bachelor degrees in the usual disciplines, and we offer masters degrees in three
areas: public administration, business administration and several in education. We try to direct them as money would allow -
to areas that are needed in the islands, such as teaching of reading, school principalship, early childhood education and so on.
In addition to the instructional program we have the College's research arm, the Caribbean Research Institute, which over-
sees research in and out of the islands. We were fortunate enough to become a land-grant institution (even though the grant is
not large enough when compared to other areas of the Mainland), but we do research in aquaculture and agriculture, home
economics, everything that you can think about that would be of benefit to these islands and the islands in our vicinity. In
addition to those in the community service areas, we have a large continuing education program at night, the Bureau of Public
Administration, as well as the community services areas in which we offer seminars, institutes and workshops. We are upgrading
the middle level of government employees. We have institutes in alcoholism, institutes for lawyers, doctors and labor relations.
I say all of this because of an ambition we have been pursuing, in which I know people in this audience could be of assistance,
that is to develop this institution into a center for educational, technical and cultural exchange for the Eastern Caribbean. Mrs.
Van Cleve has been helping out with this, but we need the support of the entire Federal government. We believe that it is neces-
sary for the Federal government to become involved for reasons which are obvious. We believe that we have the expertise here,
for the faculty is comprised of 50% earned doctorates, which I understand is a good record for any university in the United
States. We have several others who are not classified as faculty, but are educated in their areas, and we believe that we can be
of great influence in the Eastern Caribbean, not only educationally, but culturally and technically. This edifice alone, the Reich-
hold Center for the Arts, is only one example of what I am talking about, that would engender cultural exchange between the
peoples of the Eastern Caribbean, the Virgin Islands and other surrounding areas. I envision a greater out reach program where
we can bring students and other people together which will enable us to assist, if I may use that term, the people of the sur-
rounding areas. I believe that the United States ought to be interested and ought to help us in this effort. I ask all of you here
this morning who are able, to exert some influence on whatever powers that be which could be of assistance to us in this effort.
I would appreciate your assistance, and I will appreciate talking with you in the interim before the conference is over.
This conference is one of the most important that we have had at this College since I joined in 1969. I look forward to some
outcomes that would be of benefit in the relationships between the United States and all of the offshore areas. Have a good two
days and enjoy yourselves for a little time while you are here.
DR. LEARY Our first panelist, who will Chair the panel, is Dr. William Boyer from the University
of Delaware. He is currently a Professor of Public Administration at the University of Delaware and has just completed a major
manuscript to be published, entitled America's Virgin Islands: A History of Human Rights and Wrongs. This manuscript promises to
become a basic source for future scholars and people interested in the history and development of the Virgin Islands. Our next
panelist is Professor Marilyn Krigger from the College of the Virgin Islands. Mrs. Krigger has been with the College since 1967,
but is presently on leave and is at the University of Delaware completing work on her doctorate. We also have on our panel Mrs.
Ruth Van Cleve, who is a long-time director of the Office of Territorial Affairs, and herself the author of a book entitled The
Office of Territorial Affairs which describes the operations and history of her office. I can think of few people more qualified
to address the topic of this panel. Finally from our neighbor island of Puerto Rico, we are honored to have Professor Luis
Passalacqua, who is the director of the Institute of Caribbean Studies at the University of Puerto Rico and a long-time student
of territorial history and commonwealth history. It is a distinct honor to have someone of his qualifications and background on
of United States Pol
the Offshore Areas
WILLIAM BOYER, Chair University of Delaware
MARILYN KRIGGER College of the Virgin Islands
RUTH VAN CLEVE U.S. Department of the Interior
LUIS PASSALACQUA University of Puerto Rico
DR. WILLIAM BOYER Thank you Dr. Leary. I believe that it is important that we begin our discussion
with a historical overview. To understand the present, let alone project for the future, it is very important that we understand
The earliest American colonial policy was formed under the Articles of Confederation by the "Congress assembled," before
the Constitution was adopted. The Northwest Ordinance ofl787established the basic framework for United States policy to-
ward territories. It laid a foundation for the American territorial system and colonial policies that enabled the United States
to expand westward to the Pacific, and to add Hawaii and Alaska to the Union, with relatively little difficulty.
The essence of this new policy was to provide for colonies to evolve from territories to statehood, equal in every respect to
the status of the original 13 states. The principle of equality with the mother country was established, but the equality of full
statehood was to be achieved only after a period of territorial evolution.
According to historian Robert Berkhofer, "any status other than eventual statehood would have been a betrayal of the very
principle upon which Americans had fought the Revolution." A basic issue between the colonies and England was their conten-
tion that they were being ruled without their representation in the Parliament. The United States could not now repudiate that
principle in the governance of its own territories.
If the Northwest was to be settled entirely by native Anglo-Americans from the East, they would not have needed a period of
tutelage on how to exercise their basic rights and how to form a republican government. It was anticipated, however, that many
people of French descent and other non-English settlers would inhabit the West and, therefore, they would need a period of
initiation into the mysteries of republicanism.
Accordingly, the Northwest Ordinance provided for three stages of political development that roughly paralleled the stages
of development the American colonies had passed through.
The first stage of the Ordinance provided a period of strong executive control; the second stage, a period of representative
government; and the third consisted of provision of statehood. Thus, James Monroe wrote to Thomas Jefferson that the Ordin-
ance would provide for "a colonial government similar to that which prevailed in these States previous to the Revolution."
Although only Congress could admit new states, the Northwest Ordinance "clearly indicated that statehood was to be regarded
as a right rather than a privilege which might be denied without cause by Congress."
In 1790, an act was passed providing the Southwest Territory should have a form of government in all respects similar to that
provided by the Northwest Ordinance. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 also followed the same pattern. The treaty with' France
of that year outlined broadly the policy already being followed in the Northwest Territory.
No new precedents were established in the acquisition of the continental territories until 1848 when President Polk decided
to treat the areas acquired from Mexico as part of the United States from the date of cession. The Constitution of the United
States was extended to California the 30th of May, 1848 the very day in which our treaty with Mexico was finally consum-
mated. In the Dred Scott decision of 1857, the Supreme Court maintained that the United States had no power to acquire
territories except with the Constitution in full effect, and with the purpose of admission to statehood as soon as conditions
would warrant admission.
During the first century of American expansion, following the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, Congress established the con-
cept that the territories were infant states, to be admitted into the Union as soon as conditions warranted. Thus, Congress
generally extended local self-government, guarantees of fundamental rights of the Constitution, and the right to elect a non-
voting delegate to Congress. Territorial status was merely a bridge between annexation and incorporation into the Union as co-
equal states. Variations appeared according to differences among some of the territories, but the essential pattern remained un-
changed during the century of continental expansion. Indeed, it appeared that the Constitution was intended to follow the flag.
This, then, was the established policy confronting American policy makers when they faced the problem of governing areas
acquired in 1898 from the Spanish-American War.
After three months of what Secretary of State John Hay termed a "splendid little war," Spain sued for peace, the terms of
which were dictated by President McKinley namely relinquishment of Spanish sovereignty over Cuba, outright cession of
Puerto Rico and Guam, and the United States occupation of the City of Manila pending final disposition of the Philippines.
The Treaty of 1898 formalized cession of the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico and the United States. The United States
thereby acquired non-contiguous and extra-continental territories populated by peoples of alien culture, language, and po-
The growth of the American Republic, theretofore spurred by the emotion of "manifest destiny," consisted of the acquisi-
tion of contiguous mainland territory as integral parts of the United States to be admitted to the Union as co-equal states.
Now, however, for the first time in American expansionist history, no promise was made for either statehood or citizenship
for the newly acquired territory.
When we acquired Puerto Rico, immediately the Puerto Rican people felt that they were going to have the Constitution ex-
tended to them, citizenship rights immediately conferred, and all of the rights of citizens of the United States. But this did not
happen and Puerto Rico was put under military rule, citizenship was not extended, and the Constitution did not follow the
flag. This latter point was the main principle that evolved from various cases collectively known as the "Insular Cases" before
the Supreme Court.
Having made a review of the Supreme Court decisions prior to the American acquisition of extra-continental territories as a
result of the Spanish-American War, the great constitutional law commentator, W.W. Willoughby, concluded that, from the
first, the doctrine was held by the Court that Congress, when legislating on the civil rights of inhabitants of the territories,
was governed by all those expressed and implied limitations which rest upon it when dealing with the same subjects within the
States. The question of the status of civil rights in the new possessions of Puerto Rico and the Philippines was related to the
larger question of whether the Constituiton follows the flag.
Of all the various opinions, the concurring opinion written by Justice White was the most important because it established a
new theory that ultimately became the doctrine of the Court with respect to the constitutional status of the territories acquired
by the United States from Spain. Justice White developed the doctrine of "incorporation," which was entirely without prece-
dent, a doctrine that was to play such an important part in respect to the rights of the inhabitants of the extra-continental ter-
ritories, including the American Virgin Islands.
The import of White's opinion was so significant, and his reasoning was so laborious and mystic, that the question is inevi-
tably raised of what were his motives for conjuring this doctrine: the doctrine whereby he stated that if the new territories were
not incorporated into the United States therefore the Constitution would not follow the flag. W.W. Willoughby stressed the
"character" of the population of these territories as having been the most important factor in influencing the doctrine. It is
evident that justice White was concerned with racial questions and that Constitutional rights should not extend automatically to
non-white populations of the new possessions. Fredric R. Coudert, counsel for one of the plaintiffs in one of the cases, writing
some years later, noted that Justice White had been born on a Louisiana plantation and served as a private in the Confederate
Army during the Civil War. He felt that it was apparent that Mr. Justice White feared a decision in this case in favor of the
plaintiffs might be held to confer upon the citizens of the new possessions rights which could not be taken away from them by
Congress. He went on to state, "It is evident that he was much preoccupied by the danger of racial and social questions of a very
perplexing character and that he was quite desirous... that Congress should have a very free hand with the new subject popula-
tions." In his dissent, Justice Harlan was constrained to say that "this idea of 'incorporation' has some occult meaning which my
mind does not apprehend. It is enveloped in some mystery which I am unable to unravel." The doctrine of incorporation is
clearly contrary to the principle of equality set forth in the Declaration of Independence, in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787,
and in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States.
Meanwhile, the United States in the early part of this century was involved in what some have called "Caribbean Imperialism",
marked by the rationalization of the Monroe Doctrine, to permit multiple interventions into other countries Dominican
Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico and Honduras. The Caribbean was to be regarded as within the power and protection
of the United States. It was to become America's closed sea, the "American Mediterranean". Thus, Assistant Secretary of State
Loomis stated in 1904 that "no picture of our future is complete which does not contemplate and comprehend the United
States as the dominant power in the Caribbean Sea".
In 1917, while arrangements for a government, and the formal transfer of the Virgin Islands were being made, the Congress
contemporaneously was considering revision of the Foraker Act. The result was the Jones Act of 1917, which changed Puerto
Rico's executive council into a completely elected senate and made the suffrage universal among adult Puerto Rican males.
Most important, however, was the grant of United States citizenship to Puerto Ricans by the Jones Act, which Secretary of
State Elihu Root called a "stupid performance on the part of Congress." Practically, this meant that those moving to the main-
land could claim title to the full protection of American citizenship and the Puerto Ricans became subject to the draft, but they
remained without any cloak of protection of the United States Constitution which still did not follow the flag. In short, the
Jones Act of 1917 "did not make clear just what Puerto Rico would become in the middle ground thus allotted to it."
The decision to build the Panama Canal had an important effect on American policy. That policy became known as the
Caribbean or "big-stick" diplomacy. It was consonant with imperialism, expansionism, and protectionism. It was aggressive,
militant, and based on the assumption that since the United States was to construct and maintain a canal, it must protect it.
No possible dangerous foreign power could be permitted to obtain a foothold near the approaches to the canal, nor could any
republic of the Western Hemisphere be permitted to reach a stage of political and economic instability that might invite foreign
intervention. The Monroe Doctrine should not permit that; it must be reinterpreted and applied to meet such situations.
This, then, was the Caribbean context within which the United States made its decision to control completely the destiny
of Puerto Rico, Guam, and to acquire and hold the Virgin Islands.
PROF. MARILYN KRIGGER I would like to draw our attention to the United States Virgin Islands. Dr. Boyer has
given a general development of the policies, but I would like to review how our policies have specifically affected the U.S.V.I.
since their acquisition by the United States in 1917. I would like to mention first of all that the policy towards the Virgin
Islands was conditioned by war, possibly moreso than any other acquisition. Almost all territories of the United States were
acquired in connection with war, at least Puerto Rico, Guam and Hawaii were. I think you all know they were our prizes in
connection with the War of 1898. However, the usual happening was that these territories were acquired after a war. The im-
portant thing about the Virgin Islands was that they were acquired just before a war in fact only one week before the entry
of the United States into World War One. Rather than the spoils of war they were acquired in a way that was considered very
necessary for the successful execution of a war to prevent Germany from getting them. This fact led to two very different
results. One was the great anxiety to get the Virgin Islands the United States seemed willing to pay almost any price so
that you ended up having the highest price paid for a territory, and then it was the highest price per acre which the United
States paid for a territory. I would like to give you the figures because somehow I always find them amusing. The purchase
price for the Virgin Islands was $295.00 per acre in comparison to two cents per acre for Alaska, four cents per acre for the
Louisiana Purchase, fourteen cents per acre for the Philippines, and $35.80 per acre for the Canal Zone. I think this shows the
great anxiety that the United States felt in acquiring the Virgin Islands.
On the other hand, since the country found itself preoccupied as a result of the war, there was a greater neglect of the Virgin
Islands after acquisition than there had been with any other territory. For two or three years after the acquisition of the Virgin
Islands, there was hardly any thought paid to the formulation of policy towards the islands. The Act of March 3, 1917 provided
for a temporary government for the Virgin Islands until such time as the war would be over, and the United States would be
able to legislate in a more thoughtful fashion towards the islands. This Act of March, 1917 simply turned the islands over to the
guardianship of the Navy Department. The President was authorized to appoint a military officer to serve as the governor of
the Virgin Islands, and because there was no time to think about a government for the islands, the Danish Colonial law of 1906
was allowed to remain in force. There was the situation that even though the territory had become American and an American
Governor would be appointed, the old laws of the former governing power were allowed to be imposed. The main consequence
of this law, as far as the islands were concerned, was that it contained very un-American practices such as qualifications for
voting which involved private property and income. For the first two decades of United States rule the mass of the natives were
restricted from voting. As late as the 1930's less than 10 percent of the Virgin Islands' population were able to vote. We might
mention also that not only was this the case, but the policy makers in the United States seem to have felt that the natives should
have been happy with it. Actions that were taken by the natives to bring about a change were usually met with feelings of dis-
taste by people in Washington. Rothschild Francis and other Virgin Islanders who agitated during the 1920's for the extension
of a real American government to the Virgin Islands were thought to be radicals of the worst degree. Their agitation, however,
did finally bring some change, and the next important policy action took place in 1927, ten years after the islands were acquired.
In that year an act was passed which finally granted citizenship to the people of the Virgin Islands. I might mention that prior
to that time the people had simply been classified as "nationals" of the United States under the protection of the United States,
whatever that means, but they were not citizens.
The next important policy action took place in 1931. This was the transfer of the islands from the guardianship of the De-
partment of the Navy to the Department of the Interior. This meant, of course, that military government in the islands came to
an end, and would be the beginning of a long line of civilian governors who were appointed by the President of the United States.
The next important policy action took place in 1936. This was the passage of the Organic Act for the Virgin Islands; after
almost 20 years of American rule finally a constitution of American equality was put into effect for the islands with the major
changes having to do with suffrage. The old property and income qualifications were discarded, and anyone then who was at
least 21 years of age, a citizen with the ability to read and write, became eligible to vote. For the next 20 years or so, things
continued under this Organic Act of 1936, even though from very early on there was need for various changes.
In 1954 the constitution which we are still under was enacted, and that is the Revised Organic Act. It has been said by a
number of analysts that this Act was really passed to promote governmental efficiency rather than to extend self-government;
even though at the time it was passed Washington did its best to make Virgin Islanders think that it represented a great ad-
vance in self-government. But to a large degree the provisions of the act simply were to make the government work more ef-
fectively. One of the provisions was that the Legislature of the islands would be unified. Instead of having two separate legis-
lative bodies, there would be established one Legislature for all three islands. Another provision was that the laws of the islands
would finally be codified. The Revised Organic Act thus provided for the Virgin Islands Code. The government would be re-
organized to function under nine executive departments rather than various commissions and boards which had existed. Some
of the provisions represented no really great advance in self-government, with the limitation that was placed on federal funding
to some degree. One provision of the Act of 1954 was that the islands should become somewhat self-supporting. This was
accomplished by Congress providing for the return of internal revenue funds to the islands. Congress wanted to get out of
appropriating an annual sum for the islands which they had had to do up to that time. It was thought that if monies were re-
turned from the taxes collected on the islands, we should become self-supporting. However, even though these funds were
turned over to the islands, limitations were put into the Organic Act on how they could be spent. In fact, Washington had to
give its approval before the spending of these funds. Because of this, it is thought that in many ways the Organic Act of 1954
was not so much an advance in our government as an advance in the promotion of governmental efficiency.
The next important policy act did not take place until 1968 with the act to finally allow the people to elect their own gover-
nor, and this act took effect in 1970. The passage of the elected governor act showed the trend of ignoring the wishes of the
people, because as early as 1962 the people of the islands had made known their desire to have an elected governor. In 1964 a
constitutional convention was held, and the natives of the island again expressed their wish to have an elected governor; how-
ever, it was not until 1968 that the powers in Washington passed that act.
This was followed in 1972 by an act that allowed the islands to have an elected delegate to Congress. You might say that the
people had "jumped the gun", so to speak, because from 1968 residents of the islands had sent a delegate to Congress, but
this was in a non-authoritative capacity. So in 1972 the United States Congress authorized the election of such a person. The
reason which was given as to why this was not done before was mainly the matter of the smallness of the population of the
island. Puerto Rico, for example, had had an elected delegate to Congress since the early 1900's; in fact long before they got an
elected governor. We did it in reverse. We were able to elect a governor first, and then a couple of years later, we got the right
to send a representative to Congress because the size of the population before did not seem to justify having such an official
in Washington. In 1967 there was the authorization by Congress for a Constitutional Convention to be held in the islands. The
ones previously held were mainly on the impetus of the residents of the islands rather than due to Congress's efforts.
I would like to mention that this conference is really not the first of its type in which the College has been involved. In
1968, in March, there was a conference held, I believe titled "The Evolving Status of the Virgin Islands". Some of the people
here today were at that conference. There were a few things said at the conclusion of the conference which I feel are important
for us to keep in mind. The organizers of that conference were Dr. Roy Macridis, a political scientist from the United States,
who was teaching at the College at that time and a Virgin Islands attorney, James Bough. At the end of the conference, Dr.
Macridis summarized what had taken place at the conference. One of the things that had struck him was that the evolving
status of the Virgin Islands had been discussed within the confines of the Constitution. No one had thought about the question
of a possible status for the Virgin Islands outside the framework of the Constitution. Dr. Macridis mentioned that it used to be
thought by many people that the Constitution should follow the flag. That had represented a very liberal type of thinking that
the best status for any territory was to have the Constitution completely applicable to that territory. In 1968 Dr. Macridis
said that it might be wise for some territories such as the Virgin Islands to revise that liberal thinking to read that only some
parts of the Constitution should follow the flag. He thought that for territories as small as the Virgin Islands, with some of the
special conditions that exist in them and other similarly situated offshore areas, some sections of the Constitution might be too
binding. They might work to the disadvantage of the people of those places, rather than to their advantage. It might be wise
to keep in mind this thought from a past conference as we continue through our deliberations over the next two days. Thank you.
PROF. LUIS PASSALACQUA CHRISTIAN The title of this panel implies that there has been a consistent and coherent
United States policy towards its offshore areas. To assume that this is so does not seem to square with the facts. Since time al-
lows for little else, may I merely suggest that, from the facts, it can be inferred that, rather than being the subject of policy, the
colonies have been, in good grammatical terminology, the indirect object of policy.
The United States, in point of fact, has never had a coherent colonial policy. How could it have? Its policy makers have never
had the integrity to admit, even to themselves, that the United States has colonies. In order to maintain the fiction, they even
invent such euphemisms as "offshore areas" and "outlying areas" which, one must assume, classifies them with Mare Island or
the Florida Keys or perhaps with Ellis Island. I have often visualized some members of a U.S. delegation to the United Nations
reciting to himself:
Tis but thy name that is my enemy;-
Thou art thyself though, not a Colony.
What's Colony? It is not plain, nor river,
nor hill, nor shore, nor any other,
part belonging to a State;
O, be some other name! ..." (With due apologies to
Instead of a coherent policy towards its colonies as a group with such individual variants as may be warranted the United
States has seemed to view them as counters in its global power strategy. As a result, whatever policy has been formulated appears
to be a response to a move by the adversary of the moment, or a move made to counter an expected or suspected challenge by
such an adversary. This means that U.S. policy towards its colonies has been short-run and piecemeal thereby creating an un-
balanced and incoherent relationship with the colonies.
This non-policy can be detected in the confusion surrounding the status of each colony within the relationship. At the
moment we have four and possibly five different "Commonwealth" type colonies: Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas, the
Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the future Republic of Palau. Each of them differs from the others
in certain fundamental aspects in which they should not if the policy were coherent, such as foreign affairs powers to cite one
example. This can only serve to raise in the less-favored expectation of pressures for change; particularly so, when there appears
to be little or no justification for the difference in treatment.
In addition to the various and sundry "Commonwealths", there are the other three colonies, Guam, American Samoa, and the
Virgin Islands of the United States. Their relationship to the United States differs, not only from the other five, but in some
aspects even among themselves. In fact, there is even an element of flux involved. Viewing this, one could reasonably conjecture
that such status changes as have taken place to date have been the result of external pressures and the assessment of the United
States Government of the effect that such outside pressure might have on the particular colony. This could explain why the
United States appears to at different times blow hot or cold on matters of status.
Thus the creation of the first "associated free state", Puerto Rico, was encouraged and abetted, not because the United
States was planning a new type of relationship with its colonies, but because it wished to avoid having Puerto Rico become sub-
ject to the jurisdiction of the United Nations under Chapter Eleven of the Charter. Alaska and Hawaii posed a similar problem
but, since they had a mainland power elite, and were petitioning for admission to the Union, a solution was easier. In the case of
Puerto Rico, the power elite was not of mainland origin or orientation, did not speak the national language, English, and evinced
no considerable interest in being assimilated into the American political and social system. For these and other reasons eco-
nomics, social and ethnic Statehood did not appear as a desirable option. For political and strategic reasons, as well as because
there seemed to be no overwhelming, or even sufficient support for it, independence was not an alternative. The proposal for
an Estado Libre Asociado, therefore, came as a godsend. It changed the form of the colonial relationship from enforced to vol-
untary without changing the substantive power structure except in minor details, all of which appeared at the time to favor the
United States as much as Puerto Rico.
The Virgin Islands of the United States, Guam and American Samoa could be allowed to remain under Chapter Eleven be-
cause they were not presently viable units and their relationship could be defended on the grounds of humanity. The TTPI,
however, were another matter. They were Trust Territories and thus subject to United Nations jurisdiction. They were also not
considered to be part of the territory of the United States and there were severe restrictions on what could be done therein. It
is apparent that the United States viewed the TTPI in much the same way as South Africa viewed the Territory of Southwest
Africa, like them, a former Class C Mandate under the League of Nations. They were then taken out from under the jurisdic-
tion of the Trusteeship Council and, as strategic areas, placed under the jurisdiction of the Security Council, where the veto
power of the United States protected them from outside interference.
The United States thus put itself in position to champion the right of self-determination for the colonies of other powers by
showing evidence that all of its colonies that were viable units had already exercised that right. The Philippines had become
independent; Alaska and Hawaii had become integrated into the Union; and Puerto Rico had chosen the path of free associa-
tion with the United States. The rest, of course, were not yet ready to assume so grave a responsibility, and being so small,
might have to remain under tutelage indefinitely. This was not a colonial policy, it was a foreign policy ploy.
Likewise, the work of the successive U.S.-Puerto Rico Status Commissions and their failure, had nothing to do with the
formulation of a U.S. policy towards its colonies in general or Puerto Rico in particular. Both the work and the failure to pro-
duce an outcome were designed to counter external charges of U.S. colonialism and imperialism. Their work demonstrated the
good will of the United States and its belief in self-determination for all. Their failure proved that the Puerto Ricans were un-
able to make up their own minds as to what they wanted, but the U.S. remained willing to give them whatever they asked for:
any one of the three U.N. approved formulae. But, when it came down to specific requests for broader powers within the
association, such as signing and ratifying the Articles of Agreement of the Caribbean Development Bank, or obtaining official
observer status at least in the Law of the Sea Conference, that same willing attitude evaporated. As the American Indians have
cause to know, "Great White Father in Washington speak with forked tongue", especially in matters concerning the political
status of his colonies. At one and the same time they have given encouragement to both major status advocate groups in Puerto
Rico and even thrown an occasional wink at the independence movement. It has worked so well with us in Puerto Rico that
today our body politic is paralyzed to the extent that the United States, if it should feel the need to have a change in Puerto
Rico's status, may have to take the initiative. Otherwise, it can forget about it for the foreseeable future.
The likelihood that the United States will disturb such a favorable situation appears quite remote in view of the events of
recent history. The controversy over the reliquishment of the Panama Canal and Zone, which still smolders, suggests that until
and unless the colonies become an intolerable burden, and at the same time lose their strategic value, the United States will not
willingly see them go separate ways. But, until and unless the socio-political system and possibly even the ethnic composition of
the eight present colonies changes to more resemble that of the mainland, they are not likely to be willingly inducted into the
Union. Thus, the status is likely to remain quo for many years. The new Administration in Washington seems to be giving much
more importance to these strategic outposts than did the previous ones. This can be gathered from many statements on the re-
newed role of a global Navy and the commitment to overseas bases.
This may have a bearing on the remarkable about-face that Washington seems to have done on the compacts with the Mar-
shalls, Micronesia and Palau. Coming, as it has, on the eve of this conference, it cannot but strengthen the argument that the fate
of the colonies is but a residue of the changing winds and whims of U.S. foreign policy. There must come a time when the colo-
nies join together and decide which form the relationships between the United States and them will have. There must come a
time when the United States will have a coherent policy towards its colonies; a policy that the colonies can love or can hate but
at least a policy to which they are central and not incidental. Or there will come a time when the term Offshore Areas as used in
this Conference may well refer only to Mare Island, or the Florida Keys or perhaps Ellis Island.
RUTH VAN CLEVE Thank you Mr. Chairman. I regret that I have only ten minutes in which to respond,
rather than two weeks, because it would take me at least two weeks to deal with the precision that I would like with the com-
ments most recently made. I am glad however, to be the anchorperson on this program.
The first speaker, Dr. Boyer, summarized admirably the first century and a half of U.S. territorial policy. From his comments
I derive the central notion that Federal policy toward the territories during the interval until 1917 won't work today and hasn't
worked entirely successfully since 1917, although it did so in some individual cases. Professor Krigger has done a splendid job
of summarizing the progress of the Virgin Islands from 1917 to the present. I would concur in just about all of the judgments
she has made, most particularly the interesting one that the 1954 Organic Act was not a great step forward in terms of self-
government. I think that that is right. As I assess the conclusion, I think that it is right largely because the degree of self-govern-
ment conferred on the Virgin Islands by the Congress in 1936 was rather considerable for that time and place that is to say
there was created a popularly elected legislature with very broad authority. My colleague on the left, Dr. Passalacqua, has raised
many challenging issues, but I would specifically concur that there has not been, indeed, any carefully thought out, long-range
Federal policy from 1917, or 1898, or any other date one chooses, up to the present, with respect to the territories, until last
year when the former President sent to Congress the first territorial message that we know of in U.S. history. The message did
not include Puerto Rico since Puerto Rico is not within the responsibility of the Interior Department, but it was intended to be
a coherent statement as to where the last Administration hoped to go with respect to the territories. I think it was a great step
forward. Thus, I think it is perfectly legitimate to characterize the federal policy towards the territories, at least up to that point
in 1980, as essentially one of muddling through.
We can say that the British are first-rate in muddling through and coming up with pretty good results. I would argue that the
U.S., with respect to its offshore areas, has essentially muddled through, but I would further argue that the results on balance
have really been pretty good, and that is the difference between me and Dr. Passalacqua. Doubtless you know my biases; they
are probably quite obvious to you from my years of association with the United States. I have been employed by the United
States for over 30 years most of those years spent in connection with the territories and the offshore areas. Therefore, I do
have a prejudice. It is one born of having worked with the people associated with the offshore areas for three decades. I regard
the United States and the United States government as honorable institutions. I believe that those associated with the shaping
of policies toward the territories and the Trust Territory have at all points been exceedingly well motivated and more right-
minded than not. This is not to say that they have been error-free; it is to say that their errors are easier to detect after the fact
than they were at the time. There has been no one, to my certain knowledge, associated with this business for a long time who
has not wanted, perfectly genuinely, to make good decisions and to offer good recommendations to the Congress. (Here I
should be very clear that the fundamental authority concerning U.S. territories lies with Congress and not with the Executive
branch.) These decision-makers have tried very hard and with a considerable degree of success to do good things for the territor-
ies. There have been no nefarious dealers in this operation.
I would like to suggest to you that the period 1917 to 1981, and more particularly the period I know best from 1950 to
1981, reveals a number of trends that are salutory and supportable. First, I suggest that that period shows a healthy move from
administrative arrangements by the military to administrative arrangements by civilians within the federal establishment. All of
the areas which we are here addressing were at one time or another under the administrative responsibility of the military -
usually the Navy, but occasionally the Army. One by one, as the federal government got itself organized to do so, each of these
areas was moved to the Interior Department. It was not that the Interior Department has ever made any real sense as the "little
Colonial Office", but only because it makes more sense than any other department or agency. It began that way because in
1967, when Alaska was acquired, our first noncontiguous area, Alaska was largely public land and the Interior Department was
the public land administrator. So Alaska came to the Interior Department, and the other offshore areas followed thereafter -
an historic accident, but one that has been perpetuated because, as I have suggested, no other agency has made any better sense.
So it is that administration of each of the island areas has moved from the Pentagon to the Interior Department, and I think
that is healthy. It is certainly consistent with the American attitude that civilians are more likely to be sensitive to the needs of
civilian populations than are military governors. These moves have been accomplished often after tremendous struggles. The
transfer of administration of Guam to the Interior Department in 1950 and the move of the Trust Territory in 1951, were
achieved only after the alienation of very large chunks of the military, but it was President Truman himself who felt very strong-
ly that civilain populations should be administered by civil officers.
A second trend that I suggest is visible throughout the period of which I am speaking, is one that I would like to character-
ize as never going backwards. There has been in the case of each of the areas a policy of the Congress, usually aided by the Ex-
ecutive branch, to confer increasing measures of self-government upon each of these areas. So it is that there came to Guam in
1950 an organic act; elected governor bills were enacted for Guam and the Virgin Islands in 1968; and two years later, legisla-
tion authorized territorial delegates to the Congress. We have always moved forward. One of the arguments made last year, when
there was a great Washington struggle over the issue whether the Internal Revenue Service should commence collecting income
taxes in the territories, was that it would be viewed as a step backward. It is peculiarly true in the business of territorial ad-
ministration; we have simply never taken a significant backward step. It was therefore not a surprise to some of us when pre-
cisely that argument was made with extra-ordinary vigor throughout the territories after it was first stated in President Carter's
message to Congress, that he would propose to Congress the machinery for the federal government to collect income taxes in
the territories, in place of the local governments. In the Virgin Islands, taxes have been collected by the local government for
several decades; and in the case of Guam at least since 1950. I suggest that this is a business where we always go forward, and I
think there could not be found in recent decades any substantial step backward.
Thirdly, I suggest that the United States throughout this period has paid remarkable and complete deference to the rightly-
vaunted principle of self-determination a concept that plays an important role in U.N. debates as well as in other forums. It
was suggested earlier this morning that we operate in response to outside pressures, and indeed we do. Those outside pressures
are very often ones from the territories themselves. We listen very carefully to what the people from the offshore areas have to
say, and I think it is fair to say that we generally respond to major displays of local attitudes, not very quickly, but usually in
due course. The United States government is a massive instrument, and it takes a very long time for it to move. It moves more
slowly now than it did in the '60s, and more slowly than in the '50s. It is very hard to get anything accomplished within the
federal establishment. We do not react overnight, but there are sympathetic listeners today as there have been in the past,
ready to do the right thing vis-a-vis these areas.
The final conclusion which I would draw from the last several decades is that the United States, perhaps as a consequence of
the muddling-through policy that I have acknowledged, has displayed a remarkable degree of flexibility. It has permitted any
number of unusual arrangements for offshore areas in relation to the United States, ranging for example, from statehood for the
two remaining incorporated territories, to commonwealth status in 1952 for Puerto Rico, and to a number of unusual govern-
mental arrangements with respect to the Virgin Islands and Guam, even though an ultimate status has not yet emerged for them.
The message I would like to leave with you is that our relationships with the territories suggest that when a territorial people
display a degree of imagination and good-will, there are an enormous number of political arrangements that can be satisfactory
to both the peoples of the territories and to the Federal Establishment, and they can be made to work. Some of them may look
peculiar, but I think the U.S. has proved a willingness to be flexible in the past, and I have every hope that we will continue
to be so in the future. Thank you very much.
T The E
of United States
Offshore Areas Relations
in a Regional
and International Context
MR. DANIEL STRASSER, Chair U.S. Department of State
(formerly U.S. Representative before the United Nations Decolonization Committee)
MR. ALEXANDER FARRELLY Attorney, U.S. Virgin Islands
(past Democractic candidate for Governor, U.S. Virgin Islands)
DR. GORDON K. LEWIS Professor of Political Science, University of Puerto Rico
DR. JAMES NATHAN Associate Professor of Political Science University of Delaware
MR. GEORGE EUSTAQUIO Staff Aide to Guam's Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives
PAUL LEARY This is Panel Two, and the topic of this panel is "The Present Status of United
States-Offshore Areas Relations in a Regional and International Context." I am Dr. Paul Leary, and let me begin by introducing
the panelists in the order in which they are listed on the program, beginning with the Chair, Mr. Dan Strasser, who is a foreign
service officer and is presently serving with the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York. One of Mr. Strasser's
responsibilities is representing the United States with respect to non-self-governing areas of the United States, more particularly
before the De-Colonization Committee of the U.N. General Assembly. Dan is a very pertinent person to provide an overview of
the international dimensions and to serve as Chair. His past experience will come in handy. The next person to be introduced is
well known to everyone in the Virgin Islands, Mr. Alexander Farrelly, a local attorney, a political and civic activist involved in
many political activities. Alexander Farrelly is an attorney who in the past has had experience with some of these issues. The
next panelist is also well known to Virgin Islanders, Dr. Gordon Lewis from the University of Puerto Rico, one of the leading
scholars on the Caribbean, who will be coming out with another book on the political ideologies of the Caribbean which will be
published in the near future. James Nathan is a political scientist at the University of Delaware, who has served in many capacities
which have included Visiting Professor at the Naval War College. Dr. Nathan is concerned with America's international relations
and future questions regarding the territorial role. George Eustaquio is Congressman Won Pat's assistant someone who will be
able to address the concerns of the Pacific region. Now I will turn this panel over to Dan Strasser, our Chairman.
DAN STRASSER Thank you very much, Paul. I think that all of us on the panel are goingto be address-
ing the issues from different perspectives based on their various experiences. Therefore I am going to focus on what I know best
on this general topic of regional and international aspects of the offshore areas. I will be talking about the United Nations, and
how the United States interacts with the United Nations on these issues.
As a matter of fact, all offshore areas which have been dealt with in this seminar are taken up in the United Nations. They
come up in principally three different fora of the United Nations; the Trusteeship Council which deals only with trust terri-
tories, and in this case with the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or Micronesia; the General Assembly's Special Committee
appointed for De-Colonization, which is a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly; and the Fourth Committee of the General
Assembly itself, which is a clearing committee of the Assembly and which reviews the work of the committees appointed when
the General Assembly comes at the end of each year. The legal basis for the discussion of, not only U.S. territories, but also
territories of other countries, is found principally in the Charter of the United Nations.
First of all, one of the basic purposes in the Charter, and the second purpose of the Charter addresses the question of main-
taining peace and security, and to develop friendly relations among nations based upon the respect of the principle of equal
rights and self-determination of peoples and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace. This is one of the
basic foundations for a good deal of discussion. However, there are also three other entire chapters in the Charter which are
applicable to the U.S. territories; Chapter 11 of the Charter, which contains a declaration on non-self-governing territories;
Chapter 12 which establishes the trusteeship system and its purposes; and Chapter 13 which goes into some detail about the
establishment of the Trusteeship Council. These are the basis of the discussion in the United Nations.
There are several General Assembly resolutions which are applicable and which for many nations form as equal a basis or
complimentary basis to the Charter dealing with these areas. These resolutions in most cases were not unanimously adopted,
although nearly so, by the United Nations, and therefore do not form as permanent or as universal basis for discussion. I do have
to mention Resolution 1514, which was adopted in 1960 by the General Assembly. It was adopted with only 6 countries ab-
staining, including the United States, as the United States had some reservations on this resolution. Essentially it came about in
1960 after 17 countries (mostly African countries) joined the United Nations, found that the Charter provisions were fine -
obviously they had helped them to gain their independence but it was felt that the process needed speeding up. Resolution
1514, which deals with granting independence to colonial countries and peoples, was, I think, a cride coeur involving newly
independent countries, saying let's strive for independence for countries which are still under colonial rule. I think they were
focusing their attention very much at that time on the African situation. There was quite a bit of strong sentiment and feeling
about it. There remained the problems in Portugese-dominated African colonies of a very severe type, and Resolution 1514 is
an important basis for discussion within the United Nations on de-colonization. I will get back to it a bit later because it ties
into some other things.
The positive thing about Resolution 1514 is that it does call for self-determination, and the United States does support this
general principle and has gone on record at the United Nations as to this. It tends to be heavily weighted in favor of the inde-
pendence option as a more favored choice. One might say that since these countries opted for independence, it is not unlikely
that they would say it was the best choice. As the United Nations has moved through the various stages where other territories
come to, in most cases, independence, there have been instances of free association, commonwealth, etc., and as you get down
to some of the smaller territories, I think that most countries in the United Nations realize that independence is really only one
option, and not in many cases what people really want. Since the United Nations takes up places as small as Pitcairn Island with
about 60 people on it, they obviously don't think that Pitcairn Island ought to be independent. They know how much they
need the support of the "outside" in order to get along. There are other General Assembly resolutions which deal with this,
but this is the principal one. There was even a special meeting commemorating the 20th anniversary of this declaration Re-
solution 1514 just last year. Everyone spoke very highly of the process which had begun at that point and which basically
brought about a great deal of countries resolving their status questions. In fact, the United Nations is composed of 154 members,
75 of which were former colonies or trust territories. It obviously is something of great importance in the United Nations.
Two regimes were really set up under the Charter. One was the Declaration on Non-self-governing Territories, and one of the
main purposes of this is "to promote the political, economic, social and educational advancement of the inhabitants." Members
of the United Nations which have, or assume the responsibilities for, the administration of territories whose people have not yet
obtained a full measure of self-government, recognized the principle that the interest of these inhabitants is paramount. It is a
sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within a system of international peace and security to satisfy the
well-being of the inhabitants of these territories, and to ensure, with due respect for the culture of the people concerned, their
political, economic, social and educational advancement, and just treatment and protection against abuses. Also, to develop self-
government taking into account the political aspirations of the people, and to assist them in the progressive development of their
free political institutions according to the particular circumstances of each territory and people and their varying stages of ad-
vancement. There are other purposes, but I wanted to read particularly the last one which is important because the United States
is a member of the United Nations and subscribes to it. Not only do they subscribe to it, but this declaration and the sections of
the Charter dealing with trusteeship largely emerged from the impetus of the United States in the period just before the end of
World War II. These were ideas that President Roosevelt very strongly believed in. There was opposition from other countries
who had colonial possessions, but these were adopted and there was a suggestion that maybe there weresome bankruptcies in
these provisions. I don't think so; they have been effective in their own way in promoting self-government.
Talking about the trusteeship system which is the other regime under the Charter, I am going to leave the section of the Trust
to the other people who will be talking about the status negotiations on another panel. I did want to mention the purposes of
the trusteeship system which was basically a way to find a way to deal with the special problems of special territories not all
non-self-governing territories but those which had been former mandates under the League of Nations, or which were taken
from the Axis powers during the war. Special problems arose from areas which had been used against the Allies for aggressive
purposes, but a regime was felt to be needed, to be established, which would assure that these territories would develop in the
future, and were not in any sense annexed by the countries concerned that there would be some international regime under
which they could progress towards self-government. There were eleven such trust territories, and now ten of these have achieved
independence or have integrated with other independent states or have themselves joined more than one to become an inde-
pendent state. They have turned towards independence in some form or another. The only trust left in the trusteeship council
is Micronesia, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
Regarding how these questions are taken up in the United Nations itself, Chapter 11 of the Charter deals with non-self-
governing territories. As a matter of fact a list of such territories was established. The United States, as well as other countries,
submitted the names of countries that they were willing to consider as part of U.S. territories. These include at the present time
Guam, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. At one time Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii were also on the list, but were
removed from the list having achieved self-government. The United States deals with the three remaining non-self-governing
territories by submitting information to the Secretary General of the United Nations in accordance with Article 73E of the U.N.
Charter. We also make a statement each year before the special committee for de-colonization, and we submit to questions by
the delegates on the Committee of 24. Also in recent years we have acceded to the wishes of the Committee of 24 to allow visit-
ing missions consisting of the 24 members to go to the territories.
The first such mission to visit these territories took place here in the Virgin Islands in 1977 when a four-man mission for the
U.N. came and wrote a report. I think several people here are aware of that report. In 1979 another mission went to Guam, and
in that case their visit coincided with the Constitutional referendum. We have invited the Committee of 24 to send a third
mission to American Samoa this year, sometime later in the year to observe conditions there. The invitation has come from the
local government and has been transmitted to the Committee by the United States. In dealing with the three non-self-governing
territories as I mentioned, there are various stages in the annual process of consideration. The first place where this is taken up
is what is called the Sub-Committee on Small Territories of the Committee of 24. They focus only on the smaller territories,
and their interest is in the general economic and social well-being and advancement of the territories towards self-government.
The sub-committee then reports to the Committee of 24 which again takes up the question, and based on the study of the sub-
committee, the Committee of 24 produces conclusions and recommendations. These are then submitted to the General Assem-
bly for consideration.
The General Assembly is composed of several committees which deal with separate issues being considered in the United
Nations. These are plenary committees, and one of these is the Fourth Committee which deals with former trusteeships and now
de-colonization. The United States again makes a statement before the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly, which in
turn recommends to the General Assembly itself a resolution on each of the territories. The Plenary Session then adopts the
resolution. In recent years the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly from all three of the U.S. non-self-governing terri-
tories have been by unanimity. They have been consensus resolutions designed to promote the general well-being of the people
in these territories. There was a period in which particularly the resolution on Guam was much more controversial. One of the
problems with these resolutions is that very often they become a political football over which international power struggles
take place. The fact that there are military bases in Guam, for instance, was the basis for some of the Soviet Block countries to
try to make condemnatory provisions in the resolutions on Guam. Later this was negotiated out so that we could all support
the resolution on Guam. It certainly was not doing the people of Guam any good for us to vote against the U.N. Resolution on
Here I want to make a statement on the question of Puerto Rico in this context because I did mention that Puerto Rico is
presented in the United Nations, and I did not include it in the non-self-governing territories other than to say that it had been
removed from the list of such territories. In 1953 the General Assembly recognized through a resolution that Puerto Rico had
achieved a Commonwealth status and was no longer non-self-governing and had exercised its right to self-determination. In the
early 70's the Cuban government began to raise this issue in the Committee of 24, and proceeded to raise it to the point where
some changes in the regimes among the members of the Committee.of 24. There were several changes of government to the
point where they thought they could get a majority of the members of the Committee of 24 to support the resolution on
Puerto Rico. The United States continues to maintain that, while we continue to recognize the right of Puerto Rico to self-
determination, which has been the consistent position of American Presidents stretching back through Eisenhower when Com-
monwealth status was adopted, it was no longer a concern of the United Nations, and Puerto Rico should be removed from the
listing. As a result of this we simply do not participate in the U.N.'s Committee of 24's consideration of Puerto Rico. The issue
though has never been raised in the General Assembly itself, and although the Committee of 24 reports to the General Assembly,
the General Assembly has never seen fit to pass a resolution regarding Puerto Rico since it removed it from the list of territories.
In fact, the Committee of 24 has never made a suggestion that it should deal with it. It is a very controversial question, and I am
sure that Professor Lewis and others will be discussing it, but that has been our position. This is probably enough. I have given
more or less a factual description as to how these things are dealt with, and I will answer questions later. The next speaker is
ALEXANDER FARRELLY Thank you. During the previous speaker's remarks, I believe you heard some ex-
cerpts from the preambular paragraphs to Chapter Eleven of the Charter. I think it might be useful to repeat or make reference
to that language so that it might better explain that which I shall say subsequently.
The preambular paragraph of Article 73 speaks of the administering power and the United States is an administering power
for the purposes of the Charter has or assumes responsibilities recognizing the principle that the interests of the inhabitants
of the territories are paramount, and the administering power accepts as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost
the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories. In sub-section b, ". the Administering Power has the responsibility to
develop self-government and to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples and to assist them in the progressive
development of the free political institutions according to the particular circumstances of each territory."
You heard also that the previous speaker made reference to the Committee of 24's Subcommittee on Small Territories, and
of course that has particular relevance to us here in the Virgin Islands. That subcommittee of 18 has competence to review the
information provided them by the United States and other administering powers for areas such as the British Virgin Islands, the
U.S. Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands. So now you can understand the context in which we use
the phrase "small territories." This becomes important when you deal with United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514,
which says that the people of the territories possess the full and inalienable right to self-determination.
There has been a developing dichotomy at the U.N. in that Third World Countries, which were once non-self-governing, have
begun to take the view that the alternative for non-self-governing territories, once they become self-governing, can only be inde-
pendence. I think that you can appreciate that independence has little appeal for those of us from small territories. There is the
question of economic viability, the question of survivability in a world where there are two giants, each dominating a sphere of
influence. And so it has become necessary to think in terms of an alternative for small territories to that of independence. In
fact, the reason we are now involved in a second constitutional writing effort is to try to find some system or form which we
can use in developing our free political institutions under, I suppose, the approval of the United States. As we pursue that task,
it appears to me, and this is my view only, that there is some tension between Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, which gives
Congress plenary authority to make all rules and regulations affecting territories, and the Charter provisions which require the
United States as an administering power to develop self-government and the development of our free political institutions. It
seems to me that since the United Nations Charter is a treaty and I would assume it has all the enforcement authority of a
treaty it binds the United States Government. I would also assume that it binds the United States Congress. I wonder how we
work off that tension which has to exist when Congress has complete authority in respect to a territory, including the decision
as to what form of self-government it should attain, and its responsibilities as a signatory to the Charter in which it also has a
responsibility freely to develop our political institutions respecting the well-being and the interests of the inhabitants as para-
In that context it has become a little troubling to me, as I reviewed some of the U.N. documentation in our local library
about that visiting mission, to which Mr. Strasser made reference and which was here, I believe, in 1977 and held public hearings
on all three islands. I find it interesting that the turn-out in St. Croix was probably ten times that of the turn-out in St. Thomas
(254 against 34). The head of the visiting mission, I believe his name was Mr. Vunibobo of Fiji, was told by an official of the
United States Government in Washington, Mr. Charles Maynes, Assistant Secretary of State for International Affairs, State
Department, that the United States' view on Resolution 1514 was as follows: "that the resolution was advisory and had no
effect on the interpretation that the United States placed on Article 73." I thought you would find that fascinating because
what it does is to say that the Universal Declaration in Resolution 1514, which led to the creation of the Committee of 24 to
examine measured progress against a standard adopted by the General Assembly, was being told by one of the major powers,
which has responsibility for territories, that that resolution had no effect other than advisory. Maybe the tension in one fell
swoop has been removed, in which the United States Government is saying, "Listen, sure we signed the Charter, sure we accept
the responsibilities, but when it comes right down to it, we will make a unilateral decision as to how fast the territories will roll,
and you guys keep your noses out of it."
I find that as I review the Committee of 24 and its creation that at least in the context of those international laws that speak
of the pressure of decisions and the pressure of an international forum, if for no other reason than you can ventilate the issues
concerning non-self-governing areas, for example under 1514. It does put the United States on notice that it cannot simply
disregard its constitutional obligations even if it is plenary in Article IV because it has to explain, from time to time, what
happens in the territories under its administration as they move towards the fulfillment of its charter obligation. The United
States as a signatory submits information annually to the United Nations. This information is then summarized and analyzed,
and then papers are prepared which are sent down to the Fourth Committee for general debate, leaving the General Assembly to
debate on those resolutions, and the information in those resolutions. The United States has participated voluntarily, and I
say voluntarily because the view has developed that this Charter obligation does not require the United States, or any other
administering power, to submit political information, although the United States has. I should make it clear that the obligation
has been generally accepted to exclude the obligatory submission by any administering power, including the United States, of
political information. But the United States has been submitting that information, and I found one bit of further information,
or rather the lack of it to be interesting. Mr. Vunibobo, as he summarized his findings on the territory in his discussions with
the administering power, made reference to the well-recognized separation of powers doctrine in the Virgin Islands, pointing
to I think, President Roebuck who was President of the Legislature at the time, and to the late Governor King who was Governor at
that time, then an oblique, almost vague, reference to the judiciary. I found that to be interesting. Why is that so? We probably
all will agree that when we speak of a republican form of government, that we contemplate two concepts; one, a representative
form of government that is to say we elect people to speak for us rather than a direct system where we govern ourselves. Two,
a republican form of government contemplates three co-equal branches of government. I take the view, and it is my view only,
that if two of the branches are representative, directly accountable to the people, and the third branch is not, as indeed it is not
since the Federal Court here serves both as a local court and as a Federal Court, then you do not have a republican form of
government. I was distressed to find, and I looked at hundreds of pages looking for some clarity, that no attempt was made in
the summary of the information on the Virgin Islands, and of course on Guam because they have the exact parallel, that nobody
bothered to explain that that third branch, supposedly fitting that republican requirement, was not under the control of the
Government of the Virgin Islands. I do not know if it is a lack of sophistication on the part of the United Nations Secretariat,
whether it is a lack of information submitted to the United Nations, but whatever the reason, it strikes me as being seriously
deficient when the General Assembly is told we have a republican form of government, where two branches are controlled by
the people of the Virgin Islands, but the third branch is controlled by the Feds. Thank you very much.
GORDON LEWIS Mr. Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to sketch briefly the regional and inter-
national context within the Caribbean basin of this topic under discussion. We have already listened to some material earlier in
the day on the historical background on the expansion of the American Empire in the region. That is to say, the transformation
of the American Republic into the American Empire. Since my colleague, Dr. Passalacqua, has insisted that we call a colony a
colony, it is essentially a colonial empire. It is based upon the historic expansionism of the American spirit throughout the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries. All of the justifications for that expansionism have once before been contained in Professor
Weinberg's classic book of 1936, Manifest Destiny A History of American National Expansionism. What we are witnessing in
the 20th century in the Caribbean is the Caribbeanization of that spirit, or of the Monroe Doctrine the translation of the Mon-
roe Doctrine from the original intent of a legitimate exercise for the defense of the new republic into a new justification for the
United States as the policeman of the American hemisphere.
We in the Caribbean have good reason to know the consequences of the practical application of the Monroe Doctrine. Maybe
the American citizens on the mainland do not know so much. There is the story of the American citizen who was rescued by
some friends from a lynching mob, and he was asked why he had been attacked. He said, "I love the Monroe Doctrine; I adore
the Monroe Doctrine; I would die for the Monroe Doctrine, I only said I didn't know what it was." Well, we in the Caribbean
know what the Monroe Doctrine is, and we have heard a lot today from other speakers about constitutional forms of empire,
whether they emanate from the Atlantic charter or whether they emanate from the United Nations declarations, or whether
they emanate from considerations of committees and subcommittees of various agencies, national and international, that are
concerned with the development of dependent people and societies throughout the world including the Pacific and the Carib-
bean. I am not particularly interested in constitutional forms; I am interested in the root of power, whether they are disguised
by constitutional forms, or whether they are expressed in constitutional forms. When I look at Puerto Rico for example, I see
today, as we move into the last period of a century of American rule, that Puerto Rico is still governed, essentially, whatever we
may say about self-government, by the center of power in Washington. If you read an early book by Alpheus Snow in 1902
entitled The Government of Dependencies, one of the first efforts of American scholarship to come to grips with the emergence
of the United States as a world power after the Hispanic-American war, Snow says, "that the new colonial dependencies are
governed by an oligarchy of strangers." Puerto Rico is still governed by an oligarchy of strangers, as also are the U.S. Virgin
Islands, and that oligarchy of strangers is located in the root of congressional power in the United States. They are the impor-
tant committees and sub-committees that are relevant to the government of the colonial dependencies, and the powerful chair-
men of those relevant committees. As Representative Carey said when the House Insular Affairs Committee held its hearing here
in the Virgin Islands concerning the Elected Governor Act, "After all is said and done, we are still the Chairman of the Board".
Congress is still the Chairman of the Board, both for the U.S. Virgin Islands and for the so-called Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Of course, there are differences. As an Englishman myself, I recognize the difference between British colonial administration
and United States colonial administration. Mrs. Van Cleve said this morning that it had been a question of what the English
call "muddling through". I gravely doubt that, because the doctrine of "muddling through" is a legend invented by the English
in order to befuddle their enemies. When I look at the record of the last thirty years of the expansion of naval bases, first by
Great Britain and then by the United States, I see no "muddling through". When I look at the Chaguaramas Agreement of 1940
in which Mr. Churchill and President Roosevelt, without consultation with the local governments, arranged the infamous bases
and destroyers deal, I see no "muddling through" in that episode. When the United States moved into the transfer of 1917 in
the Virgin Islands, I see no "muddling through". When the United States moves in, as it now is doing, to recreate the Virgin
Islands/Puerto Rico complex as a new strategic base for expansionism in the Caribbean, I do not see any "muddling through"
I have heard a lot about the doctrine of trusteeship since I arrived yesterday in the Virgin Islands. We all know that the
doctrine of trusteeship was stated in classic form in Edmund Burke's speeches in the Warren Hastings trial of the 1780's. It is
in those speeches that Burke first ennunciates the concept of the moral responsibilities of imperial power for dependent colo-
nial peoples under its control. I suggest though, that we no longer live in the 1780's. We live in the 1980's, and I suggest that it
is time that we recognize, once and for all, the historic anachronism of the doctrine of trusteeship. Why? Because as Burke
himself said in those speeches, "Today, the cause of Asia is discussed in the courts of Europe; tomorrow the cause of Europe
may be discussed in the courts of Asia". And that is essentially what is happening. Has not the cause of France been discussed
in Algeria? Has not the cause of Britain been discussed in British Guiana? Has not the cause of the United States been discussed
in Vietnam? Surely, yes. Burke is right; we are now in a historic situation where trusteeship is obsolete as a mandate to justify
continuing colonial rule.
What is the alternative? For me, the alternative is that national self-determination, if it means anything at all, means national
territorial independence. There are other speakers who have suggested that there are alternatives to classic traditional indepen-
dence. I agree; but when I look at the alternative in the shape of the commonwealth status in Puerto Rico since 1952, I see an
alternative that has not effectively worked. After all, it is not an evil-minded, European Socialist like myself, but a Governor as
Republican as Governor Romero Barcelo in Puerto Rico who has agreed:
1. That Puerto Rico still in colonial status and,
2. that if the United States is not prepared to grant statehood,
he will lead the movement for national independence.
What I suggest is that the recognition of continuing colonial status, and the demand that ultimately, one way or another, it
be replaced by real national independence with a more regional and international framework, is the order of the day. It is in
the air, and ultimately it must prevail. I think today we have arrived at that situation. I note that particularly, again in the Puerto
Rican case, I am told by its defenders that the United States has always been willing to grant the Puerto Rican people what
they want. I am prepared to believe that every President since Mr. Eisenhower to Mr. Carter has believed that promise, but I
regard it essentially as an empty promise. Why? Because in the first place the doctrine of public opinion, of what people want, is
much more complex than it sounds. Very often, people do not get what they want, but want what they get. And in the Puerto
Rican case, American largesse has meant that the Puerto Rican population, members of a common economic market, are able to
migrate to the American economy to find jobs. It means that with the massive food stamps program some 65% of Puerto Rican
families are able to live on federal largesse without work; which if that is not Socialism, I would like to know what is. In other
words, as you organize these practical policies, you reveal the emptiness of the promise that you will give the Puerto Ricans
independence if they want it. They do not want it for a very simple reason; that as they obtain all of these favors from the
richest imperial power that has ever existed in the history of the modern world, the economic appetite destroys the political
And all of this is done in the spirit of moral self-righteousnesswhich is so much a part of the American national temper, as
we saw pre-eminently in the case of Mr. Carter. If a cat may look at a king, I support that a humble university professor of
political science may look at the President of the United States. It used to be said of Mr. Ernie Bevin, who was Foreign Secre-
tary in Mr. Attlee's Labor Cabinet after 1945, that Mr. Bevin, having come out of a working-class, trade-union background, as
Foreign Secretary always treated the Soviet Union as if it was nothing so much as a recalcitrant, branch-member of Trade
Union Congress. Similarly and likewise, Mr. Carter, coming out of the religious, Baptist South tended to treat the rest of the
world as if they were nothing so much as members in yet another Sunday afternoon Bible class in Plains, Georgia. Georgia on
Well, I suggest that the new spirit that is developing in the Caribbean I do not speak for the Pacific is beginning to chal-
lenge, once and for all, that attitude of moral self-righteousness.We know that the simple dictum that we will give the Puerto
Rican people what they want is an empty dictum, and it means nothing. What then does this mean? Does it mean as Mr. Farrelly
implies, that the argument of national independence is inappropriate for the small territorial size of places like the Virgin Islands?
There is some justification in that line of argument. This is why I argue that independence in and of itself is not enough, because
we also have to recognize the obsolescence of the nineteenth century doctrine of nationalist independence. Independence
once achieved, we must move forward to genuine forms of regional cooperation, because in that sense we help each other, and
we develop regional plans for revival, rather than each small territory going its own way.
That becomes, I think, in the Caribbean of the future, a doctrine of federal functionalism in which we try not to resurrect
a London-inspired experiment such as the West Indies Federation of the 1960's, but rather that the independent governments in
the region, in cooperation, move forward to a system of federal functionalism based upon economic cooperation, social justice
and territorial equality. It means something more than that, too. We operate not only within a regional framework, but also
within an international framework. That is happening in the Caribbean today -and the Navy bombardment of Vieques which
has just been annotated in a recent report by the United States Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives is
only one symbol of how, under the Reagan administration, we begin to move away from the welfare state into the warfare
state. That transition has ominous consequences. You can see that by what is happening daily in the Vieques area. It means that
we are again, in the Caribbean, the unwilling and helpless victims of warfare of the geo-political power system.
That is why, as an independent Caribbean moves forward into the future, it has to organize a foreign policy. I believe it can
organize a friendly relationship with the United States, if the United States remains true to its great and honorable record of
liberal Jeffersonianism. I believe that in that foreign policy, as it is shaped within the framework of ideological pluralism within
the Caribbean, it has to go back to the original intent of the non-aligned movement of the 1940's and the 1950's. That is to
say that if Fidel's Cuba is a client state of the Soviet Union, if Puerto Rico is a client colony of the United States, I object to
both conditions. We must move forward to a real non-alignment progress, in which we try to develop friends and influence
people, and all based upon the principle that we do not belong to any super power within the nuclear games they are playing in
the American hemisphere. This, I think is the answer to the topic of this forum, which is not so much a topic of offshore pos-
sessions as it is a topic of colonialism and imperialism.
When ultimately we organize a treaty of separation not a divorce but a friendly treaty of separation between ourselves
and any super power that exercises its power within the Caribbean, whether it is a primary empire like the United States or the
Soviet Union or whether it is a secondary empire like Venezuela or Mexico, we must organize those treaties of separation ulti-
mately upon the famous doctrine of restitucion, or recompensa, of reparations in the modern term of public international law.
That doctrine of restitucion Padre Las Casas four hundred years ago developed within the pages of his remarkable, Historia de
Las Indias, in which Las Casas is saying (and he is the first Caribbean ethnologist and the first defender of the Caribbean cause of
freedom) the Spaniards must be prepared to evacuate the Indies, and they must give compensation for all of the damage and the
exploitation that they have imposed upon the aboriginal Indians of the archipeligo. That may sound like romantic nonsense.
Within the framework of four hundred years of colonialism, it is indeed a romantic concept. But it still has, I believe, validity,
as a doctrine of reparations already enshrined in modern, public international law.
Having said that much, and having been speaking of public principalities, powers and policies, I believe that ultimately the
problem resides in each one of us as we dedicate our loyalty and devotion to the handsome and virile peoples of the Caribbean
region. All of it based on the famous observation of the Spanish Conquistadore historian Oviedo in the sixteenth century, a con-
temporary of Las Casas, when he wrote, "He who would possess the wealth of the Indies, must first have the wealth of the
Indies in his own heart."
JAMES NATHAN That's a very hard act to follow. I am not going to try to do it in exactly the same
style. I'm from Washington, and the view there is a bit different than the view from the Virgin Islands. What I thought that I
might best bring to this conference, in a very brief time, is an unofficial observer's view as how things are seen in Washington;
how in a derivative sense the Virgin Islands are seen. Let me say that in my judgement and I speak as a private person, a pro-
fessor of political science, and a sometimes writer on national security issues it is my impression that foreign policy in Wash-
ington and national security policy are largely the same thing.
Washington sees this region as basically a security region, and basically an undifferentiated security region. To Washington,
that problem can be broken down into about three parts. There is the problem with economic conditions in this part of the
world. But it is a problem not just because there is $8 billion dollars in the Eastern Caribbean, not just because there is a $6
billion dollar trade deficit with this region, but because economic conditions in this part of the world are in some ways symbolic
of much larger investments, more important investments elsewhere, and which are much more under seige elsewhere. There is a
second area of concern in the Washington policy community, and that is with the demographics of this region, as I understand
This region has, as you well know, one of the highest birth rates in the world. There is enormous pressure on American visa
laws and American diplomatic personnel for work entry into the United States. The concerns as to how to handle these issues
both lawfully and diplomatically, and in such ways as not to cause social and economic dislocation on the Mainland, is a prob-
lem that policy makers only in the last few years really only last year began to face up to with the literal invasion of
150,000 people from the Caribbean.
There is a final issue and perhaps the most important one in Caribbean relations as far as the Washington policy-making
community goes, and that seems to be the issue of East-West relations. I am going to try for just a moment to disassociate my-
self from the policy community yet try to explain what the "official" view is of the problem with Cuba and the problem with
East-West relations in general in this area.
The problem with Cuba is in two parts. One part is the actual Cuban capability, and the actual Soviet presence in this part of
the world, which is not unimportant. The second problem with Cuba is a security question from the Washington policy point of
view and that is the symbolic aspect of Cuba. Cuba represents the point of the spear of the advance of Soviet power, and to the
extent that the Cuban model prospers, and to the extent that all other states within the region begin to look to Cuba, it is feared
in Washington that the United States has lost a degree of credibility which will reflect on other commitments elsewhere.
Let me speak to the actual competence of Cuba for a moment, in military terms. The actual competence of Cuba is not in-
considerable. It has the second largest army in this hemisphere (excluding the United States) second only to Brazil. It has
roughly $8,000,000 of military supplies given to it by the Soviet Union daily. It has some 60-80,000 combat-ready individuals
constantly in formation, some 120,000 in a state of ready reserve, and some 80-90,000 individuals who can be called on very
short notice by the Cubans within 48 hours. It has several squadrons of quite advanced MIG aircraft.
The Cubans are able to sustain, with Soviet assistance, some 40,000 troops, which on an American scale is three divisions, in
Africa at the present moment and in parts of the Middle East. It has one of the largest military air lift capacities of any small
state in the world, perhaps second only to the Israelis. In some ways they can transport military individuals over much more
time and space and with greater ease than can the Israelis. The Cubans have a significant military competence. When added to
perhaps some of the best tendering facilities in the area at Cienfuegos, it gives the eyes of the military planner a significant
problem even a heartburn, especially when it is being cogitated in the confrontational atmosphere of today's Washington.
When Washington thinks about problems of the Caribbean, it does not disaggregate each small island or small country or
each territory. Rather it tends to think of it in regional terms. It tends to think of it in terms of three passages essentially that
come from the Atlantic which carry 50 to 80 percent of American petroleum stocks. Some 50 percent of American petroleum
stocks are "cracked" or processed in this region. One of the deepest and best military facilities that the United States has is on
the island of Cuba, and it would be very difficult for an American military planner to want to give that up for military reasons
and no less for the symbolic difficulties that it would present.
What has Washinton tended to think as a policy community? What has it tended to think as to how to deal with these kinds
of issues? During the last years of the last administration, there were a number of suggestions offered in the policy community,
some of which began to take-off during the last six months of the administration and planned to go forward, some which died
a-borning, and some which will be undoubtedly revitalized and resuscitated in this administration. They are as follows:
There will be increased police training and military assistance to the various small states and countries in this region. I think
this is inevitable even though the law might have to be changed. When the U.S. can't give direct military assistance, then assis-
tance will be given of a kind with dual use police assistance with a larger security utility as well. Secondly, there will be beef-
ed up assistance to the Caribbean Coast Guard.
The second level of activity will be an increase in "show-the-flag" presence. It is already being shown in a large way just by
the mere existence of offshore territories. It is shown in a more dramatic sense when you have 50 very large and competent
naval vessels standing in Caribbean waters, which is the case now, and they are starting to rotate in and out of Caribbean waters
at a much more rapid clip probably the most rapid clip since the Cuban missile crises. In 1973 there were 14 ports-of-call
visits by U.S. Naval ships; last year there were 50. In addition, there is the likelihood that the new defense headquarters in Key
West will be expanded, and I think you can only look at the present military budget and can soon envisage a permanent fleet and
probably an aircraft carrier to be stationed in these waters. These are a lot of vessels. An aircraft carrier is the center of a fleet
which is an enormous investment, which means the staking out of a very long-term, strategic interest in this part of the world.
There is a third aspect to this development, and again I speak only as an analyst and an observer, but I would not be sur-
prised to see what is known in military circles as "civic action programs" in which military and naval engineers will offer to
come on shore and help with civic works such as road building, bridge construction and alike. These works will be useful to host
governments, and will also establish ties with civil and military authority as well. I expect that in addition to increased cultural
missions in this part of the world, there will be increased diplomatic missions to this part of the world.
In my mind some of these efforts are being overstated in Washington at present, and perhaps as Dr. Lewis put it, some of
the solutions can be better defined in terms of regional cooperation. Yet there is another side to all these issues that of under-
development or under-capitalization. To me, the real problems of the Caribbean are not so much security problems, but rather
the problems of transportation whereby it costs more to ship something from Dominican Republic to Florida than it does to
ship from Singapore to San Francisco. There are the problems connected with competition of the tourist industry, so that tour-
ism in Barbados doesn't necessarily hurt the tourism in Tortola. It also involves investment in seasonal commodities and in feed-
ing a population which should be self-sufficient in foodstuffs and commodities, and through cooperation could be self-sufficient
in these areas if internal and external transportation costs were rationalized. There are problems of net balance of payments for
this region which are critical and which cause social and economic dislocations which Washington fears will cause the rise of the
appeal of Castroism and the Soviet Bloc. Problems of energy use could be serviced to some extent by regional cooperation -
regional cooperation in the use of the limited fuel supplies available, regional cooperation in the development of solar tech-
nology, of which this region should have adequate supply, and use of tidal power which in this part of the world might well be
sensible, given the present cost of petroleum at about $45.00 per barrel, and which by the year 2000 could quadruple. Invest-
ment in infrastructure cooperation is a sensible strategy, although it has not yet been the strategy that Washington has adopted
for this region. The foreign policy of the U.S. in dealing with this region in sum is essentially a security policy, but it is a defini-
tion which I feel needs some examination. Thank you.
GEORGE EUSTAQUIO I hope you will bear with me because my comments will probably reflect my en-
vironment, my upbringing and background, and the opinions expressed are from strictly a parochial outlook that I would like
to present to you today. I would like to address the question of the non-self-governing territories, vis-a-vis Guam. I'm not sure
that the people of Guam understand what we mean by the term non-self-governing territories, although they realize that Guam
as an unincorporated territory, is perhaps not legally an integral part of the United States. In August of 1973, Congressman
Won Pat was invited to address the Committee of 24 at the United Nations, and he made this remark. "The people of Guam do
not understand why the United States Government annually must make a report to the United Nations, since we feel that we
are part of the United States. We are citizens of the United States, and we consider this requirement an intrusion on the part of
the United Nations into the domestic policy of the United States towards Guam." Since November of 1972 Congressman Won
Pat has been elected to the U.S. Congress repeatedly by the people of Guam up to the present time. I am sure that the majority
of the people of Guam share the particular view he expressed to the U.N. Committee. I am afraid that what I have to say here
may not be agreeable or even what you want me to say, but we value and cherish our citizenship very much.
Guam was perhaps the only American territory occupied by enemy forces during World War II, and for 400 years prior to
the Spanish-American War we were dominated by Spain. The so-called Chamorro/Spanish War decimated the people of Guam.
The first Spanish-Jesuit missionaries on Guam reported in the 1590's (Guam was of course discovered by Magellan in 1521 and
about 50 years later they had missionaries), indicated there were 80,000 local Chamorros, the indigenous population. After the
Chamorro/Spanish War, the Chamorran people of Guam were assimilated to a point where only a few thousand people remained.
The Japanese imperial government administration during World War II was very oppressive, and many of the people lost their
lives and property. You could not even make your own tortillas or slaughter your own cow without first getting permission. We
know what it is to be without freedom. We know by experience what it is to be a free American.
Immediately after World War II the people of Guam petitioned the United States Government for citizenship. So it was
really by choice that we became Americans, and we value that very much. It is natural for us, having gone through those ex-
periences to want certainly to be a closer part of the United States, and to be closer is to become a State. This is the logical
goal, but we are also realistic enough to understand that economically we don't have the financial ability and the capability to
become a state. That is a fact of life.
However, if you look back and reflect on the progress we have made since the enactment of the Organic Act in 1950, which
also conferred citizenship on Guam, I think you will agree with me that we have made tremendous progress in terms of our own
constitutional development. We have, under the Organic Act, the ability to elect our own legislature. With the amendment in
1968, we were given the right to elect our own governor. Two years thereafter, we were able to send a representative to Con-
gress, albeit a non-voting delegate, but that same delegate now sits as the Chairman of the sub-committee on Insular Affairs.
So we are very proud, and feel honored, and I'm sure the other territories feel the same way, that the Congress of the United
States has conferred that particular honor and recognition to somebody who is not from the continental United States. You
may want to call that imperialism or dictatorship, but the fact remains that we the people of Guam, right now, and the people
of the territories are given a certain amount of ability and voice in Congress to determine their future. Certainly we had been
given the right to write a constitution of our own choosing. The Federal-Territorial relation is not a perfect thing, and nobody
is claiming that, but I think we have made tremendous progress in terms of our ability to manage our own affairs.
Right now we have a serious threat going on in the Pacific Ocean. We have heard some remarks about the Russians building
up their naval forces around the earth. We consider this a threat, again, reflecting back upon our experiences during World
War II. That is why we have the Speaker of the Legislature and a couple of Senators from Guam agitating in Washington, for
more military presence in Guam. Not only is the military an economic "shot-in-the-arm" for Guam, but at the same time we
feel secure that we are being adequately protected. We don't want to lose our freedom again. Perhaps you have a different
experience here. What we should be working on, at least from the point of view of Guam, among the territories, is to seek
certain regional collaboration among ourselves that would enable us to negotiate with Washington from a position of strength.
I am referring here to the possible, eventual re-integration of Guam and the Marianas, for example, to remove the disincentives
and barriers which prohibit or impede a greater amount of interaction economically and culturally. This is the type of regional
thing we should be thinking about and working toward. As you know, you can only deal with Washington from a position of
strength. Alone we do not have the leverage; we are small. We have to recognize that. Our budget, as you well know, is well-
subsidized by the federal government. I don't see how one can be politically independent when you are economically and
financially dependent. These are the realities of life. Statements about U.S. imperialism do not do us any good; we should be
realistic enough to focus on those goals that we want and we can achieve under our American Governmental system. The United
States may be imperialistic, but I am not going to change our system for anything in the world. I do not think that Russia or,
any other country, has anything better to offer us at this time. Thank you.
of United States P6l
the Offshore Areas
TOYA ANDREW Staff Assistant, Conference Planning Committee
DR. E. ARACELIS FRANCIS, CHAIR Fellow, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
(former Executive Director, Office of Planning and
Development, Virgin Islands Department of Social Welfare)
DR. KLAUS ALBUQUERQUE Associate Professor Sociology
The College of Charleston
DR. LEONARD MASON Emeritus Professor of Anthropology
University of Hawaii
DR. MANUEL MALDONADO-DENIS Professor of Political Science
University of Puerto Rico
SENATOR RUBY SIMMONDS U.S. Virgin Islands Legislature
TOYA ANDREW It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Third Panel of the Conference, "The Cultural
and Social Impact of United States Policies on the Offshore Areas". It is a distinct pleasure to introduce the Chairwoman, Dr.
Aracelis Francis, who is with the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Her colleagues will include, Senator
Ruby Simmonds, Virgin Islands Representative; Dr. Leonard Mason from the University of Hawaii, Professor Manuel Maldonado-
Denis of the University of Puerto Rico and Klaus Alburquerque from the College of Charleston. And now Dr. Francis:
ARACELIS FRANCIS Thank you and good afternoon. Welcome to the third panel, which will discuss the
cultural and social impact of United States policies on offshore areas. I will be talking about culture in the broadest sense of the
word; there are many definitions of culture. I would like us to think of culture as all of those things which impact on us in our
daily lives. It is difficult to speak about culture here in the Virgin Islands in a vacuum, but I would like to look at it from a
historical, a political and economic point of view. Unfortunately we do not have the time required. Professor Krigger this morn-
ing did a fine job of describing the historical point of view, so we will confine ourselves to the cultural impact.
One recent development deserves special mention. That is the recent publication of the U.S. Select Commission Report on
Immigration and Refugees. I was amazed when I read that report because it talks about giving the territories different flexibil-
ities when it comes to the I.N.S. (Immigration and Naturalization Service). What was most startling was that it says, in reference
to American Samoa, that the U.S. government has supported American Samoa's attempt to retain its cultural patterns and life-
style. It goes on to say that essential to this effort has been the island's special status that has permitted control of the im-
migration of both U.S. citizens and aliens into the islands. It goes on to say that American Samoa, with a population of only
30,000, can easily be overwhelmed by immigration. It also refers to the Northern Marianas. What struck me was that 20 years
ago the Virgin Islands was in fact overwhelmed by immigration policies of the United States government.
When we talk about immigration here, we tend to focus on the large migration of West Indians from the rest of the Carib-
bean, but the immigration also permitted the migration of Virgin Islanders to the United States, and people from the United
States to the Virgin Islands. The result of that mass movement of people over the last twenty years has had a tremendous impact
on today's Virgin Islanders. Twenty years ago we were talking about a predominately West Indian culture, but with a lot of
other influences. Seven flags have flown over the Virgin Islands, and all of those countries have left some sort of imprint on our
culture. It has also resulted in a lot of influences on the people of the Virgin Islands. In addition to that, in the 1950's we were
talking about a predominantly Black, West Indian environment, but also some other sub-groups Puerto Ricans, especially in
St. Croix, French, and some whites of European or American descent. This then was the cultural context during the 1950's
before the mass movement of peoples to the Virgin Islands began.
This was not the first time there was a mass movement of people in the Virgin Islands. History is strewn with mass move-
ments of people from all over the world and from the Caribbean. I sometimes joke about the fact that most of us are only
second-generation Virgin Islanders, because most of us can trace our heritage to the British Virgin Islands or some other island in
the Caribbean. Essentially, then, the period of the '50's was a period in which there had been some coming together of all these
differences. The exception was the feeling towards the temporary workers in St. Croix who came in to harvest the sugar cane.
There was a sense of "outsideness" which was identified with that group on St. Croix.
Late in the 1950's there came a distinct change with two very important things happening at the same time. The Virgin
Islands was discovered by tourists, and the Islands were more exposed to the technological developments of the modern world.
We can now fly to the United States in less than three hours; it used to be a twelve hour flight. We also used to leave the islands
for higher education, and did not come back for four years. All of this helped to isolate this cultural context which we operate
in. Beginning in the '50's with the changes in modern technology, with the development of the tourist industry and our ec-
onomic development, a series of new influences impacted on these islands. We began to change that context which we call
culture. We could now get the latest news and view television as it was seen in the United States, and we have exposure to all
of the news media that one has on the U.S. Mainland. That, of course, has influenced how we perceive ourselves.
The other important impact has been the large migration of what we here in the Virgin Islands call "Continentals", essen-
tially this means people who come to the Virgin Islands from the United States. They may be black or white. They have also
had an impact on this context that we call culture.
The dilemmas, however, have shown up in a number of ways, because if you bring a large number of people together, and you
find a group of people already existing there with a certain way of doing things, and if you bring in very different ways of doing
things, you are going to have a lot of pressure. This is what we are experiencing in the islands today in a very simplified sense.
On one hand we have a very large West Indian migration, and as with any group of immigrants, they have made a large contri-
bution to the Virgin Islands. They have helped us to maintain that part of our culture that is West Indian. For example, simply
by talking to our young people here, you cannot find out what the latest calypso song is, but they can tell you what is on the
"top ten" in the United States hit parade. They will also tell you that their favorite food is hamburgers, or hot dogs, or some
other staple of the commercial food chains in the United States. My feeling is that if we did not have a large West Indian migra-
tion at the same time, we would have been today much more "Americanized" than we are already. We have had a counter-
When looking at the social and political development of the islands, we have adopted the view that if it was "American" it
was good. If it was native it was bad or inferior. Therefore, we had the strong impact of American influence, we had the native
acceptance of everything American, and then we had the West Indians coming in from the rest of the Caribbean, adopting some
of that Americanism, but also maintaining and strengthening some of our culture which is West Indian. What has happened over
the last several years is that the Continental population has also been able, because of their larger numbers, to impact in a very
different way on our culture, coming out of the fact that this is the way they impact on all cultures. Americans go to all parts
of the world, and they go there as Americans with a sense of cultural superiority, and they also project that cultural superior-
ity on the islands and places that they go to. This creates another kind of dilemma because any subject people or colonized
people feel the need to adopt the values of the "superior culture", at the same time that they are a part of that cultural context
in which they have developed. We find, then, that in many respects here in the islands today a dichotomy between the Ameri-
can culture, and the West Indian culture and the fact that American culture, which has access to the media, communications,
saying in essense this is the way things should be done. A cultural reaction occurs on the part of Virgin Islanders now becoming
aware that we must maintain some part of that social cultural context which makes our experience unique. Right now we seem
to be on a collision course. The recent articles in the newspaper in 'some way play into that, because they say in fact, "You're
not doing such a hell of a good job in running the government." Perhaps the other part of that is, "We could do that better."
This creates a lot of conflict here in the islands, at the same time we are having to deal with the many changes which have taken
place over the last twenty years.
I would like to remain an optimist, and hope that sometime in the future the dialogue will address the issues, that we all
co-exist on this island. Because of the small size of our island, and if we are going to have a reasonable existence, we will have to
look at the realities of the situation and accept the fact that this society is going to remain a predominantly Black society
thanks to our large West Indian migration and those offspring of that large migration, who will be Virgin Islanders by birth and
cultural experience. I have read with interest recently the dilemma of Puerto Ricans who returned to Puert Rico after growing
up in the United States. They are considered foreigners. We have the same situation here in reverse, where children of the West
Indian migrants are Virgin Islanders, and their needs will have to be addressed. The opposite of that is to continue to go our
separate ways, and then later end up with the kind of violent explosion which we see in the U.S. and have experienced here in
the Virgin Islands. I hope, however, that sometime soon we will look at the fact that we do co-exist here in the Virgin Islands,
and that if we are going to live together, we will have to bring the best parts of my culture and the best parts of the Continental
culture together and make this an island that all of us can live in. Thank you.
KLAUS ALBUQUERQUE I would like to talk this afternoon about West Indian migration to the Virgin Islands,
but before I get into that specific topic I would like to say something about migration in general.
Whenever we look at regional areas it is a general rule that migration occurs if there are disparities in terms of income. Particu-
larly if there is a wide range of income disparity, all other things being equal, people will tend to move to better their life chances.
One of the interesting things about the Caribbean region is that historically there have been significant population movements
within the Caribbean, and from the Caribbean to the metropolitan countries. Most of the scholarship has concentrated on Carib-
bean peoples moving to metropolitan countries, while very little emphasis has been placed on intra-Caribbean migration. In fact,
historical documents indicate that this intra-Caribbean migration occurred even prior to emancipation.
As I mentioned before, the reason people tend to move is due largely to income disparities. Accordingly, migration should
really be considered to be a form of "livelihood mobility". A person evaluates his life chances, and if he is willing to take cal-
culated risks, he decides to migrate to another island, from which he may migrate to yet another island and so on. One of the
interesting things about this "livelihood mobility" is that eventually the migrant may choose to return home. Among Caribbean
peoples this is often the case. People have left their home island to move to other islands, or to North America or Europe, but
eventually they usually return to their home island. Few people have actually paid any attention to this phenomenon of "re-
turn migration". When we talk about a West Indian problem in the Virgin Islands, we should not neglect the fact that many of
these people will become return migrants. This return migration will have a very important impact on the Leeward and Wind-
ward Islands, the original sending societies.
Now I would like to turn your attention to the migration of West Indians to the U.S. Virgin Islands. My principal focus is
on the demographic and socio-economic impacts of West Indian migration to the Virgin Islands. I think the data I have to
present are important for several reasons. First, a succession of Virgin islands Governors, Congressional Delegates, and legislative
leaders have repeatedly identified the alien question as the territory's most explosive contemporary problem. Yet, because of
the lack of any serious quantitative assessment, productive debate continues to be obstructed by myth, emotion, and subjecti-
vism. Second, the Virgin Islands Program of Non-immigrant Temporary Foreign Labor represents a rare chapter in U.S. history
highly pertinent to current discussions of national immigration reform. In addition, an awareness of the role of immigration is
important for metropolitan decision-makers currently refashioning policy towards the Caribbean, especially in light of the area's
increasing strategic significance. Finally, the Virgin Islands' experience with immigration contains valuable lessons for other
small insular societies under-going similar growth pressures in the context of increasing metropolitan immigration restrictions.
Here I would like you to turn your attention to some tables I have prepared. The first table shows the year of immigration
of the foreign born population in the U.S. Virgin Islands by island. This data is taken from the 1970 census, and if you know
anything about the 1970 census, you know there was an undercount of aliens in particular. One of the most interesting things
about this table is that it shows that the major migration of West Indians to the Virgin Islands occurred between 1960 and 1970.
In terms of the breakdown by island, St. Croix received the majority of immigration during this time. I went to an additional
source, the Immigration and Naturalization Annual Reports, and these show the alien population in the United States Virgin
Islands by island. This information was not available for the 1940's and 1950's for selected nationalities, but it was available for
the total alien population. Note that in 1940, the total alien population was 3,853 and that declined to 1,567 by 1955. It was
high in the 1940's for wartime reasons. The U.S. recruited laborers to come and work in wartime industries or to work because
there was a labor shortage in the Virgin Islands, but after 1942 or '43 they repatriated a lot of them back to the Leeward Islands,
but many West Indian migrant laborers escaped detection and managed to stay on. However, you can see the decline. In the
'50's there is some fluctuation in terms of the total alien population. In the '60's you begin to find tremendous demand now for
laborers, particularly to work in construction and in the nascent tourist industry. Between 1955 and 1963 the alien population
increased by 327%. There are some years in which declines are observed, but wherever you see this decline, you know that
there has been a crackdown. The immigration officials decided to crackdown on the alien population and many were repatriated.
I would like now to look at the immigrant population by nationality. It can be seen that most of the immigrants to the
Virgin Islands come from the British West Indies, which explains why most of the migrants are nationals of the United King-
dom. Increasingly in the '70's however, we find the category of "all others" becoming more important. These are now immi-
grants from other West Indian islands, the French, the Dutch Antilles and all the British islands which became independent.
Table 3 shows a very close correlation between unemployment in the Virgin Islands and migration to the Virgin Islands. Dur-
ing the 1960's when unemployment rates were very low there was tremendous immigration into the Virgin Islands. As unem-
ployment increased (1970's), the officials of the Immigration and Naturalization Service began to crack down on West Indians
and the Department of Iabor began to cut back on the number of labor certificates issued. Where did many of these West In-
dians work when they came here? Most of them worked in the services industry, particularly in the tourism sector, and the rest
in agriculture and construction. Looking at the total employed population in the Virgin Islands in 1976, about 89% of those
working in agriculture were aliens. In other categories you should note that 35% of the total employed in the construction in-
dustry are aliens, in the restaurants about 68%, in other services about 60.8%. This points out a very interesting phenomenon of
migration. Usually migrants tend to he relegated to service-class occupations. One of the reasons that planters and businessmen
recruited migrants from other West Indian islands was because these islands were labor surplus areas, and because they could
afford to pay them cheap wages. What happens is that certain occupations become defined over time as occupations that are
low-paying, and that in periods of increasing unemployment natives will not move into these occupations simply because they
have been defined as low-paying occupations. It becomes a vicious kind of circle. Migration for lowly paid, service-class work
tends to perpetuate itself.
Here is an occupational distribution of aliens in the United States Virgin Islands in 1973. The major portion of the aliens were
employed in construction and a large number were employed in private households as domestics. (Table 4)
I thought you would also like to see some of the changes in the population of the Virgin Islands by island, and I chose to use
figures from 1917 to 1976. However, I wish to look at the overall changes in the population of the Virgin Islands. Up until 1930,
the islands were losing people, as many were choosing to migrate to the Mainland. The major growth in the population of the
Virgin Islands comes between 1960 and 1970 when the population grew by 134.1%, and most of this growth was not from
natural increase, but due to migration. We have very accurate records on births and deaths, so we are able to determine how
much of the yearly increase in population is due to natural increase. We can then tell what percentage of the population growth
of the islands is due to immigration. Between 1960 and 1969 migration contributed 62.6% of the population growth of the
islands, but between 1970 and 1976 the net contribution of migration to population growth declined to 40%.
What are the effects of this migration on the age structure of the population of the Virgin Islands? Migrants are usually young
people, therefore migration tends to reduce the average age of the receiving society. In looking at the percentage distribution of
the U.S. Virgin Islands' population by age, you will tend to find in certain categories a tremendous increase in the percent of
individuals in those categories. For example, between 1960 and 1976 in the category of 25-44 years, we find an increase from
22% to 29.6% and then to 30%. So this age category increased by 8% in 16 years because most of the people who migrate are
working-age people. Migration also has an impact on the sex composition. Usually migration is sex selective. Men tend to migrate
and leave the women behind, with the women coming later. As far as the Virgin Islands was concerned, the labor demands did
not encourage such selectivity in migration. Men tended to migrate to St. Croix because of employment opportunities at Hess
and Martin Marietta; and women tended to migrate more to St. Thomas because of employment opportunities in the tourism
industry. Some migration sex selectivity appears when the sex ratios are broken down by island.
One of the major impacts of this tremendous movement of people to the Virgin Islands has been in terms of population
density. If you trace the population density from 1917 to 1976, you can see the tremendous increase in population density,
from a density of 197 persons per square mile in 1917 to a density of 725 in 1976. When you break this density down by island
you will find that St. Thomas has an extremely acute problem with a density of 1,414. This does not take into account tourists
visiting. When you begin to factor those in, you are then talking about densities experienced in very few places in the world.
Obviously, population density has a lot to play in the kinds of social pathologies that emerge, particularly in a small insular
Migration also has an impact in terms of birth rates. Since most of the migrants are young, working-age people, they are in
the beginning stage of family formation. Generally, they will marry several years after having migrated to a new society and new
country, sending back home for a wife or marrying another migrant. Hence they usually have a large impact in terms of the
birth rates. We should find the birth rates increasing in the Virgin Islands several years after the major thrust of migration. The
tendency in the Virgin Islands in this century has been for a decline in the birth rate simply because of the increasing standard
of living. If you look at the crude birth rates, you will notice that they were fairly high in the early '60's, particularly in St.
Thomas and St. John, rise again in 1967, and then begin to decline rapidly in the late '70's. Most of the migrants then chose
to have their children in the late '60's and completed their family formation by the early 1970's.
Another instructive thing is to look at live births by birthplace of mother. These are reported from 1960 to 1975. In 1960
52.5% of all the live births which occurred in the Virgin Islands were to mothers who had been born in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
As we progress, we find that the turning point comes in 1965 or 1966. From 1966 onwards the majority of births in the Virgin
Islands have been to women who were born in another country. This is a very important thing. Having children in the U.S.,
Virgin Islands or the U.S. is a form of "social security". It is an investment. As you continue to build up investments as a non-
immigrant worker, it becomes very difficult for Immigration officials to deport you. The children then make a major contribu-
tion in this respect. So immigration of West Indians caused a mini baby boom in the Virgin Islands.
Marriage is also very interesting, when we look at birthplace of bride and groom. We find that most aliens tend not to marry
Virgin Islanders. Most of the marriages that occurred in the late '60's were among people who had been born in other West
Indian islands. Take for example, 1968; 56.1% of all the brides were born in other countries, 57.1% of all the grooms were born
In other countries. We could speculate then that aliens tended to marry other aliens, not Virgin Islanders. The marriage rate also
shows some sort of trend here. We begin to find that in 1966 marriages increased tremendously. This is because of a large move-
ment of relatively young working-age people, into the Virgin Islands who began to start families.
How has immigration affected changes in the ethnic composition of the Virgin Islands? In 1940, 75% of all people in the
Virgin Islands had been born in the Virgin Islands. By 1978 this percentage had declined to 42%, and Virgin Islanders had
become a minority in their own society. Correspondingly, the number of people who had been born in other parts of the West
Indies increased from about 13.4% to 34%.
Some people in the media make all kinds of comments regarding the proclivity of alien youths towards crime, etc. Let us
look at these claims in light of the data here. I simply looked at juvenile cases handled in 1976 and 1977 by ethnic group or
nativity. In this case we find that 51% of all the juveniles who were handled by the Youth Investigation Bureau were Virgin
Islanders, and Virgin Islanders constitute 42% of the population. Other West Indians made up 30.4% of the juvenile cases and
they constitute about 31% of the population. There is really no basis for the claim that most of the alien youth are involved in
criminal activities. Likewise, if you look at the sentenced prison population you tend to find that the same thing can be ob-
served: 45% of all the sentenced prisoners are Virgin Islanders, 33% other West Indians. If at all, the alien population appears to
be more law abiding. I will leave my comments there, and if you have any questions we can address them later. Thank you.
TABLE 1. Year of Immigration of Foreign Born' Population in the United States Virgin Islands by Island
Year of Immigration St. Thomas St. John St. Croix Virgin Islands
Before 1930 386 8 182 576
1930-39 134 8 26 168
1940-49 250 13 40 303
1950-54 322 14 113 449
1955-59 735 52 318 1,105
1960-64 2,094 140 1,824 4,058
1965-66 1,234 50 1,657 2,941
1967-68 1,995 167 2,931 5,093
1969-70 2,574 156 3,905 6,635
Total Foreign Born 9,724 608 10,996 21,3282
SOURCE: U.S. Census of Population: 1970 General Population Characteristics, Virgin Islands, Table 8.
NOTES: Includes immigrants (permanent residents) and non-immigrants (temporary workers and their families).
20f this 21,328 foreign born, 67.6 percent were from the British West Indies and 16.2 percent from other West Indian islands.
TABLE 2. The Alien Population in the United States Virgin Islands by Nationality: 1940-1978
Total Alien Preceding
SOURCE: Table 36, Annual Report of the Immigration and Naturalization Service 1967-1978.
NOTES: 11 did not have access to earlier volumes of the Annual Report of the Immigration Naturalization Service. This explains the gaps in
the data between 1940-1966.
2From the British West Indies.
31nclude Mexicans, Canadians, Cubans, Japanese, Italian, German, Polish, Filippino, Chinese, Portuguese, Greeks, Dominicans,
Colombians, Indians, Jamaicans and Irish.
4lnduded in this category are West Indians from former British Colonies and from the French and Dutch Antilles.
TABLE 3. Changes in Employment in the United States Virgin Islands: 1940 1976
aaaaaaaaaaaaaa----- aaaaa a--
Total Number Employed
SOURCES: 1957 to 1969, McElroy, 1975, pg. 32. 1970 to 1976, Comparative Growth Statistics, Virgin Islands, Department of Commerce,
TABLE 4. Occupational Distribution of Aliens in the United States Virgin Islands, 1973
e- -----b------- --
Percent of Total
Agriculture and Fishing 180 1.5
Construction 4,115 35.8
Manufacturing 465 4.0
Transportation and Utilities 465 4.0
Wholesale Trade 110 1.0
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate 265 2.3
Government 240 2.1
Hotels, Restaurants, Retail, etc.1 3,905 40.0
Private Households 1,755 15.3
Total 11,500 100.0
SOURCE: McElroy, 1975, Table 14, pg. 37.
NOTES: includes other services as well.
TABLE 5 See page 37.
TABLE 6. Components of Population Growth in the United States Virgin Islands: 1950-1976
--------- ------,- -
Natural Net Migration as
Increase Migration a Percent of
1959 4,792 9,622 3,339 6,283 -1,491 31.1
1969 38,192 18,130 3,834 14,296 23,896 62.6
1976 26,001 19,169 3,568 15,601 10,400 40.0
1976 68,985 46,921 10,741 36,180 32,805 47.6
1976 64,193 37,299 7,402 29,897 34,296 53.4
Vital Statistics, 1969 to 1976, Virgin Islands Department of Health
1A small portion of this net migration is due to in-migration and out-migration to the U.S. mainland.
TABLE 7. Percent Distribution of the United States Virgin Islands Population by Age: 1917 1976
Age Group 1917 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1976
Under 5 9.5 10.3 12.2 14.5 15.4 13.2 13.0
5-14 19.7 21.7 19.9 24.6 24.4 22.4 22.0
15-24 17.9 15.8 18.7 14.7 16.0 18.0 18.0
25 -44 28.7 24.2 24.0 23.5 22.0 29.6 30.0
45 -64 17.1 20.5 18.0 15.2 15.3 13.0 13.0
65+ 7.1 7.5 7.2 7.5 6.9 3.8 4.0
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Under 15 29.2 32.0 32.1 40.1 39.8 35.6 35.0
25 64 45.8 44.7 42.0 38.7 37.3 42.6 43.0
15 -64 63.7 60.5 60.7 53.4 53.3 60.6 61.0
Median Age 26.0 25.8 23.6 22.0 21.4 23.0 23.0
SOURCE: McElroy, 1978, Table 6, pg. 20.
TABLE 8. The Sex Composition of the Population of the United States Virgin Islands: 1917 1975
Male Female Total
Year N % N % N
1917 11,999 46.1 14,052 53.9 26,051
1930 10,208 46.4 11,804 53.6 22,021
1940 11,912 47.9 12,977 52.1 24,889
1950 13,075 49.0 13,590 51.0 26,665
1960 15,930 49.6 16,169 50.4 32,099
1970 37,500 49.9 37,651 50.1 75,151
1975 46,123 49.9 46,307 50.1 92,430
SOURCES: 1917 1960, U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1960 Census of Population Virgin Islands, 1970 and 1975. Vital Statistics, Virgin
Islands Department of Health.
TABLE 9 Population Density for the United States Virgin Islands by Island: 1917-19761
17 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 197
Virgin Islands 197 167 189 202 243 569 725
St. Croix 186 143 161 151 187 449 602
St. Thomas 318 307 352 432 506 1,165 1,414
St.John 48 34 36 38 46 96 111
Island Area Percentage Changes in Densities, 1917-1976
1917-30 1930-40 1940-50 1950-60 1960-70 1970-76 1960-76
Virgin Islands -15.2 13.2 6.9 20.3 134.2 27.4 198.4
St. Croix -24.3 12.6 -6.2 23.8 140.1 34.1 221.9
St. Thomas -3.4 14.7 22.7 17.1 130.2 21.4 179.4
St. John -20.8 -5.2 5.6 21.1 108.7 15.6 141.3
SOURCES: For 1917 through 1960, U.S. Bureau of the Census; for 1970 and 1976, Vital Statistics, Virgin Islands Department of Health.
NOTES: 1Density figures are per square mile.
2The absolute sizes of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John are 80, 32, and 20 square miles respectively.
TABLE 10. Crude Birth Rates per 1,000 Population, The United States Virgin Islands and Each Island: 1950 1976
Year St. Thomas/St. John St. Croix Virgin Islands
1950 36.0 30.6 33.5
1951 36.0 33.7 34.9
1952 31.0 30.8 30.9
1953 29.3 32.3 30.6
1954 28.0 32.5 30.3
1955 27.6 34.8 30.8
1956 31.1 33.7 32.3
1957 33.0 35.3 34.0
1958 37.0 34.9 35.9
1959 34.7 34.6 34.6
1960 38.0 35.1 35.3
1961 36.4 32.6 34.7
1962 41.7 35.2 38.8
1963 42.7 35.6 39.5
1964 44.0 39.6 42.0
1965 41.2 39.0 40.2
1966 39.4 37.3 38.5
1967 40.0 40.1 40.1
1968 34.6 40.7 37.4
1969 34.1 38.7 36.3
1970 35.4 42.7 38.9
1971 33.3 40.0 35.6
1972 31.8 36.7 34.2
1973 26.6 34.8 30.7
1974 25.6 33.7 29.9
1975 22.3 33.1 27.7
1976 24.8 28.4 26.6
SOURCES: 1970 and 1976 Vital Statistics, Virgin Islands Department of Health.
TABLE 11. Percent of Live Births by Birthplace of Mother,
United States Virgin Islands: 1960-1975
Birthplace of Mother
United States Virgin Islands
SOURCE: Vital Statistics, 1969
Department of Health.
and 1975, Virgin Islands
NOTE: 1Foreign Country refers to places other than the
United States and its territories. Over 90% of the
women born in foreign countries were born in the
TABLE 12. Percent of Marriages in the United States Virgin Islands by Birthplace of Bride and Groom: 1960-1975
Birthplace of Bride
Birthplace of Groom
SOURCE: 1969 and 1975 Vital Statistics, Virgin Islands Department of Health.
TABLE 13 See page 37.
TABLE 14. Juvenile Cases Handled (1976 and 1977) and the 1978 United States Virgin Islands Population by Ethnic Group
Juvenile Cases Handled
Virgin Islands Population
Ethnic Group N % N % N %
Virgin Islanders 935 51.0 409 55.7 42,475 42.0
Puerto Ricans 177 9.7 24 3.3 8,090 8.0
Other West Indians 558 30.4 198 27.0 31,350 31.0
Continental U.S. 163 8.9 64 8.7 16,181 16.0
Other and Unknown NA 39 5.3 3,024 3.0
SOURCES: Annual Report, Department of Public Safety, Fiscal Year 1976;
Youth Investigation Bureau, St. Thomas, 1977;
Virgin Islands, Economic Policy Council, 1978.
NOTES: 1Data is for fiscal year and for all three islands.
2Data is for calendar year and only St. Thomas and St. John
TABLE 15. Sentenced Population (1977) and the 1978 United States Virgin Islands Population by Ethnic Group
Sentenced Population Virgin Island Population
Ethnic Group Percent Percent
Virgin Islanders 45 42
Puerto Ricans 17 8
Other West Indians 33 31
Continental U.S. 5 16
Other and Unknown 3
SOURCE: Comprehensive Criminal Justice Plan, Virgin Islands Law Enforcement Planning Commission, 1977;
Virgin Islands Economic Policy Council, 1978.
TABLE 5. Changes in the Population of the United States Virgin Islands by Island: 1917 1976
Pop. Change from Preceding
Census or Estimate
Pop. Change from Preceding
Census or Estimate
Pop. Change from Preceding
Census or Estimate
Total Virgin Islands
Pop. Change from Preceding
Census or Estimate
N % N N %N N %
1917 10,191 959 14,901 26,051 -
1930 9,834 -357 -3.5 765 -194 -20.2 11,413 -3,488 -23.4 22,021 -4,039 -15.5
1940 11,265 1,431 14.6 722 -43 -5.6 12,902 1,489 13.0 24,889 2,877 13.1
1950 13,813 2,548 22.6 749 27 3.7 12,103 -799 -6.2 26,665 1,776 7.1
1960 16,201 2,388 17.3 925 176 23.5 14,973 2,870 23.7 32,099 5,434 20.4
1970 37,285 21,084 130.1 1,924 999 108.0 35,942 20,969 140.0 75,151 43,052 134.1
1976 43,910 6,625 17.8 2,220 296 15.4 48,190 12,248 34.1 95,650 20,499 27.3
SOURCES: 1917 -1960, U.S. Bureau of the Census; 1970 and 1976, Vital Statistics, Virgin Islands, Department of Health.
NOTES: 1The 1970 U.S. Census count was adjusted by the Bureau of Vital Records and Statistical Services of the Virgin Islands Department of Health,
to compensate for the census undercount of aliens.
TABLE 13. Changes in Ethnic Composition, 1940 1979
1940 1950 1960 1970 1978
Nativity N % N N % N % N %
Virgin Islands 18,703 75.1 19,616 73.6 20,338 63.4 29,068 46.5 42,475 42.0
Puerto Rico 2,002 8.0 2,874 10.8 3,897 12.1 4,014 6.4 8,090 8.0
United States 853 3.4 1,091 4.1 2,585 8.1 8,058 12.9 16,181 16.0
Total Foreign 3,331 13.4 3,084 11.6 5,279 16.4 21,328 34.1 34,384 34.0
West Indies N.A. 2,586 9.7 4,289 13.4 17,588 28.2 31,350 31.0
Other2 N.A. 498 1.9 900 -3.0 3,740 5.9 3,034 3.0
Total Population3 24,889 100.0 26,665 100.0 32,099 100.0 62,468 100.0 101,130 100.0
SOURCES: 1940 1970, McElroy, 1975, Table 8, page 3.
NOTES: 1Also includes a small fraction of individuals born in U.S. territorial possessions.
2Mainly Europeans but also includes Central and South Americans.
3Percentages may not total 100.0 exactly because of rounding.
LEONARD MASON I am always very happy to talk about the Pacific Islands area which is my primary
interest. I an an anthropologist and live in Hawaii, and have for some 35 years now. My interests have been primarily as a re-
search anthropologist earlier and as a practicing consultant in a much broader context more recently. I have been working
mainly in the Pacific islands west of Hawaii mostly in Micronesia, that is, the Marshall Islands, the Caroline Islands, the Mari-
anas and Guam. I hope that you know enough about the geography of that area so that you can follow my remarks without my
having to spend a particular amount of time on it.
First I wish to emphasize, as our Chairman has said, that we are talking about culture this afternoon, and the problems in
understanding cultural differences among the territorial areas themselves and particularly in communication or understanding
between those territories and the American system, the American government and the American people. I do want to point
out that it is very difficult to make generalizations about the situation in the Pacific because we are dealing with perhaps a dozen
or more different cultural traditions and languages apart from the geographical distances that separate, for example, Somoa in
the southern Pacific from Guam and other Micronesian areas in the north. I will try to generalize, but there will be exceptions to
some of the statements I will make.
Now I would like to talk about the basic needs of the people in the Pacific areas before the Americans took over, and contrast
that with their needs today. In this context, there is a fine balance that is necessary to assure two things. One is to convince
the islanders that they are a part of the American family. They want to be associated closely in long-term plans with the United
States. The other is a question of how these same people can retain their cultural integrity as Samoans, as Guamanians, as
Marshallese, as Yapese, etc. These two goals are not always comparable. You can think of parallels here in the Caribbean, for I
see many things which appear to be similar. With that as background, what was the situation prior to the U.S. takeover in the
territories? It varies quite a bit as I have already indicated.
Guam and American Samoa became part of the U.S. system as territories around 1900. In the case of Guam, this was the
result of the conclusion of the Spanish-American War, and the U.S. took Guam as a former Spanish territory. In American
Samoa there has been no foreign power established as yet, but the British, the Germans, and the Americans were interested in
the Samoa group, and were vying for control. Around 1900 there was an agreement a treaty which was made by these
three powers, whereby the U.S. took Tutuila and a few other islands which constituted the smaller part of the Samoans
and Germany took over the larger part which is today Western Samoa, an independent nation in the South Pacific. Britain was
satisfied with concessions in other parts of the Pacific.
Already by 1900 both Guamanians and Samoans had changed a great deal in their culture. The native Chamorros of Guam
had been practically wiped out under Spanish rule. The Spanish came in the latter part of the 17th century, subjugated the
people, brought them under control, and killed off most of them in the process. Filipinos, Mexicans, and Spanish inter-married
with those Guamanians who were left, so the Guamanian population today is a very mixed population in terms of physical
antecedents. Yet there is a feeling of ethnic identity among these Guamanians today, which I feel is as traditional as you may
find it in Samoa or some parts of Micronesia.
In Samoa changes had also taken place before 1900. Traders had arrived, missionaries were established, foreign governments
were in there with military and trading interests, so we are not dealing here with a pristine culture that the U.S. subsequently
altered, whether by a consistent policy or a lack thereof. We have here a Polynesian people who already had been brought
into the Western fold.
In Micronesia we have a quite different situation. The U.S. became formally involved in Micronesia, that is in the rest of the
Mariana islands, the Carolines, and the Marshalls only after World War II. In 1944 the U.S. had occupied the former Japanese
mandate and the war ended in 1945. The islands were governed by an American naval administration until 1951 when the
Interior Department was given that responsibility. Some of these island people by 1944 had already lived under decades and
centuries of Spanish control in the Marianas, which was similar to the Guam situation that I spoke of. There was less Spanish
influence in the Carolines, and none at all in the Marshalls. However, there was a strong influence under the German rule which
began in the Marshalls in 1885 and continued in the rest of Micronesia after 1900 until the First World War. In the period
between the two World Wars all of these island groups were under Japan as a mandate of the League of Nations. You have,
therefore, a long history of strong economic influence, and to some extent cultural influences, from at least two and in some
instances three foreign powers who administered the area in succession. The U.S. inherited this situation and has built its own
relationship with Micronesia since that time.
What has happened during the American administration? What was the impact of American policies as they were enunci-
ated in different form, almost from year to year and from one federal administration to the next? What was the impact on the
social and cultural way of life of the islanders? From 1944 to the early 1960's we had an administration that some critics claim
to have neglected the islands. Others have said that this was a period when the United States government applied what is called
the "zoo theory" of administration meaning, leave them as they are, don't change them. You have a combination of neglect
and isolationism, with relatively little input of federal dollars into the region in the earlier years. The Navy, in charge of the
administration until 1951, governed the people on a basis which was not changed greatly by the succeeding Interior Depart-
ment Administration until the early 1960's.
During the long period until the time of the Kennedy Administration, I disagree with those who have charged application
of the "zoo theory" in Micronesia. Although the United States did want to stay out of the cultural affairs of islanders in princi-
ple, the administration did develop three programs which had a strong impact on the social and cultural life. One was the educa-
tional system. From the very first when the Navy entered the islands, they developed an elementary school system patterned
after the California model and using text-books and other teaching materials from California. There was, however, a serious
cross-cultural problem in the different languages and cultural systems in Micronesia.
The second area which was developed was public health. The islands were cleaned up and diseases eradicated through new
technology and immunization. Hospitals and dispensaries were built. A principal result of this effort has been a rapid rise in
population. The island populations are increasing at about the rate of 3 to 3.5% per year which is very high.
The third area and probably the most important for our consideration here was the introduction of new democratic
institutions. As early as the Navy period, administrators introduced the idea of a legislature, an elected body of representatives
with people voting by secret ballot. Later, in 1965, an all-islands Congress, composed of representatives from the six districts
of the Trust Territory was established by Secretarial Order. This was in the face of already existing systems of traditional author-
ity in which chiefs succeeded to their office and exercised control according to the cultural tenets of the society, based primar-
ily on inheritance. We had, therefore, two different political philosophies coming into conflict the traditional one being
intentionally pushed into the background and the elected system coming into the foreground.
During the Kennedy Administration millions of dollars were poured in, the annual budget ceiling for the operation of the
Trust Territory government rose in 1963 from $7.5 million to $17.5 million. In 1980 it was $50 million for operations alone.
This meant a growing bureaucracy, dominated by American expatriates headed by the High Commissioner. Micronesians, how-
ever, made up the bulk of the bureaucracy, so that jobs with the government have become the mainstay of the economy. A
service-oriented economy rather than a production-oriented economy has been emphasized. The service-oriented economy re-
flects primarily a reliance on government wage labor. There must be a continuing in-flow of American tax dollars to support
the kind of dependency which these people are now caught up in, and really cannot extricate themselves from. They may have
to face a critical dilemma, however, with the cuts which are expected under the Reagan administration.
Owing to the educational programs, social and other expectations have changed rapidly. High schools were developed and
college opportunities were made available. Earlier, young people who came back to the islands with a college education, or had
even graduated from school, could get a job in the government bureaucracy. Those jobs have now been filled to saturation, and
because of present reduced appropriations there are fewer jobs available to young people coming out of school. There is a high
youth unemployment rate, there is an increase in crime and juvenile delinquency, alcoholism is very prevalent, and suicide is
rising. I have mentioned over-population and the crowding in the district centers which have acted as a "magnet" to people
from the outlying islands because of the administrative jobs, central high schools, hospitals, and religious missions. Life has
become difficult there in the government centers.
In the 1960's a very strong nationalism was developing in all of the Pacific islands including Micronesia. Negotiations between
island leaders and the U.S. government were started in 1969 which were completed in the first stage only by 1981 through the
drafting of a Compact of Free Association. An exception was the Northern Marianas which opted for Commonwealth status in
1976. The Federated States of Micronesia came into its own government in 1979, as did the Marshall Islands. In January 1981,
the Republic of Belau, another cultural linguistic group in the Caroline Islands, set up its own government. These last three
arrangements are based upon Free Association, but the island governments have negotiated a status to date which they feel
relatively satisfied with. They will guarantee the U.S. certain military rights, and in exchange will get a total of $750 million per
year over a fifteen-year period for operational grants alone, not counting specialized grants for education, housing, health,
food programs, etc. If this Compact is finally approved it could mean well over one billion dollars of in-put for the life of the
Compact. That has happened in Micronesia. Meanwhile we have another situation in Guam and American Samoa.
These two entities are sort of locked in to their existing status by the Organic Act of 1950 in Guam and by certain constitu-
tional arrangements that were made in American Samoa. Any changes in status can only take place now with the passage of
specific legislation by the U.S. Congress. This is a big hurdle to overcome. Both Guamanians and American Samoans are interest-
ed very much in negotiating a new status because they feel the Micronesians have got a better deal.
Today the islanders enjoy a higher living standard than before. There is a cash economy with wage employment based largely
on the government. There are educational opportunities, television has come into all of these areas, and there is a new political
awareness where the new governments have been established. How do we continue to maintain these levels without continuing
to pour in American tax dollars? Is there some way that economic self-sufficiency can be developed, or is it going to be a case
where we recognize that these people are trapped in a welfare situation and we all are going to have to accept that? I feel that if
the United States has brought the people to the state where they are now, with all these needs which have become established,
then we should complete the process by some kind of legal incorporation of these territories within the larger American family
which would recognize the cultural and social differences. To accept the island groups as equal but different is, I think, the way
we have to proceed now. But how can we achieve this under the existing constitutional system of the United States? I don't
know. However, this is the goal we must strive for, working together with the island governments. To continue in any other way
is to perpetrate a colonial system which is completely outmoded in the world today and for which we Americans are being
MANUEL MALDONADO-DENIS Thank you, Madame Chairman.
Puerto Rico is essentially a Caribbean country through shared experiences for example, black slavery, plantation economy,
domination by various colonial powers. We are part of the Caribbean because of our shared experiences. Part of the problem,
though, is that Puerto Rico belongs to the Spanish-speaking Caribbean that involves mostly the countries of the Greater An-
tilles such as Santo Domingo, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
When the American occupation took place in 1898 following the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico was already a country
with a definite personality and characteristic identity, and we had all the attributes of nationhood except that we had not
achieved independence. Puerto Rico and Cuba at that time, unlike other South American and Central American countries, were
colonies of Spain, but this did not affect us in any way in terms of our own nationhood. We were still related to the rest of the
countries in Latin America, particularly through the very important factor of language. We still are tied through this factor;
we are still a Spanish-speaking country, and that I feel is the crux of the problem. Precisely from that viewpoint, the Caribbean
is an extraordinarily rich region because of the convergence of most of the European and other empires and because this region
embraces now all of the races that make up the rest of the world.
Since we are meeting today to discuss the United States and its policy towards its offshore areas, I would like to address
this in reference to Puerto Rico. They do seem to have a policy today towards El Salvador, but none that I can discern towards
Puerto Rico. In fact the question is still open on whether the United States has a policy towards any of its offshore areas.
Recently I was invited to an important conference held at the Smithsonian Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center for Latin
American Studies. There were a large number of participants there from many different areas and from many different govern-
ment agencies. The question raised was, "Does the United States have a clear policy which they have carried out historically
towards Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands?" The answer was, essentially, No! There is not even a person in the current or past
administrations who devoted himself to Puerto Rican affairs. Puerto Rico is taken for granted in State Department circles,
except every once in a while the United States has to go to the U.N. because the U.N. is discussing the colonial case of Puerto
Rico. The United States then says that it is nobody's affair but their own it is between the United States and Puerto Rico
alone. Once in a while some clandestine organization will act in a violent way, then we make front page news in the New York
Times. The rest of the time the American press hardly ever reports on affairs in Puerto Rico unless there is a very severe crisis.
There is no clear policy that I can see, except for this very vague statement made by President Carter before he left that the U.S.
would abide by any kind of self-determination made by the Puerto Rican people.
Now since we are speaking here of cultural matters, I would like to address culture as a political problem. I would like to see
if we can reach any conclusions concerning the policy of the U.S. towards Puerto Rico from a cultural viewpoint since 1898
when they invaded Puerto Rico.
From 1898 to 1948 English was imposed as the primary language in Puerto Rico. This anti-pedagogical measure was con-
trary to any sound educational practice, I feel, because we were and still are a Spanish-speaking country. Consequently, having
had to learn mathematics in English is nothing to feel proud of. I feel that this particular learning experience was completely
absurd. Our country was faced with cultural alienation. I have nothing against English as a language at all; it is a language used
in many places in the Caribbean. I have nothing against English except in so far as it becomes the language of the colonizer
which is meant to be imposed upon us. As a matter of fact, we should all know French and Creole here in the Caribbean as well
if we are to communicate with the others. I wish that all the peoples of the Caribbean were as knowledgeable of what was going
on next door to them as they were knowledgeable of events and history in Chicago, or Paris or London. From that viewpoint,
it is necessary for us to search for our own roots, and that is why I am against all forms of cultural alienation. Cultural alienation
means that people begin to assume certain postures of conduct, certain values which are basically imported from outside, and
these do not respond to their needs. We must search for our own ways to address problems and not ape the ways of the differ-
ent empires which have colonized the Caribbean. After 1948 Spanish was finally accepted as the basic language of Puerto Rico
because of the opposition of our people to the imposition of English on us. From 1948 to the present the public schools of
Puerto Rico teach in Spanish. Unfortunately the private schools still teach in English, and I see no reason for this other than as
a possible status symbol of what the middle class values highly. This also holds true for various private universities. This problem
with language for the Puerto Rican people, I feel, is one of the past.
What is the present-day policy of the United States towards Puerto Rico, culturally speaking? This cultural problem takes on
political character whether or not we can subscribe to the thesis that Puerto Rico is a bridge between two cultures in this hemi-
sphere. The other alternative is simply cultural assimilation, and this was true mainly in times past. The "Americanization" of
Puerto Ricans didn't work, so then the lofty purpose of "bridge between two cultures" was tried. I feel that we don't have to
be a bridge for anybody; we have the right to be exactly what we are a small Latin American country and we should be re-
spected as such.
Recently I have addressed myself to the problem of Puerto Rican migration to the United States and the cultural conse-
quences of this change. Dr. Albuquerque has noted the problems of return-migration, and the problem arises when Puerto Ricans
go to the U.S. and the children in school have to contend with Anglo-conformity. Some people may point out that there is a
kind of cultural pluralism in the U.S., but I do not feel that this is in fact true. The main example of this are the various bi-
lingual programs, which will soon be eliminated. These were an expedient device whereby the Puerto Ricans, the Chinese or
Vietnamese would be integrated into U.S. culture, and consequently their native language would be discarded. The New York
Times recently wrote a famous editorial entitled "Many Voices One Language". It said the only language of the United
States is English, therefore you will have to remember that the bi-lingual programs are not meant for non-English speakers to
keep their own language within the context of American culture. The problem arises when Puerto Ricans who have been assimi-
lated into the U.S., and who do not speak Spanish or speak it very poorly, return to Puerto Rico. They have a very difficult
time adjusting to their new situation. The larger question then really involves the peculiar relationship Puerto Rico is to have
with the other countries in the Caribbean and in Latin America.
Recent statements by President Reagan that Puerto Rico is to be a "bridgehead" in the Caribbean implies that the strategic
importance of Puerto Rico is of paramount concern for the new administration, and since the Virgin Islands were originally
purchased for just such considerations, this strategic importance applies also to them. The problem lies in what our role is to
be in the Caribbean. Are we to be allowed to have our own voice here? At present we don't because we are not allowed to have
any kind of diplomatic relations with other countries in the Caribbean. Apparently the United States has, as part of its cultural
policy, to send Puerto Ricans as diplomats to Latin America, and that this is thought to be a great boon because this man speaks
Spanish. This is a great mistake because Latin Americans do not see this diplomat as a Puerto Rican but as an American who
happens to speak Spanish, which is a completely different position.
In any case the problem is one of identity. Are we going to remain Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans; will we still remain
part of the Caribbean or will we only play a secondary role in that process? The problem of identity must always be seen within
the context of diversity, as my distinguished colleague, Dr. Mason just read, but this means respect for every culture in the Carib-
bean. And this culture cannot be imposed from the outside. I feel very strongly that the Caribbean is a very important region
which has contributed extraordinarily to the whole of mankind and to civilization. The first successful slave revolt in the history
of mankind was carried out here in the Caribbean in Haiti. There have been extraordinary elements in the Caribbean; we have
excellent writers, poets, and statesmen. I feel we have all the necessary qualities to carry out the process of self-determination
and that the Caribbean should keep and preserve its own identity as one of the richest cultural areas of the world. Thank you.
RUBY SIMMONDS First of all in reference to the point raised by Mr. Denis about the U.S. having a
policy at all regarding the offshore areas. I listened to Mrs. Van Cleve this morning talking about muddling through in terms of
the territories, and it seems to me that the people who have been making the decisions, the policymakers, don't know what they
are doing. They are confused, and we should be the ones who should be setting policy for ourselves, because we clearly see what
we want and what we need. I feel the decision making is in the hands of the wrong people. I think the United States has a polic-"
in terms of our limitations in terms of what we cannot do. I will start with the Constitution of the Virgin Islands.
Having served on both the Third and Fourth Constitutional Conventions, I am very aware of the limitations placed on us
in writing both Constitutions, that we cannot overstep our bounds in terms of what we want for ourselves. This has posed many
problems for those of us writing the Constituion because there are many aspects of our culture which the general populace
would clearly like stated in our Constitution, but because of the limitations, were not able to include them. When I think of
culture, I think of those aspects of a people which make them unique, which make them different from other peoples. Here in
the Virgin Islands the question has arisen constantly as to whether we do have a culture. We do have a unique culture, but what
has happened here in the Virgin Islands is that because of our tourist-oriented economy, we have tended to adopt the American
culture in order to please the visitors to our shores while we have given up much of what we had. This has been a very clear
mistake, I feel. People who travel to different countries leave home to find something different, and when we adopt to the
American way including Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonald's, we have given away some of the things which used to be
unique to the Virgin Islands. These are the very things that tourists used to come here to find. We are creating problems for
ourselves in terms of that economic condition, because when we reach the point that we have nothing different, we will be
just an island version of the States. At that point, the people whom we now depend on for our economy will no longer want to
come here because there will be nothing different from what you can find in Chicago or Philadelphia.
In terms of not being able to do certain things, I recall that when working on the Constitution, many of the people in the
so-called alien population from our neighboring islands asked us what we would put in the Constitution which would speak to
the alien question. The only response we could give was that we were not authorized to address that question. That was a
significant question for us to address because a large portion of our population comes from other islands. And because we have
very close cultural ties to the other islands through work and marriage, it is important that we address these questions. Of
course, there is important legislation which will come out of Congress in the near future which speaks to the status of the alien
population in the Virgin Islands, but that legislation cannot originate in the Virgin Islands. It must come out of Congress, so that
our representative in Congress has to play an important role in this. The only in-put that the rest of the political leaders in the
V.I. can have is on an informal basis by talking with Congressman DeLugo. In terms of creating and initiating the legislation that
is necessary we are not allowed to do this, even though certain areas need us to do so.
What affects us most is, that because we are part of the United States, there is a provision in the U.S. Constitution which
allows free travel between any part of the United States and that U.S. citizens cannot be limited in terms of their access to
various parts of the country. However, when we leave the Virgin Islands to travel to the mainland, and when we pass through
Puerto Rico, we must go through a customs search. However, on our return trip there is no search, and we are told it is not
necessary because we are going from the United States to the United States. Why is there a difference? We should be able to
address these types of questions regarding immigration, customs, etc., but they are totally out of our hands.
I do not wish to give the impression that the impact of the United States on the Virgin Islands has been all negative, but
many of us here tend to look on economic gains and the upward mobility of people as the only thing we must look at. However,
in this progress there have been many hurts to the culture of the Virgin Islands. Many of these things might seem of small signi-
ficance to some people, for example the old custom here of closing doors as a funeral procession passes. This was a custom
which we did not change, but which was changed for us by the merchants. This says to me that the businessmen who come here
to work have little regard for what they found here in terms of Virgin Islands culture. This being the case, who is to have ulti-
mate control of these islands in the future?
Another area where our culture has been eroded is in our educational system. There are those in this room who have known
me as a teacher. I taught for eleven years, and we talk about education in the sense of preparing people to deal with life after
they get out of school. We must also look at the kinds of people who teach our children because they learn not only from the
textbook and blackboards, but also from the attitudes and values of the instructor, including attitudes of respect for authority,
etc. I have had many teachers who were what we call continentalss" and in many senses they were good teachers, but over the
last fifteen years or so we have seen a different breed of teacher coming from the Mainland, whom I believe have had a very
negative impact on our children. I am not downing teachers in general, but I am talking about a portion, and it might be a minor-
ity of the teaching population, who in their general attitude towards the school children have said without saying it in words
that what you are is wrong. It goes to the whole language problem. Our language difference is not as clearly defined as the
language difference in Puerto Rico as compared to the United States, but we do have a language difference here which is not
recognized by many people. Because of the way that English is approached in the classroom here, our citizens feel that what
they speak on a daily basis at home and among friends is inferior to English. We have to move from that premise and see it as
something in terms of communication.
There are many other things which I feel have had an impact on our culture here. The whole idea of keeping up with the
Joneses which has come to us from the outside. We have received the message through travel, through television and movies
that we must keep up with other people in terms of economic mobility. We have people striving for things which might be out-
side of their reach, even going into debt to acquire these things. These are attitudes which have helped erode the cultural aspects
here in the Virgin Islands, and this has been very negative for us. People who have travelled to other islands in the region find
that there are many things we have in common, but because of the economic situation that exists here an attitude has been
generated that we are better. This attitude relates very much in the way also that Americans view Virgin Islanders, and Virgin
Islanders in turn view down-islanders. This has created a kind of caste system which has done more harm than good in terms of
our overall development.
Because we desire so much to take on everything American (and I say this in a very broad sense) there are many areas where
we follow blindly. For example, there are many new buildings here in the Virgin Islands which have no windows and must
depend on air-conditioning. This is wrong because here in the Virgin Islands we have a climate which is conducive to open
windows, and I don't understand why we continue to build like that simply because it is American influenced. These are some
of the negative things I have seen coming from the whole American influence.
There is another area in which we have no control, and that is the cruise ships which come to our ports. I recognize the im-
portance of the tourist economy, and that each tourist ship represents millions of dollars to us here in the Virgin Islands, but we
who live here would like to see a more equitable distribution of their arrivals and departures in terms of numbers of ships here
at any one time. We have no control over this, however. There is a definite psychological impact on everyone who lives here.
For example on Wednesday, there are so many tourists coming ashore, you can't get into town to take care of your banking,
shopping, etc. We should have a certain amount of control over this type of thing, but we don't
I tend to look at the small things which are important to us. Because of our rapid growth, housing has been a crucial problem
and the resultant development and building has taken its toll on our culture. For example, many plants have been destroyed and
are now no longer available.
Looking at calypso, which is the song version of the West Indian experience, I do have serious problems with people, who do
not come out of that experience, claiming themselves to be Calypsonians. Here again is an erosion that we must look at. I say
this very guardedly, because I know how it can be taken by some people. It would be as difficult for me to sing certain Irish
songs or dance the Scottish dances because it has not been part of my experience, and I don't think I would do it very well. By
the same token regarding Calypso and Calypsonians, there is a certain experience that one must come out of in order to put
what is necessary into that kind of vocalization.
Finally a word about our press. I think that there are many things that are orchestrated for us here in the Virgin Islands,
and we are not really aware of what is actually happening. I am particularly concerned because the Fourth Constituion which we
have presented to the Congress is in a very nebulous state at this time. There is a particular provision in the Constitution which
speaks to the income tax situation, and last year there was much talk about the United States taking over the collection of our
income taxes. Comments have been made that we overstepped our bounds in writing in a particular provision which has to do
with maintaining the present income tax status. Recognizing that we are a part of the United States, I do have problems that
we are looked upon as "children who are outside of the fence" in doing certain things. This seems to speak for the entire atti-
tude of the United States towards its territories. I mention the printed press here in St. Thomas in particular because it is not in
the hands of local people, and although the current series has some very positive aspects to it regarding things which need correc-
tion, it has a very negative effect in terms of our relationship with the United States, in terms of our dependence on federal
dollars, because it is saying that we are not doing a good job of running our business, therefore someone else should be running
it for us. At these times when we are looking for greater self-government, I feel that is is very damaging. I don't advocate tearing
ourselves away from the United States, because I don't think we are ready for that sort of move. However, in terms of the United
States developing a policy towards its territories, we should play a significant role in determining what that policy should be
in United States
Offshore Areas Policies
DR. PAUL LEARY
MR. JEFFREY FARROW Consultant
(former Associate Director for Domestic Policy, White House)
MR. TOM McGURN Administrative Officer, Office of Technology Assessment
(Reagan Transition team member for Territorial and
International Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior)
MR. RON DE LUGO Delegate to U.S. Congress for the U.S. Virgin Islands
AMBASSADOR PETER ROSENBLATT Attorney, Washington, D.C.
(former U.S. Ambassador, Micronesian Status Negotiations)
MR. THOMAS TANAKA (Speaker, Guam Legislature)
DR. PAUL LEARY The main order of business this evening is to introduce our very distinguished panel
which will deal with future directions and new directions in U.S.-Offshore Areas policies. Our first panelist is Mr. Jeffrey
Farrow, who was Associate Director for Domestic Policy for the White House under the Carter Administration. Our second
panelist is Mr. Tom McGurn, who is with the Office of Technology Assessment, and perhaps more significant for the Virgin
Islands was the transition term director for the Reagan Administration with respect to territorial affairs in the Department of
the Interior. Our next panelist was to have been Lt. Gov. Henry Millin, but he has sent his regrets that he is unable to attend.
However we were very pleased to hear that the Congressman from the Virgin Islands, Mr. Ron DeLugo, was able to come, and
I wish to express our appreciation to Delegate DeLugo, who flew down especially for this conference from Washington despite
a very heavy schedule. He will be part of our panel this evening. The next panelist is Ambassador Peter Rosenblatt, who until
very recently was the U.S. Ambassador who negotiated the Micronesian Status agreements. Finally, we have the very distinguish-
ed visitor from a sister territory, the Speaker of the Guam legislature, Senator Thomas Tanaka, who will be joining this presenta-
tion. Mr. Farrow will make the initial presentation and he had a key role in developing a territorial policy under the Carter
Administration then we will proceed with the other panelistsin the order as listed in the program.
JEFFREY FARROW Thank you, Paul, and before I start I would like to compliment Dr. Leary and the
others who put this conference together, and to express appreciation to the media, especially W.V.W.I., for broadcasting the
sessions so that other people in the community can hear them.
Last Fall, I was interviewed by a reporter who was comparing the major presidential candidates' positions on the territories.
He knew that the four million citizens who live in the territories had far less influence than most citizens in the selection of the
President but were far more influenced than most citizens by the selection.
At the conclusion of a lengthy series of questions, he told me that he had already spoken with a Reagan policy advisor.
When asked about the Republican candidate's policy in regard to the territories, my counterpart replied, "Why do I get all the
The line made my point, as the Carter spokesperson, far better than anything I could have said. But I cautioned the reporter
not to place too much importance on the apparent lack of interest. We can't really expect all U.S. politicians to develop a
clear territorial policy.
We can expect them to if they become President, however. On taking office a President assumes a responsibility to the people
of the territories that we, in the Carter White House, believed in some ways exceeds the responsibility to the people of the United
Lest you think that what I've said and will say is at all partisan, let me tell you that I could not have been more impress-
ed with the way that President-elect Reagan prepared for his territorial responsibility. The work of my colleague on this panel,
Tom McGurn, on the Reagan transition term, assured sound territorial policy planning for the new Administration.
I am not satisfied with the implementation to date of that planning, however. The problem is that basic territorial decisions
haven't been made, and no one has been named to make sure that they will be.
When President Carter decided upon his Comprehensive Territorial Policy at the end of 1979, it embodied a few basic con-
cepts concepts which should not now be abandoned.
Our first principle was that the people of the offshore territories had a right to determine their own political future a
radical departure from the practice of Washington making those decisions for them. All options for political development were
open as far as we were concerned. Our only conditions were that the security of the United States would not be impaired, that
political choices were freely made, and that the relationship between the islands and the nation was mutually determined.
We encouraged the full attainment of self-government. We invited the territories to discuss their political status aspirations as
equal partners. We proposed a joint Federal-territorial commission be established to assess whether Federal laws should or should
not apply to the territories individually.
Second, President Carter promised to put new meaning in a principle that had been adopted by the Federal government
long-ago but tended to get overlooked in recent years: fragile territorial economies are dependent upon special advantages.
These advantages, we felt, needed to be preserved and enhanced.
We endorsed unique application of Federal laws. We started to remove administrative constraints to economic activity. We
began work on a new program to train enterpreneurs and their staffs and make more public and private business financing
dollars available. We invited suggestions for new Federal tax incentives. We directed that our territorial office would coordinate
Federal economic development programs. Finally, we considered the insular perspective in White House economic policy-making.
Third, we adopted as a principle the premise that territorial matters were a priority concern something no one had even
suggested before. President Carter proposed a substantial increase in the attention and resources devoted to the islands. He
sought to coordinate all Federal activities.
We made Interior's territorial office one headed by a member of the sub-Cabinet, rather than one reporting to a member of
the sub-Cabinet. President Carter gave that assistant secretary a broad mandate to coordinate all Federal involvement in the
territories. To make sure that he was listened to by other agencies and not blocked by the Office of Management and Budget,
President Carter elevated his territorial policy assistant to the level of a senior domestic policy advisor.
Fourth, because territorial economies and individuals are so reliant on infrastructure and services that are taken for granted
in the States but are inadequate in all the islands, he wanted to give extraordinary and unprecedented levels of assistance to im-
These funds would be used to help territorial governments manage themselves; comprehensively plan for the future; make-up
for budget deficiencies in dollars and practice; and construct and modernize facilities.
Fifth, President Carter recognized that territorial Americans were inequitably treated by Federal programs. He proclaimed as
a principle that they needed and deserved better.
We supported fairer program coverage for individuals. We took steps to more effectively deliver Federal services and use
Federal program dollars.
We expected and dealt with -the controversies which arose as to how to effectuate our goals. But we were rarely challenged
on the objectives themselves of the principles that President Carter adopted.
The danger now is that the new Administration may instinctively recede from these principles as it seeks to establish its own
identity. While I wouldn't expect them to embrace all of our specific initiatives, they should recognize the validity of the princi-
ples that we adopted.
If they don't on their own, then they must be encouraged to and the encouragement can't be timid. It must be plainly
stated and it must be emphatic. It should be made in a non-partisan and professional way and in the context of the current bud-
get reality in Washington. For example, the invitation from President Carter to the islands to discuss political status is one that
we should demand the new Administration honor. Virgin Islanders, and others, should pursue political development boldly,
informedly, and creatively.
This may require a sharp departure from the present framework of Federal-territorial relations.
Just what form that departure might take is one point we didn't address in the Carter Comprehensive Territorial Policy. It
relates to the failure of the U.S. Constitution to provide for a permanent way of incorporating small, distant, resource and
culturally-distinct islands in the American political family. As with much of the implementation of President Carter's territorial
principles, I had put the need for a constitutional amendment perhaps proposing an "associated statehood" on the second-
Of course, there was to be no second term for us. The election left our territorial policy initiated to our successors and a new
The people of the territories must make sure that they deal with it. A few power centers will, without any prompting. Con-
gressional leaders Phil Burton and Bennett Johnston, though of very different ideological stripes, have always been sensitive
and helpful to the islands, as have some of their colleagues.
Most other power centers are not, however. There is no equivalent in this Administration of President Carter's chief domestic
advisor, Stuart Eizenstat, who really made possible the advances we made in territorial policymaking.
Territorial Americans must organize their resources aggressively to secure the political development, economic opportunities,
financial and technical assistance, enhanced Federal program treatment, and improved Federal policymaking that is their inher-
TOM McGURN First of all I would like to thank Jeff for the assistance he provided me over the past
few months. The cooperation that Jeff gave me was outstanding. I thank you for your help.
Before beginning, I would like to make a disclaimer, and that is my comments tonight are my own observations and do not
represent the Administration or any agency of the Federal executive branch or the Congress.
Some comments on the present policy of the territories. The formulation and implementation of territorial policy has had
mixed results during the previous administration. As a generalization, under U.S. direction inhabitants of the territories enjoy a
standard of living above that of the world average, but below that of the Mainland. However, the tendency to make such com-
parisons have not been a part of the problem. Particularly with respect to the Pacific policies, the United States has followed the
path of Americanization in the course of encouraging political self-determination.
While Americanization is not in itself inappropriate, it has almost been mandated through uncoordinated, massive injunctions
of federal money to the islands' public sector without proper focus on the long-term goals of the territorial self-sufficiency.
Under the Reagan administration it is likely that this federal money flow will be curtailed and more closely scrutinized. Also,
the form of distribution will most likely change.
Previous administrations historically did little to consult and coordinate their policies with the Congress which constitutional-
ly is mandated plenary power for the territories. This type of myopia has been a major failing and consequently by default has
placed more responsibility on the Congress to set policy, and through the appropriations process indirectly administer the terri-
tories. Some tough questions must be asked. Some of which are, "Where have the federal bureaucrats been when the offshore
territories needed positive and courageous action?" "Why have citizens of the Offshore Areas been excluded from key staff
positions in the executive agencies which determine their future?" "Why have the insular areas had to tolerate the actions of
the staff of the Office of Management and Budget in Washington who are insensitive to the real needs of the Offshore Areas?"
With a sense of fairness, as well as self-preservation, I will have to leave these questions for others to answer. However, I would
like to discuss some of the key policies and goals that I feel should be considered.
Given both the historic and current strategic, economic and political importance of the offshore areas, it is imperative that
immediate and detailed attention be given to all aspects of U.S. territorial policy, including in particular a review of the federal
organizational scheme and an assessment of current and alternative economic assistance programs. While the influx of federal
funds might be envied by other under-developed countries of the world, it contributes little to the personnel infra-structure and
the long-term economic needs of the territories. In fact, progress towards economic viability in the offshore areas can only be
achieved if the new administration is sensitive to the six different cultures and thirteen different languages that make up the
territorial societies in the Caribbean and the Pacific and the need for meaningful training and technical assistance programs
aimed at self-sufficiency, the need for resource assessment, the arbitrary application of U.S. laws, and the inherent difficulties
in administering a widely-dispersed geographical area. Some specific goals should be to reverse the federal policies which,
through doling out huge sums of money actually encourage the offshore areas' dependence on the federal government rather
than working towards the necessary long-term goals of self-sufficiency. Attention must be given to the increasing significance of
the offshore areas and their national security roles, as well as the conflicts such military and testing applications may create
among the citizenry.
What are the basic priorities? These are nothing new, but I think they are worth repeating.
Power and water no economic development will occur particularly from the private sector unless power and water are in
place and are reasonably priced. For the Virgin Islands I might suggest that Mr. Hess might provide a large service to the com-
munity by selling fuel for power generation to the islands at cost or for a very, very nominal profit. For the Pacific Ocean,
thermal conversion known as OTEC looks like a prime prospect in addition to hydro-electric, solar and wind energy.
Communication is a must, particularly for the Pacific. Adequate air and water transport which is affordable to the citizens,
tourists and private industry alike must be provided.
With above, the development of a viable economic base unfettered by complex Federal controls and regulations, and with the
technical assistance and training for the proper self-reliance.
Development of a sound financial infra-structure open to public scrutiny essential to good fiscal control and good government
Priority capital improvement projects must be expedited, constructed as much as possible by local labor and expertise.
The ability to set up economic ties with neighbors within the trading and economic structure without being constrained by
laws that apply to the 50 states would help all parties.
Private investment from the U.S. should be encouraged or the best deal from others within the bounds of the offshore and
U.S. national security interest.
The insular areas must take the lead in regional affairs for the promotion of higher education and by example of democratic
government, always keeping in mind that growth by partnership is the most rewarding and the most lasting.
Above all, always keep a vigilant eye towards maintaining insular social and cultural traditions. These are the most precious
What needs to be done to establish a better framework for the future? Just a few points to think about aggressive and
sensitive leadership at the federal level is number one, I agreee with Jeff. Reconsider the structure of the office of Micronesian
status negotiations as an inter-agency office, and I think Ambassador Rosenblatt will speak about this. Initiate a strong and
meaningful relationship with key Congressional leaders and with the Congress as a whole. Delineate the roles of White House
staff with the Department of Interior and other executive agencies. Institute a series of meetings with the offshore officials to
discuss the concerns and commitments that are required for a viable self-sufficiency. Review over-all policy towards the offshore
areas, emphasizing methodological changes to implement established goals. Continue monetary support of the capital improve-
ment projects, but include elements of emphasizing maintenance of existing facilities and training programs. Review and revise
economic assistance policies to encourage self-sufficiency and lessen the reliance on public sector funds. Review the roles of vari-
ous Federal agencies to eliminate multiplicity of programs, jurisdictions and restrictive regulations and laws where they are not
compatible with the territories. Use cost savings adequately to fund and staff the Department of the Interior as a central agency;
I think that is quite essential at the beginning. Review inconsistencies in the general application of U.S. laws to the offshore
areas and recommend changes where necessary. Appoint offshore area citizens to key policy positions and administrative posi-
tions under the Department of the Interior and other Federal executive agencies.
I would like to end by making a few comments about status. One of the most important issues of the 1980's is the economic
and political status of the offshore areas. Significant changes will take place in the Caribbean and Pacific basin, and more than
ever, the changes will be affected by world events. In order to influence and plan for a stable and productive economic system,
the offshore areas must explore every reasonable and practical option for your future status with the U.S. Federal government,
as well as and very importantly, your regional neighbors. The future will require a greater voice for the offshore areas and local
self-determination of political, economic and social development, as the means to assure a stable local and regional future. If
you do not take advantage of this opportunity in a vigorous manner, then your choices by default will be made by the Federal
government. The resulting options are most likely to be less than adequate or desirable for the offshore areas. It appears that
the Reagan administration is determined and supportive of greater local self-determination, giving necessary consideration to
over-all national security issues. However, the window of opportunity may not remain open for long due to unpredictable world
events and new long-term changes in economic development. It is up to the people of the offshore areas to seize the day and
vigorously pursue the establishment of their status options. Vigorous and energetic local governments can and will produce a
more prosperous future. Cooperation among the offshore areas in the development of this new status will help produce a strong-
er and more cohesive approach. This will benefit each individual area and will be less confusing and therefore more acceptable
to the Congress and those in the Executive branch who make federal policy. Thank you.
RON DELUGO It is a little awesome sitting in for our distinguished Lt. Governor, Henry Millin. I
don't know how it is going to hit the street tomorrow, whether there has been a new alliance between Henry and myself, or
whether the Governor and I conspired to oust Henry from his seat here. Nevertheless our politics have always been interesting.
The truth of the matter is I am very fortunate; I have a good relationship with both the Governor, the Lt. Governor and the
President of the Legislature. I am very pleased about that, because I think that with that kind of working relationship, I will be
able to do some good things for our islands. I could not do it without that kind of working relationship. I think we are going
to tackle some very difficult problems; probably some which we should have tackled years ago, but we are going to tackle them
and do our best. Hopefully we'll do it all together.
I have been asked to give an over-view of new directions in United States offshore area policies. We are seeing it right now in
Washington, as you are well aware, through the most dramatic shift in policy towards the role of the federal government since
1932 and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Obviously, that shift will impact the territories, hopefully as a well thought-out strategy
and not as an afterthought. I congratulate the College of the Virgin Islands and Dr. Leary for hosting this conference. For in
meeting here we can focus attention on the fact that the territories can and should play an active role in the development of
offshore policy. The issue here is not status; that is an end point towards which policy is directed. The issue here is relationship
- how policy is formulated. I don't think that all past policies have been a failure. On the contrary, we who live here might be
able to argue that perhaps they might have been just a little too successful. We have lots of problems with the success of our
growth, and that's not unusual. It has happened in almost every country down through the ages. But what happens with the ter-
ritories now is that steps which are taken must be viewed from the national perspective. The territories are not entities apart.
They cannot be viewed as mere adjuncts or afterthoughts to domestic policy. We are now vitally important to the national
interest in increasingly troubled areas of the world. We are not liabilities. There was a time when we were viewed as liabilities.
We are no longer viewed as such, and it is very important for us to understand this change and to grasp opportunities it implies.
We are assets very strategically placed assets.
When the new administration emphasizes the danger of Communism in America's backyard the Caribbean I would like
to remind the administration that it is our living room. In fact, I have pointed out to the Administration and to Congress on
several occasions that the Virgin Islands is the U.S. outpost in the Caribbean and its most obvious link to Caribbean nations which
may otherwise turn to the Communist bloc for assistance and direction. Exports from the United States to the Caribbean now
equal its exports to the European community. And what other area of the world is so completely dependent on tourism, or so
devastatingly affected by the slightest increase in the price of oil? The entire Caribbean, including the Virgin Islands, needs
massive injections of investments to diversify our economies, to stimulate agriculture, our fisheries and light industry. Aid in
terms of dollars is not enough. The United States direct aid to the non-American flag Caribbean in 1980 totalled $140 million
dollars. American backed institutions in the world bank funneled in another $400 million dollars in investments that year.
And yet we have seen an increasing number of Caribbean island nations turn toward Marxism in attempting to deal with their
own internal problems.
I'm certainly not arguing for the United States to adopt a rigid territorial policy. On the contrary, what has made democracy
the greatest experiment ever devised is its flexibility. What I am saying is that we represent American policy to our neighbors.
The credibility of the United States is at stake if we in the territories cannot educate our children properly, or house our people
properly, or offer gainful employment to our young people. We cannot be treated as states in certain instances, then left to hold
out our hands in others when trying to contend with pressures not found in the continental United States. Tax cuts will not
equalize the impact of budget cuts here in the territory as the Reagan administration has predicted for the states. It will have a
double negative impact on the territories. If the policy of the United States towards us is received as vague or backhanded, then
what will be our neighbors' perception of the United States? What must be developed is a comprehensive policy for the territor-
ies flexible enough to meet the unique needs of each territory, and formulated with the input of each territory. We must not
forget that while all the offshore areas may fall into the general category of territories, we cover a broad spectrum of political
relationships to the United States, and we ought not and cannot place the blame on the Federal government, just as all our
problems cannot be placed on the Federal government. If we want the Federal government to put us in a more proper perspec-
tive, then we must keep ourselves in perspective as well. This is a two-way street, particularly when we are talking about input
into the development of policy. I believe that we can and we should embark on a greater exploration of our relationship with the
United States. I believe that the area of territorial policy development assumes the role of peers. One direct road to a peer rela-
tionship is to franchise the citizens of the territory by giving them the right to vote for the chief administrator of American
policy, and that of course is the President of the United States. To that end, I, along with Delegate Won Pat of Guam and
Delegate Fofo Sunia, the first elected delegate from American Samoa, and Congressman Phillip Burton have introduced into
Congress a bill to extend the presidential vote to our respective territories. This bill has a far better chance than previous at-
tempts because it resolves one of the major stumbling blocks that we had in the past, relating to the electoral college. I am hope-
ful that it will pass for it will give us in the territories a stronger voice and a better handle on policies affecting our own in-
dividual destinies. In-put in formulating those policies should start immediately. Both the United States and the territories have
much to gain from such an approach, and we really have nothing to lose. For all of us share one common destiny, and we are
proud to be part of this great experiment democracy with a small "d".
PETER ROSENBLATT I should like to begin by thanking the College of the Virgin Islands, particularly Paul
Leary, for its and his imagination and initiative in staging this important event. I think the time is long over-due for territories
to begin to understand each what was happening in the area of the other, and hopefully this process will be expedited by this
important conference. It is an important occasion for me personally, also because it constitutes my first public appearance as
a private citizen in three and a half years. And as an exercise of conscience I am happy to say that I found myself in preparing
my remarks for this evening satisfied that I am saying nothing different this evening as a private citizen than I would have said
as a public official. That being the case, I do feel that the way in which I spent the last three and one half years, which I propose
to describe to you, may not have been badly spent, but then that's up to the new administration to determine officially.
Much of the discussion to date in this conference has referred to U.S. policy and attitudes on the territories as if nothing had
changed since the early '60's. The focus of this evening's session is of course "New Directions in Offshore Areas Policies", but I
intend to demonstrate that this is a mistaken premise upon which to discuss future positions by any of the territories.
The Compact of Free Association has just been negotiated with the governments of Palau, the Marshall Islands, the Federated
States of Micronesia all parts of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. It represents a radical departure from past positions
and attitudes, and I do believe that perhaps there is insufficient understanding, both of the nature of these distinctions and of
the applicability of some of them to the Virgin Islands and the other U.S. territories. Therefore, I propose this evening to discuss
with you briefly how this compact was negotiated, its history, the circumstances which led to its initialling several months
ago, and tomorrow to describe just what it is that we negotiated what kind of status emerged from this lengthy and arduous
process. I will leave it to the audience to draw any parallels and distinctions which you may consider applicable to the situation
of the Virgin Islands, the other territories and Puerto Rico. The question of the future political status of the Trust Territory of
the Pacific Islands cannot be understood without a brief digression into the history of our relationship with that unique Trust
The United States acquired the Trust Territory, of course, as a result of World War II. It contains a number of islands which
are remembered as the scenes of some of the most ferocious battles that took place during the Second World War Pelelieu,
Kwajalein, Saipan, Truk Lagoon and so on. The circumstances of our first arrival in the Trust Territory was therefore very much
impressed upon the American public's memory, and therefore conditioned to a very considerable extent the nature of our dis-
cussions for its future political status. The U.S., in otherwords, tends very often to think of the Trust Territory in military
terms. It is also true, as a result of this relatively late acquisition, that Micronesians still active in public life are able to remember
the time before the United States was the administering power, and there is therefore some basis for comparison.
The Trusteeship Agreement of 1948 is the basis upon which the United States administers the Trust Territory. Under these
terms the United States administers the Trust Territory as a so-called strategic trusteeship, which differs from other trusteeships
in that it is the Security Council which has the primary role to play within the United Nations system, although the year-to-year
functions of oversight are discharged by the Trusteeship Council, in essence as an agent of the Security Council. The United
States is the administering authority under the agreement which means that the United States government has all governmental
authority, just as if we were the elected government of the Trust Territory. However, we do not enjoy sovereignty in the Trust
Territory. The people of the Trust Territory are not American citizens; they are citizens of the TrustTerritory. U.S. authority
in the Trust Territory is, in all practical respects, unlimited. However, the United States has undertaken certain obligations under
the trusteeship agreement. These include the promotion of social, economic and political development, looking forward to an
ultimate act of self-determination by the people of the Trust Territory with respect to their future.
The history of our administration of the Trust Territory is a mixed bag. Our administration was conducted by the military
from the time of the arrival of the first American troops in the Trust Territory during the Second World War until 1951. In 1951
the administrative responsibility was shifted to the Department of the Interior. However, our tenure was characterized until
1963 essentially by a policy of neglect. Very little money was expended on the Trust Territory, and we had very little to show
by way of development until in the early 1960's, a United Nations visiting mission issued a stinging report about the United
States' administration of the Trust Territory our not deliberate, but none the less undeniable, policy of neglect. Therein lies
a rather interesting point.
In 1963 the United States changed its policy with respect to the Trust Territory, because it was reacting to the United Na-
tion's visiting mission report. This policy of reacting has been one of the hallmarks of our policy towards the Trust Territory,
and perhaps also towards the other territories as well. The United States has tended to react to initiatives of the territories and
elsewhere in its dealings with them. In 1963 the policy changed to the point where very much larger sums of money began to
be expended on a rather uncoordinated and unplanned policy of development. We have something to show, I think, for vast
sums of money which were expended on the Trust Territory since that time.
There has been nearly universal public education extended to the people of the Trust Territory. Some kind of health care
has been extended to them inadequate, but substantially more than they had before, and I might add more than what is
available to most of the other Pacific peoples. Economic development has been a rather depressing chapter of the history of our
administration. We have very little indeed to show for it, and most of what we do have, is as a result of efforts undertaken since
1975. I think that it is the area of political development that we have accomplished the most during our generation-long tenure
in the Trust Territory. We began with the establishment of district legislatures in the several districts of the Trust Territory. I
should point out that the Trust Territory consists of over 2,200 islands scattered over 3 million square miles of water, con-
sisting of only half the land area of Rhode Island in the aggregate about 350 square miles and divided among peoples who
speak some nine separate and almost totally unrelated languages, ranging in size from several hundred to approximately 37,000
Trukese (the largest single group).
Now, from the district legislatures we move in 1964 to the formation of a Congress of Micronesia, which was a representative
body, which acted as the legislative branch of the Trust Territory government, and which embraced all of these disparate peoples.
In 1969 the process of political status negotiations began, and this is where the story, which is hopefully nearing an end, will
find its origins. Twelve years then of status negotiations which began in 1969 under the Nixon administration, with an offer and
rejection by the Congress of Micronesia of Commonwealth status for the entire Trust Territory.
In 1971 the Congress of Micronesia indicated its preparedness to negotiate a new status with the United States, known as
Free Association. Free Association is a status which enjoys universal recognition, and which is referred to in several United
Nations' resolutions as an acceptable alternative to the normal alternate status options of integration into another country or
full independence. So it was that it was the Micronesians themselves who indicated their preference for Free Association a
status which, although it enjoys legal recognition is nowhere defined. It is, in fact, left to those who negotiate the status to
define it through the process of negotiation. During 1971 and 1972 the United States attempted to negotiate Free Association
with the entire Trust Territory. The Northern Marianas district, however, preferred to negotiate Commonwealth status with the
United States rather than Free Association and claimed that they were being dictated to by the majority in the Congress of
Micronesia, which preferred Free Association. So in 1972 the negotiations split-the United States negotiated with the Northern
Marianas for Commonwealth status, and with the balance of the Trust Territory for Free Association.
In 1975 agreement was reached with the Northern Marianas on a commonwealth relationship with the United States. In 1976
it was ratified by the people by an overwhelming popular vote, and by the United States Congress. The so-called Commonwealth
Covenant with the Northern Marianas has been implemented in all respect in which it is possible to do so; that is to say in all
those respects which do not require the award of United States citizenship. The Marianans cannot become U.S. citizens until
the trusteeship is terminated for the entire Trust Territory. Thus, in 1976, the Northern Marianas dropped out of the history of
the Micronesian Status negotiations.
In 1976, also, a free association agreement was reached between the United States government and the negotiating commis-
sion of the Congress of Micronesia, representing the balance of the Trust Territory. For many complex reasons the negotiations
collapsed shortly after the Compact of Free Association was completed. The collapse of these negotiations in 1976 and the
resignation of my predecessor as chief U.S. negotiator was followed by a revelation in the United States Senate, that the C.I.A.
had been bugging some of the Micronesian negotiators. As a result, the failure on substantive grounds of the negotiations was
complicated by a serious loss of faith in the U.S. by the Micronesians. This was the condition of the negotiations when the
Carter administration arrived in 1977.
During the last 3Y2 years, the highpoints of what happened were: talks were re-established with the Micronesians, a new chief
negotiator was appointed by the United States, and a new negotiating commission was appointed by the Micronesians. Two
Micronesian districts, which like the Northern Marianas, were not interested in being represented by the Congress of Micro-
nesia's Negotiating Commission, were given a mandate by their legislatures and, ultimately, their peoples in free elections, to
negotiate separately with the United States for their own political status, even though that status was to be identical with that
sought by the Congress of Micronesia for the remaining districts. So, from this process there emerged three separate Micronesian
entities, apart from the Northern Marianas whose status had already been settled. These were Palau, the Marshall Islands and a
group representing the four remaining districts called the Federated States of Micronesia. The negotiations then proceeded be-
tween the United States and these three new entities through their authorized, elected representatives for a re-definition of the
status of Free Association. During these past 3Y2 years, we have succeeded in re-defining that status in such a way that it was
satisfactory to at least the last United States administration and to the governments of the three Micronesian parties involved.
Tomorrow I hope to describe just what that document is and what the relationship is that we hit upon. It is a unique status in-
corporated in a single document initialed by four governments.
The future relationship of each of the three Micronesian states with the United States is regulated by that single document,
and it calls for internal self-government by each of the Micronesian governments separate and apart from one another. It calls
for the management of their own foreign policies by each of those Micronesian governments, and it calls for the United States
authority in the security and defense field, in which the United States will defend the Micronesian states as if we were their
military forces, and as if their territory were ours. You can see that it is an unusual and rather creative approach to a difficult
Two further points I would like to touch on. One is the way in which the United States government organized itself to con-
duct these negotiations. We have heard a great deal about the very important role of the Department of the Interior in dealing
with the territories, but it should not be forgotten there are other executive branch agencies and obviously the Congress -
which have a role to play as well. The role of the other executive branch agencies was formally recognized in the bureaucratic
set-up that was established to conduct the negotiations with Micronesia. It involves an inter-agency group which is chaired by
the State Department, and it contains as its principal members Interior, State, Defense, Joint Chiefs, National Security Council,
Office of Management and Budget, and the Department of Justice. Other agencies are brought into this bureaucratic salad as
necessary; and many others have been brought in. We should remember that any discussions which other territories might have
about their future would involve the interests of virtually the entire United States government not only the Department of
the Interior and we must not forget the cardinal role of the Congress in making these determinations valid.
The second point I would like to make, in concluding, is that the Micronesian positions, which were tabled in our negotia-
tions over the last 12 years, were formulated by the Micronesian negotiating commissions. The United States government had
nothing whatsoever to do with the formulation of Micronesian negotiating positions. This is an obvious enough statement, but
one which needs to be stressed in light of some of today's comments on the subject of who needs to take the initiative, and the
need to table a plan in order to get the United States government to react. That has been a vital element of the negotiations. It
should also be remembered that negotiations with the Micronesian governments and commissions have been conducted complete-
ly at arms length. They have been conducted essentially as if the Micronesians were foreign sovereigns. Herein lies perhaps a bit
of a conundrum for the territories. Because the Federal government was prepared to recognize that the Micronesians were not
Americans because they are not and was therefore prepared to deal with them and their elected representatives, as if they
were not Americans, which they are not. It is somewhat different of course with residents of the U.S. territories who are Ameri-
can citizens, therefore that factor must be taken into account whenever a discussion is entered into about the conduct of status
negotiations with the territories.
Finally, I would like to point out that these negotiations were extremely tough and extremely complex. The Micronesians,
in addition to having their own very skilled negotiators, were extremely well versed when it came to the technicalities and the
status for which we were negotiating. The compact which we negotiated and initialled last October and November consists of
some 65 pages, single spaced, and covering virtually every facet of government. These Micronesian Commissions were advised by
a first-class group of lawyers in the United States. So the negotiations were tough, conducted at arms length, and resulted in a
document, which if adopted by the new administration, can withstand the tests of time because every aspect of this relationship
has been gone through with a fine tooth comb by the Micronesians and by each of the appropriate agencies of the United States
government. I am hopeful that if this document is endorsed by the new administration, it will prove to be a successful and unique
representation of what you are calling new directions in policy towards the offshore areas. Thank you very much.
THOMAS TANAKA Ladies and Gentlemen, it is indeed a pleasure to be representing the people of Guam
at this meeting. As some of you know, I spent the last two weeks in Washington, D.C., and the purpose of my stopping in the
nation's captial, as well as my enthusiasm in accepting the invitation to participate in this conference, has been to develop a
sense for what I would conveniently call the new directions in the offshore areas policies. As honored as I am by Dr. Leary's
request that I serve on tonight's panel, I must admit that I plan to participate as an attentive listener as well as a speaker.
With a new administration in Washington still organizing itself, with a shift to a Republican majority in the Senate and ap-
parently a more fiscally-conservative House of Representatives, Washington's behavior towards the territories undoubtedly will
change. If there are to be new directions in the United States policies towards Guam and the other territories, two actions will
be required. First the territories will have to clearly identify their political and economic goals and present them to a new set of
decision makers in Washington, D.C. The Governor of Guam, our representative to Congress, Mr. Won Pat and myself attempted
to begin this process in the last two weeks. Second, the new decision makers of the government of the United States must decide
what they want to do with its territories. I believe that the Carter administration attempted to do this through its inter-agency
policy review. The new administration finally may be required to go through the same exercise.
In respect to Guam, our people consider themselves as part of the United States, although I do not believe it is desirable that
Guam maintains its status as an unincorporated territory. I do believe we will always desire to maintain very close political,
economic and social ties with the United States. However, because Guam is not now, nor will be in the near future, a member of
the union of the United States, it feels that it should not be bound totally by laws, regulations and treaties governing the acts of
member states. It must be able to develop itself politically, economically without the undue and crippling interference of the
Washington's treatment of Guam should be more consistent. At times Guam is treated like a state, at other times it is treated
as a territory, and at other times almost like a foreign government. For example, regarding immigration Guam is treated as part
of the country; regarding treaties and trade agreements, Guam is frequently considered foreign. Concerning the Jones Act -
Guam is considered as a state; on other maritime legislation, Guam is considered foreign. Foreign vessels cannot ply between
Guam and other U.S. ports, and on the other hand, Guam is not entitled to shipbuilding and construction subsidies. In air trans-
portation, Guam is considered foreign in respect to air fares, but domestic in respect to foreign air carriers. In the treatment of
civilian and military personnel the island is considered an overseas post,but a state with respect to personnel recruiting in Guam.
Under the Fisheries Conservation Management Act the emerging Micronesian islands have full control over the 200 mile exclus-
ive economic resources zone, yet Guam is required to adhere to the F.C.M.A. On the supplemental security income, all states
and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas are entitled to these benefits, yet Guam is not. As to the directions the Feder-
al government should take or seek to achieve, at least towards its holdings in the western Pacific, I would like to suggest the fol-
The Federal government should be obligated to show that democracy is a workable system in the Pacific and the Caribbean.
The Federal government should encourage and assist the territories in developing some semblance of economic self-sufficien-
cy. Territorial diplomatic and economic links with foreign nations should be encouraged.
The U.S. must maintain a viable and strong military presence in the Western Pacific.
I hope that I have contributed at least some food for thought, and I look forward to a very active exchange with my colleagues,
the panel and the audience. Thank you very much.
in United States 1962
Virgi Islan Relations:
MR. ARNOLD LEIBOWITZ, Chair Special Counsel
U.S. Senate Committee on the judiciary
MS. EDITH BORNN Attorney, U.S. Virgin Islands
Member, U.S. Virgin Islands Status Commission
MR. JULIO BRADY Federal Programs Coordinator
Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands
MR. ALBERT SHEEN Attorney, U.S. Virgin Islands
MR. JACK COGHILL Chairman, Alaska Statehood Commission
MR. EARLE B. OTTLEY Executive Director,
Virgin Islands Status Commission
ARNOLD LEIBOWITZ You can see that we have a rather distinguished number of panelists who will follow,
so I will try very briefly to outline the range of status options that have been put forth in a number of territories before the
Virgin Islands Status Commission. I have been involved with political status discussions since 1964 in connection with U.S.
territories. What is remarkable is how much of an increase there has been in political status questions. Within the territories
themselves it used to be that except for Puerto Rico, status issues were very moderate or dormant. Now that is not true. In
Guam, for example, beginning in 1970 with the 12th Guam Legislature, there has been a continuing study of Guam's status and
its possibilities. The most obvious activity has begun in connection with the Marianas and Micronesia and in the United Nations.
Those negotiations have resulted in a variety of U.S. status possibilities that prior to this time were not viewed as being possible
within the U.S. Federal structure.
The Puerto Rican Commonwealth when first discussed in 1950, and even now, was viewed as a very radical concept. The
idea that a certain amount of Federal legislation would not apply to the Commonwealth until the territory had specifically
approved it was regarded as very radical and certainly outside the potential of Puerto Rico itself. That is now regarded as almost
a trivial issue since within the Marianas and Micronesian agreements that is specifically mentioned.
The Micronesian Associated State relationships go even further to set forth something that previously was not established
within the United States context and that is the possibility that one can leave the Union unilaterally. This is an idea that was
explored in the New Zealand-Cook Islands relationships, but it had been outside the U.S. framework. As a result of the Civil
War there is now a legal decision by the Supreme Court that a State cannot leave the Union. What the case held is that the
States who rebelled tried to leave the Union but they never made it. The case, Texas v. White, came up in a very odd way. The
question was whether certain interest on bonds was payable during the period when Texas had supposedly left the Union. If
they had left the Union, then the interest was not payable; but if they had not left, then the interest was payable. The Supreme
Court held that they had not left the Union.
The idea that you can leave the Union is something that is not acceptable to the United States. We had never thought that
once you joined you could leave again. It seems like a betrayal to everything the United States held dear. That is not true now.
Now, as part of the Micronesian Associated State relationship, building upon international experiences, we have negotiated a
relationship in which one envisions the possibility of leaving the Union. In short, the U.S. status possibilities are now much
broader than they were before.
One had only States and territories once; but in 1952, the Puerto Rican Commonwealth came along. Now we also have, as
the Puerto Rican Commonwealth has suggested although not obtained, the idea of approval of specific legislation. Thus, the
Marianas Commonwealth does provide for specific approval by the Marianas. The Federal legislation would not automatically
apply unless the Marianas agrees to it, an extraordinary idea. Further, there is a commitment by the U.S. of financial support
over a long period of time. When this was suggested in 1964 by Puerto Rico, this was regarded as heresy. The U.S. is not forced
to "buy" the good wishes of a people. One did not join the Union and then try to get money out of it in a very crass way. It
is now quite acceptable. The Marianas and Micronesians relationship is, in part, financial; and it was understood quite early in
the negotiations that a certain amount of money over a long period of time would be obtained from the U.S.
The terms State, Commonwealth, Associated State, and territory also no longer represent a shorthand way of talking and
immediately conveying to everyone what you are talking about. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico developed the compact
in 1977 which represented their view of what Commonwealth meant in the Puerto Rican context. Dr. Rosenblatt mentioned
last evening that the compact in the Micronesian context represents a 65-page document. The Marianas Covenant also covers a
variety of areas. Each document discusses, for example, the political relationship, what representation in Congress, if any, and
the selection of the local executives. I would like to mention that the judiciary is also a negotiated relationship and it is a signi-
ficant Federal presence in the Puerto Rican context. One of the major differences between the 3rd and 4th Virgin Islands Con-
stitutional Conventions is the presence of the Federal judiciary. The question of the role of the Federal judiciary is one of the
negotiated items in the Marianas Covenant and the Micronesian Associated State.
The question of economic participation comes up. The question of the kind of grant-in-aid participation you are entitled to.
Do you share equally with other States? Do you get treated equally with other territories? These are questions of the applica-
bility of economic regulations, environmental protection, etc. There were also questions of what is known as cultural protection
the territories feeling that within this large relationship with the U.S. Federal government there are cultural issues, an Anglo-
Saxon culture coming down upon foreign environments. These questions arise in the relationship partly in connection with
governmental control and partly in connection with land protection. As you look back on where the U.S. has come from, and
how fast it has been ready to accept this, there is a whole change in the United States from what is viewed as possible within
our Federal system.
One of the questions that continually arises as the range of the areas broadens within the idea of Associated Statehood,
Commonwealth, or even Statehood, is whether one wishes to have similar treatment to a State or other territory, or whether one
wishes to have a mix; in some cases very similar and in other cases an exception based on special circumstances. Similar treat-
ment to a State gives a sense of direction and a likelihood that something will happen. Treatment that is different is harder to
effect. Each case has to be negotiated. Also, it is harder for a territory to form a consensus within that approach. It is easier to
say we are going to be treated equally, whatever that means, and we are going to march forward on a whole variety of issues
seeking equal treatment. It is much harder when you have a number of people and a number of issues to gain a consensus in a
territory without the whole program collapsing.
There has been some discussion already about the initiative for status change and where it rests. I think it is abundantly clear
that the initiative now rests in the territory, and in my view I don't know of anywhere else it can rest. One of the reasons is
that the larger power generally doesn't care that much. The smaller area, whether it is the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, or American
Samoa, cares and cares intensely. In every case it is the smaller territory which has established the status commission, whether
it is Puerto Rico, the Marianas, or Micronesia that has said here we are, we want to negotiate. What have the results been? The
Legislature (Congress) initially treats it with total disdain, and this has been true with every status commission which has been
established. The Executive Branch usually begins with a certain amount of reluctant cooperation, and someone, somewhere,
is appointed to "watch" this group. The Judiciary is not relevant at this point, but I will return to them later.
The heart of the negotiations then takes place and takes place slowly. To get the U.S. engaged, two things have to take place
and they do have to take place locally. First, the territory must make it clear exactly what it wants. If there are a variety of local
sentiments, it is very easy for the larger power, the Federal government, to ignore whatever the position is. The Federal govern-
ment wants to see a major consensus in this area. This is very difficult but not impossible. The best example of that is when
Puerto Rico had a 60% consensus for Commonwealth status and had a governor who was also strongly in favor of this status
position, the U.S. government moved and responded. It began to negotiate seriously the status position. When the Marianas and
Micronesia set up their negotiations, the U.S. did nothing until it was reasonably clear there had been a political movement out
there in which political careers rested on obtaining this status relationship. Puerto Rico's movement toward statehood was
seriously affected by the fact that the governor standing for statehood in the last election did not get the 60-65% that every-
one had predicted he would. Since then, the U.S. government went about its business with the attitude of "let us know when
you really have a consensus out there".
The Virgin Islands, it seems to me, is the only territory which has not intruded status politics into the political life of the
territory. People talk about it a lot, but as far as I know, no governor or senator is closely identified with any status position.
This is not true in Guam, however, where all of the governors have mentioned it on occasion in their territorial addresses and in
their comments in a variety of places. Congressman Won Pat, even before he was in Congress, always has talked about status.
He has changed his mind on a number of occasions, but he has always talked about it. The governors of the territories have
always in their territorial messages addressed themselves to status and have taken a position on it. To my knowledge, this is not
so in the Virgin Islands. Governors, gubernatorial candidates, and key senatorial and leadership figures have not addressed status
questions or have made status development an issue. If the Virgin Islands Status Commission hopes to seriously engage the U.S.,
it must eventually gain political support here in relationship to these political questions.
Secondly, there has been no attempt, and I think this is unique to the Virgin Islands, to gain popular judgment on these
status positions. There has been no plebiscite or status referendum in the Virgin Islands, if for no other purpose than to get a
feeling for the popular consensus. Again, it may be that the Virgin Islands Status Commission will get that kind of concern
going. In every other territory, for example in Puerto Rico and Guam, there has been this kind of status referendum.
And now before concluding, just a few words about the Judiciary. Political scientists know the "Insular Cases" and the im-
portance that the Judiciary has had in territorial evolution. If one looks at judicial policy, and asks how the Judiciary is related
to territories, you come to, I think, an interesting phenomenon. From 1889 to 1917 the courts were very active and took a very
strong position. Marching in tune with the Executive Branch, it created this "unincorporated territories". From 1925 to 1974,
the U.S. courts almost totally withdrew from status issues. For example, after the establishment of the Commonwealth of
Puerto Rico, you couldn't get to the Supreme Court from Puerto Rico. In fact, in 1971 it took a case only to say that cases
like that should not be taken. (Fornaris v. Ridge Tool Co.) Since 1974, there has been an almost total reversal with active
judicial activity and almost always against the territory. The Supreme Court has taken five cases from Puerto Rico; and of the
last four, Puerto Rico has lost them all. Two of them dealt with supplementary social income payments. The Carter administra-
tion fought tooth and nail to win this issue to establish the proposition that Puerto Ricans could be discriminated against. Con-
stitutional lawyers felt that it was absolutely clear that as U.S. citizens, they were entitled to the same treatment as citizens
elsewhere. One could not move from Arizona to New York, for example, and get a cut in welfare payment; yet one could move
from New York to Puerto Rico and get a cut in welfare payments. One certainly thought that the Supreme Court would not
permit that, but the Supreme Court did. Anyway, four in a row is a lot. Then Guam, who had never had a case in the Supreme
Court, suddenly had two in a row, one which I felt was trivial, but the other was an attempt by the Guam Legislature to estab-
lish its own court. It was very unclear that they had that power; and, like Puerto Rico, Guam lost at the highest level; however
by the closest of margins.
At the lower levels the same thing was happening. In the Third Circuit and in the D.C. Circuit, the Virgin Islands was to lose
major cases involving $435,000,000. At the same time all this was happening, Samoa was raising the argument of whether jury
trials were required in criminal cases in Samoa. Over a long period of time, going back again to the Insular Cases, it was usually
thought that jury trials were not required in the territories. Thirty witnesses all testified "not now" on the question. Neverthe-
less, the court held that American Samoa was part of the U.S. system and jury trials should apply to Samoa. In light of the ex-
tensive anthropological testimony and political figures from Samoa, who said please don't do it, one has to wonder why the
courts voted this way.
I don't mean to suggest that there is a conspiracy afoot, but there has been a concerted move in Federal judiciary in favor of
Federal power and against territorial power. Whether they feel that some facet of the Federal system is being challenged, or
whether there are other reasons, the doctrinal result is serious. The Virgin Islands Status Commission should look at that
judicial involvement and try to get the Federal government to be more concerned. It is common for the Congressional repre-
sentatives to be concerned with Executive and Legislative Branch policy, but status politics right now may involve the judiciary
much more than it has in the past and recently has seriously affected the financial health of the Virgin Islands.
EDITH BORNN I have decided that we need to talk about "why" status rather than "which" status,
because as Mr. Leibowitz has so clearly pointed out, here in the Virgin Islands we have not really been discussing status on
political levels. Where should the Virgin Islands be headed and what are our choices?
The first job that faces the Virgin Islands Status Commission, as I see it, and indeed as all the members of the Commission
see it, is to arouse the public interest in this area, to present the various options, the various types of status possibilities, so that
we can get some input from our political leaders, the residents and of course all our voters. I believe that we need to have a com-
pact. The League of Women Voters of the Virgin Islands took that formal position two years ago, that it is time for a compact
to be established between the territory and the United States Government. What form? We haven't taken a position on either,
but we are prepared with the Commission to engage in public information and public education on the subject. I do not think
that this is the forum, for me at any rate, to discuss the options under consideration in detail, sufficient that we feel that a com-
pact should be established in which the rights and responsibilities of the territory, are set forth. In effect, I urge that we consider
ourselves much as tenants at will, with few rights, and very little that isenforceable.We realize the necessity of moving to that of
a lessee a tenant for the long term with specific obligations and specific rights. I have always been of the opinion as a lawyer
that no agreement, including a lease, is of real benefit unless there are obligations and benefits for both parties of the agreement.
To do otherwise is to court discontent, and discontent always leads to later troubles.
How can we devise a compact or a relationship which provides for our needs and aspirations, our security and a measure of
sovereignty without continuing to be in a colonial relationship with the United States government? That, as I see it, is the ques-
tion for the Virgin Islands Status Commission, and is the question that they will have to bring before the people of the Virgin
Islands. We need to devise a system which not only delineates our political and economic relationship, but one which takes full
cognizance of our own social, cultural values and heritage, of our position in the Caribbean amongst other island nations, amidst
West Indians like ourselves. We all feel the need to assert our belongingness to this area even while we protect and maintain our
relationship with the United States government, and while we maintain U.S. citizenship with its perogatives and its limitations
which are very evident today. What options do we have that would secure for us all of these attributes?
"I would like to say that the options generally perceived for a territory such as the Virgin Islands are those of commonwealth
status or of a free associated state. These in my mind are mere appellations because the meaning is not clear. They have different
attributes for different territories, so that the term is one of semantics a question of what we are able to negotiate on which
terms. I do not mention statehood as an option because I don't see any possibility of our being able to meet the responsibilities
of statehood in the near future. I do not mention independence as an option, because I don't see that we will ever be in a
position to "go it alone" even with regional connections. I believe that we ought to be trying to change our relations in the
element of sovereignty, but I do not want to see us change one sovereign for another or perhaps several as other islands in this
area have found. I also want to urge upon you, that "unequals" can have a fair relationship, as long as there is a sense of respect
for the integrity of each party. This should be the guiding principle in negotiating any relationship.
We need to develop a status which is not only political, but economic. We need to develop a relationship which has peculiar
attributes. I take it that our Chairman thinks that there are many, many dangers in a special relationship, and we will have to
explore that. The special relationships which we have been talking about here in the Virgin Islands, in many cases, have already
been negotiated and accepted by the Congress of the United States in the compact with the Northern Marianas and are now in
place in the compact before Congress with the rest of Micronesia. I talk about, of course, our right to control to a large measure
immigration policies, our right to control customs duties and excise taxes and other trade policies, our right to enter into eco-
nomic and international agreements with other countries (or at least the nations in the Caribbean) and our right to participate
as a separate entity in international assemblies and international organizations. These things we cannot achieve without a new
status relationship. The United States has a duty to assure maintenance of a certain level of economic, health and welfare stand-
ards for this territory. This is important for us to keep in mind, and something we must never let the United States forget,
because this is the area where we constantly hear, "We can't afford it; you will lose the contributions." I don't think the United
States has the right to set us free, to give us a new status and free itself of the obligations that it took on in 1917. A certain level
and I do not mean a minimum level of economic standards, of health standards, of welfare must continue to be the obliga-
tion of the United States government. At no time should we engage in semantics which suggest that those items are negotiable.
The United States further has the duty to protect us militarily and to give us naval protection as well, and also to protect us
from seizure or our government by foreign powers or agents of foreign powers, as we have seen happen in other parts of the
Caribbean. I term it duty; it is necessary for our survival, but it is also necessary for the United States if it is to have any benefit
from a relationship with the Virgin Islands. Indeed, it is the reason the United States acquired the Virgin Islands, then the
Danish West Indies. The Virgin Islands strategic position has been discussed by other speakers in this conference, but our mili-
tary significance is enhanced by the fact that we are a stable population, and the very nature of our peoples, our culture and
traditions, are clear assets to the United States. We have a tradition of openness, of emotional and political stability. We have a
well-established heritage in democracy, observance of human rights, a respect for people of other cultures and ethnic origins.
We are small, but we are not provincial. We have more contact with people of other parts of the world and other nations and
nationalities than the vast majority of many communities of our size and larger within the Continental United States. We respect
people for what they are, and we believe that we are likewise respected not only by the people and governments of neighbor-
ing islands which is the reason most often advanced but by Europeans with whom we have had a long and warm association.
Of course we are well accepted on the African continent, and in these days we have witnessed a flocking to our shores by Asians.
In short, the Virgin Islands are an unique asset to the United States, and our full potential as a partner with the United States
has not been really tapped. We surely have the ability to advance the position of the United States in this hemisphere, and
further afield. We need only to be recognized as a partner to be of greater value to our mother country, but partnerships involve
mutual responsibilities and mutual support. Any compact which defines the status of the Virgin Islands in relation to the United
States government must take all these factors into account, and we could not then be dwarfed by our size.
Our progress in our relationship with the federal government has been hampered not only by unwillingness on the part of
the federal government of the United States to face the basic issues of territorial relations, but by our own self-defeating atti-
tude. In our approach to United States officialdom, we so frequently describe ourselves as going to Washington with hat in hand.
Why? We have these values that are such an asset, and we have some rights, and they have some responsibilities. The Virgin
Islands have the right to expect the United States to look to our security and development needs and to granting us that measure
of autonomy which will enable us to maintain the values that we cherish. I am not to be placed in the position of accepting the
policies and solutions to problems which the peoples of the United States have devised for themselves through representatives
in Congress and through a president whom they have elected.
What form as to status should the V.I. Status Commission recommend? You will decide that the residents and voters of the
Virgin Islands. Be thinking about it because it will not be long before the Status Commission holds public hearings to obtain
your input, your views about some form of association and political and economic relationship. Such status undoubtedly from
all that you've heard will have to be an innovative, legal hybrid, but we have also heard that other peoples, other territories have
developed hybrids that have been accepted. Thank you.
JULIO BRADY I am perhaps afraid that we here in the Virgin Islands when it comes to our status
have been using the right lyrics but the wrong tune. I am speaking principally of the Virgin Islands. I think that our view of our
political status, if there has been one at all, has been at best discordant. Actually, if the plain truth be spoken, we here in the
Virgin Islands are fundamentally schizophrenic about America. To be sure we like many, many things American particularly
its money. We are accustomed, in fact, to use synonymously the terms federal relations and federal aid. It is almost as if the only
relationship between the United States and this territory is one in which money flows this way from Washington. This is no
question that we do depend on federal aid. If the truth be spoken again, there are three major sources of revenue or aid from the
Federal government which virtually fuel this government. There is the revenue type measures which are age-old Congressional
authorizations found in the Organic Act such as the collection of excise taxes, I.R.S. money which comes here and stays here
in this territory. There is a considerable body of money in the Federal Grant-in-Aid programs which we, like states, receive in
considerable amount. Last but not least, there are those Congressional authorizations for special projects, such as our hospitals,
and the airport construction. As a matter of fact, the last peek into the Department of Finance figures showed that approxi-
mately $100,000,000 in federal aid has been received in this fiscal year thus far. Indeed, we do admire many things that are
Over the last 63 years of our association, the Virgin Islands people have adopted many of the customs, many of the life-
styles of America. Indeed, we have embraced to a very large extent and emulated the conspicuous consumption life-style
which is characteristic of America. This shift from a Caribbean-oriented society to an American style of life has not been with-
out its detriments. Rising crime rates, divorce statistics, the declining importance of the family in Virgin Islands society are
reflective not only of changing times in the world but also of our own confused state of mind as to who we are as a people. In
fact, so ambivalent are we of America and things American, that we can liken ourselves to the Duke of Rochester who was a
principle advisor, in fact the favorite advisor, to King Charles II. The Earl, being a rather mischievous man, but feeling one day
the need to vent his true feelings about his majesty, wrote on the door to the royal bedchamber the following verse. "Here lies
our sovereign lord the King, whose word no one relys on, who never said a foolish thing, and never did a wise one." So too,
I think, we often times feel about the United States of America. We must seek change in our relationship with the United States
of America, but as we seek that change we must understand that there are serious ramifications and consequences. There are
legal ramifications, political ramifications, and not last or least economic or financial ramifications. An essential prerequisite of
negotiating any status change must be a candid assessment by ourselves of our own sentiments as a people as to our fundamental
identity. We are often described, principally by ourselves, as unique. I doubt if we are unique, but we are certainly different -
certainly different within the context of American political history. We are too American to be wholly Caribbean, but far too
Caribbean to be typically American. Our challenge in the Virgin Islands is to reach some collective consciousness of our identity
to arrive at a realization that our culture cannot be defined by the past no more than it can be predicted on the future. Our
culture is what we are, not what we were or what we will be.
I suggest that we need not agonize alone; our brothers and sisters in the other offshore territories have faced and will face
similar adjustments. Our disparities in language, history and culture cannot conceal however our common denominator. We are
all different from America. In the midst of one of the innumerable brawls which broke out during the deliberations of the First
Continental Congress over the drafting of America's basic documents, e.g. the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration
of Independence, wise, old Ben Franklin fervently urged his colleagues to curtail their quarrelsome debates and to try to agree,
at least in principle, on where they were going. He said to them, "We must all hang together, or surely we shall all hang separate-
ly." I doubt seriously that our sovereign lord, the United States of America, will view as treason or sedition our relationships,
associations and cooperation with our fellow-peoples in the territories, but I feel that Ben Franklin's advice certainly applies to
us. I suggest that the representatives of the various territories ought to collaborate, ought to move closer together, ought to take
positions on common issues that affect us. Some of these common issues include the Department of the Interior. Since we have,
in fact and in law, been placed under the jurisdiction of that august Federal body, and since I think it is no secret that the terri-
tories as a whole are not fully satisfied with the quality or the quantity of representation, or advocacy that we receive from the
Interior, it seems to me that we ought to concentrate our political energies, and what little political clout we have, in making sure
that that department is properly organized so that it will be responsive to territorial concerns and needs, and once so organized,
that it will be effective and reflect the true interests of the American colonies.
Another issue of great importance to all of us is taxation, and the role taxes can and should play vis-a-vis our fragile econ-
omies. There again, no disparity of culture or language can change the common disastrous result that will befall all of us if that
system is so tinkered with or so tampered with as to revise what I consider to be the salutary trend where federal taxation laws
reflect a recognition that we, as territories, cannot bear the tax burdens that the continental United States resident can.
In regards to immigration policy, while we may vary as to what we want out of a greater degree of control over immigration
policies among ourselves as territorial inhabitants, yet it is an issue common to all of us. Again, we should bend our efforts to
try and come up with a common approach, if not a common position on this most important issue. More in the area of my
endeavors, the possibility of having a consolidated grant system, (and I don't mean block grant system) geared to the territories
as envisioned by Title V of the Omnibus Territories bill which was passed years ago, which specifically not mandated but per-
mitted the federal government to treat the territories, Guam and the Virgin Islands, specially when it came to grants; to make it
easier, less burdensome, less red tape for us to participate in federal categorical grant programs. That is a goal which ought not
to be lost sight of today when we talk of block grants. I think, again, that our common interests are such that if we unite and use
what little political strength and clout that we have, we can perhaps, through the mechanism of the Interior or Congress, effectu-
ate what Congress so clearly not only recognized but enunciated as their policy so long ago and which the Federal government
on the executive level has so consistently ignored. Yes we can work for each other. Indeed, we must because we are in this
common boat together. We are in these murky waters where history gives us no clear road to follow. The good will that we have,
as basically peace-loving, certainly non-belligerent, culturally compatible if different people; but yet people who attempt to
form their society on the salutary thesis that life is worth living. Life for us means a fond look at and appreciation for the past,
enjoyment of the economic benefits of life that America can give us but holding strong roots in our cultural heritage and strong
personal feelings of freedom and brotherhood. I think that with these common bonds that overwhelm any disparity in our
cultures, we ought to band together and move forward as a unit so that we can fashion one of the greatest political achievements
since the birth of the United States of America itself; when we as freedom-loving peoples, together can arrange with our very
powerful sovereign a way of life which will not be destroyed by the super abundance of that great power, but, rather, where our
individual identities will be fostered, nourished and preserved. Thank you.
ALBERT SHEEN In thinking about status, analytically, my approach is to break it down into three
broad areas of concern:
1. The right to have some say or some determination prior to the imposition of any federal law on the territory and its people.
2. The right to limit the exercise of federal sovereignty in certain areas on the territory and its people.
3. Some mechanism to insure that once there has been an agreement in respect of thos6 matters, that some senator in the
next Congress won't revoke those laws. I think we have had recent experience, the attempt last year regarding the income
Because of erroneous assumptions, there is a great deal of misunderstanding as to what our relationship with the United
States is and means. We have assumed that we are in fact "part of the United States". I heard Professor Leibowitz talk this morn-
ing about the concept of an indissoluble union once you join the union you can't get away from it. I respectfully urge to you,
that around the turn of the century, the Supreme Court in a case addressed the question as to whether the United States or a
state could impose a different tariff on goods coming out of Puerto Rico. This was the case referred to by Professor Leibowitz.
He said that there could be a difference, and the reason would be that there would be no offense to the United States Constitu-
tional provision which provides, that taxes, imports and duties of the United States shall be uniform. That provision had no
application to a different situation arising out of the territory because in fact territories are not "part of" the United States.
Territories "belong to" or are "appurtenant to". Therefore, you can have as many differences in treatment as the powers in
Congress determine. Up until recently, there has been a great span of time when there have been no issues arising out of the
territories which have been decided by the Supreme Court. If I had to take a position between political scientists and lawyers,
I think that the lawyers would have the last word. As you know the Supreme Court says what the law is. There is nobody to
reverse their judgment.
Between 1979 and 1980 there were several cases, all of which have been mentioned by Leibowitz, but I get something out of
them which I would like to share with you. What the cases dealing with the Supplemental Social Security Income, regarding the
person who left New York and came to Puerto Rico, told me, was that persons residing in Puerto Rico were not entitled to
Supplemental Social Security Income, simply because Puerto Rico was a territory. A challenge was raised on two grounds -
denial of equal protection and denial of the right to travel, which is incident of national citizenship. The person involved said:
"I am a United States citizen, how can you treat me differently simply because now I reside in Puerto Rico? That has to violate
every concept of due process as we have known it, and has to violate every concept of equal protection. Certainly as a United
States citizen I have the right to travel among the several states of the Union and the territories, and to the extent that you
deprive me of the benefits solely because of that move, you have denied me full protection of the law."
The Supreme Court says: all that sounds good, but you forget that you are not "part of the United States", and all that
Congress needs to do to support a difference in application of any benefits to a territory is to have some "rational basis" to do
so. There are about three rational bases. The first, of course, is no payment of income taxes. That alone is sufficient to justify
the application of different treatment. Secondly, this would be disruptive to the economy of Puerto Rico incidentally, a judg-
ment that is not supported by the record. We are now in a status situation where it is clear to me that differences in treatment
could be applied. What we perceive as the status of commonwealth which should be pursued by other unincorporated territories,
is really meaningless. I discussed this with Professor Lewis last night the Commonwealth enjoys no status greater than we
enjoy, except for that one provision of non-applicability of certain laws. The Supreme Court, has had occasion to address an
issue about which we have expressed concern. Before we get into that, let me say that I disagree with all those yesterday and
Mr. Leibowitz today, who have said that the peoples of these islands have not indicated any desire for a change of status. There
have been many expressions. At every constitutional convention which has been convened in these islands, the people have said:
"We want to be able to enter into contracts and agreements with other nations."
Now, it is true that people may not have said, we want Commonwealth, we want Free Association, we want Statehood, but
consistently for the last ten years or so people have been addressing these issues. People have been saying in so many words:
"We want a change in the relationship, we don't like what we have."
Most recently people have been talking about bail, for example. People do get involved in these status issues. I think it is up to
the leadership to educate them as to what can and cannot be done, what the options are.
This brings me to another situation. Puerto Rico passed a law which authorized any police officer to stop and search any
person coming into Puerto Rico from the United States or elsewhere. The situation arose where a police officer at the airport,
who had some reason to suspect a certain person as carrying drugs, stopped, searched him and found drugs. The person was
arrested and charged with possession of illegal drugs only on the suspicion of the police officer involved. When the case arrived
in court, the suspect argued that because he was an American citizen and had just arrived from the United States, Puerto Rico
had no right to conduct a border search. Further, even if Puerto Rico did have that right, it would have to conduct the search
consistent with the fourth amendment. The case went to the Supreme Court and Puerto Rico took the position that the United
States Supreme Court has recognized the need of the United States to conduct border searches and the rationale for those
searches is to prevent the entry into the United States of contraband. The rational is the same for Puerto Rico. Indeed Puerto
Rico is the functional equivalent of a border state. Because of its geographical position, it must have the same right to protect
its territorial integrity as the United States. The Supreme Court responded: you may have a point that your geographical posi-
tion puts you in the situation of an intermediary border. However, what enables us, as the United States, to conduct a border
search, and what prevents you from doing it, is that we have sovereignty and you are nothing but a territory. You have no
sovereignty of your own. Again, this tells us that Puerto Rico has nothing. This brings me to the point which I believe is critical-
ly important in any discussion and any assessment of status. Sovereignty whether it be:
Entering into agreements with foreign states,
controlling border entries, immigration or customs,
defining citizenship or the lack thereof.
Sovereignty is the key to any meaningful changes, sovereignty granted from the United States Congress to the territories in
certain specific areas. Let me assure you that this is not to be confused with independence.
There are two things in the law which I think cannot be taken away once they have been granted one is United States
citizenship and the other is sovereignty. I don't want to lose United States citizenship, and I don't think anyone can take it
away from me. I think the first notion that you must erase from your mind is that it is somewhat heresy or treason to say that
I want to control immigration and customs, and that I want to buy sugar from St. Kitts rather than New York. There is nothing
anti-American in holding these views. Nobody wants to lose their American citizenship. We are all concerned about our citizen-
ship, but that doesn't mean we must prostitute ourselves and give up what the circumstances of our location dictate should
occur. There is no reason why we should not have a relationship with St. Kitts, with the University of the West Indies and
develop other forms of regional cooperation. We need to explore different kinds of regional cooperation, and certainly one of
the benefits of this conference is that it should open a dialogue on this matter, and I am hoping it will not end with this con-
EARLE OTTLEY We have been talking here about the various options in status open to these islands -
commonwealth status, free association, or statehood, etc., and I have always said that these islands will get only what they are
willing to fight for. But even when you fight, and even when there is united effort, there is no guarantee of success.
I recall in the 1950's when we had a very popular governor, we had just come into the 1954 Organic Act which had some
good economic provisions but which was awful in terms of political status. There was a march from Government House of 5,000
strong, a people's petition, and we moved up to Government House and made a presentation. We even sent a cablegram to
whom we considered a very liberal Congressman, Clay Engel of California, asking him for his help and support in that the people
were united in their desire for improvements in their political status. He sent back a cablegram to us, "If you want independence,
you can have it." Otherwise he was unwilling to negotiate even a single step towards more self-government. His attitude was,
"Take what we give you, or get out." I think that in some respects that type of mentality still exists in Washington today. It
would be helpful if the territories were united because there is more of a problem in going alone rather than going in concert.
In the fight for the elected governor bill in the 1960's the Virgin Islands went alone with Guam as a piggyback. When the
showdown came in the House, Congressman O'Brien said, "Well, even though you have been in the forefront of the fight, we
are not going to give you an elected governor unless we give it to Guam." I hope that general counsel, Senator Tanaka and others
will join with the Virgin Islands in aggressively attempting to get better self-government so that we will not have to do it alone
It is my intent to spend the next few months in Washington trying to identify the shapers of policy affecting these islands.
I am hopeful that we will be supported in our efforts by Mr. McGurn and Mr. Beirne among others. I hope to be able to arrange
a meeting with several of them with a delegation of the Status Commission and policy-makers in Washington sometime in May.
We cannot, however, go very far unless there is a re-affirmation by President Reagan, of the policy outlined last year by Presi-
dent Carter where he invited the territories to come to Washington and discuss the whole status relationship. I hope that this
will be forthcoming, because without it the fight will be so much more difficult.
It is difficult for any self-respecting Virgin Islander whose great-grandparents felt the savage lash of slavery to remain com-
placent and to bow docilely when the semblance of inferiority is imposed by the political overlords in these colonial planta-
tions. While corruption and official mis-deeds must not go unpunished, a double standard is applied to the Virgin Islands. With
any little incident that takes place in the Virgin Islands involving a public official, the cry goes out, "You're not yet ready."
I say that the people of the Virgin Islands are ready, and that there is less corruption in the Virgin Islands despite Penny Feuer-
zig's expose. I do not condone corruption, and whatever has happened should be corrected, but we should not permit anyone
to use these things that have happened as a means to prevent the Virgin Islands to become self-governing.
The United States itself admits that the Virgin Islands is a colony. It reports this fact to the United Nations every single year.
We hope that we can persuade the United States to take such action in the Virgin Islands that would preclude this action from
being taken. Do not forget that the Virgin Islands was an active participant in the All Caribbean Commission. We used to
attempt to assuage the grief of the representatives from Nevis and St. Kitts, St. Lucia and even Barbados, who mourned the
fact that we here in the Virgin Islands had much more self-government here than any of the islands of the British West Indies.
Even though we have more economic sustenance today, we had more self-government in the '30's and '40's and '50's than they
had but we cannot say that any more. The political clock has been turned back in the Virgin Islands while it has been acceler-
ated in the British islands. I believe we should attempt to catch up with these status negotiations that we are talking about.
I hope that my points of view on the course of action in this self-government fight will coincide with those of a majority of
the members of the Status Commission. If they do not, I am prepared to embark on my own course, along with those other
citizens who share my concerns. I am not married to the Commission.
In most jurisdictions a man or a woman reaches maturity at age 18, but it has been 64 years since Virgin Islanders became
Americans. I am ashamed, I feel insulted that after 64 years of tutelage of American democracy, we are still put into a corner
corresponding to the Kindergarten grade politically speaking. We are treated as infants but only because of our small land size
and small population, and because too many of the policy-makers in Washington still pursue a course of subtle discrimination.
I hope that this conference and other events that will follow will help in the process of making us first-class American citizens.
JACK COGHILL As I embark on my presentation and as we look at the problems you folks are having
down here in the Caribbean and other off-shore territories and what we are doing in that land mass called Alaska is about as
different as our weather is to yours. Our situation is a little bit different, but probably I could bring you into our relationship
with a little bit of history.
Alaska was purchased from Russia primarily to get Russia off the North American continent. It was to buy them out of
California to get the Russian-American trading posts purchased from the Czar, transferred to United States. Along with this
came the land-mass, and also along with it came the structure that divided that great north country. When you think about
Alaska, you must realize that we have five times more coastal zone than all the rest of the United States and its possessions
combined. If you divided us in half, Texas would still only be the third largest state in the union. That's how big we are, and
yet we have only 485,000 people, most of whom were born elsewhere. Of that number approximately 65,000 are native Alas-
kans Eskimos and Indians indigenous to the area.
Alaska was an unincorporated territory, such as you folks have here, administered by the Great White Father in Washington
until 1912. In 1912 through Wickersham's insistence we became an incorporated territory. We had our own delegate and were
in basically the same position as you are today. We stayed in that status because of the economic structure, and due to the
presence of the military and due to the ownership by absentee owners of various corporations. You can understand that the
history of the development of Alaska was basically controlled by the economic structures of the East Coast. During the time
that we were developing the '20's and the '30's the Guggenheim interests, who had Kennicott Copper, owned the railroad,
owned much of the mineral rights within certain areas and controlled our development by remote control through their influ-
ence over different states and different politicians. That in turn influenced the political structure we had in Alaska.
With the advent of World War II, the Guggenheims sold out, and the only interest then left was the fishing interest which
was controlled by the West Coast. After the war, none of these various entities came back into place, and that gave us Alaskans
the opportunity to put our own political structure together because no longer did we have that strong force from the East
In 1952, which was my first year in the territorial legislature, I was called Coghill the Insurrector because I was challenging
the Federal establishment which was being placed within the state. With our appointed governor, we had the right to choose
our own legislature, and with the advent of the Eisenhower administration, we felt there was a new look coming on and that we
would eventually have statehood. In 1952 the statehood act was introduced, and we decided it was time for Alaskans to take a
position. This was clear because of the large number of "transplanted Alaskans" from the lower-48; and it was due to their
attitude and others that anything was better than what we had.
In 1955 we passed the "Constitutional Convention Act", which was done on our own. We elected 55 members who wrote a
constitution, and we submitted it to the people of the state before we submitted it to Congress. It passed by an overwhelming
majority, with 15% coming from the independent movement. There are still quite a few people in Alaska who feel we should
not be connected with the United States. We then submitted our constitution to the Congress, and we followed what was called
the Tennessee plan. When we ratified that constitution we elected two Senators and a House member. We sent them to Washing-
ton. We bought them office space. Everyday they went to the House and knocked on the door and said, "We are here to be
seated." Tennessee had done the same thing. We kept that up until 1959 when the Statehood Act passed. We considered the
Statehood Act a compact between the United States government which was representative of the then-48 states and the people
of Alaska, because as an American citizen, sovereignty does not lie within an entity, it lies within yourself. Each person is
sovereign within himself within the United States structure.
We got statehood in spite of Congress saying that we were not economically well. When we became a state we had been
promised that because of our economic structure, we could choose 103 million acres of unappropriated federal lands as our
dowry, which would give us a position to build an economic structure. However, the day that the Statehood Act was passed
and signed by Eisenhower, the Federal Establishment tried to undo us. Every time we tried to select a certain amount of land,
the Bureau of Land Management would have some reason as to why we couldn't do that. Secretary of Interior Morton, because
of the Native Land Claims Act to give the Aboriginies their due right, put a freeze on everything, denying the compact that we
had with the people of Alaska and those of the United States government. The Native Land Claims Act finally passed Congress,
and a certain amount of land has been issued to regional corporations within the structure of Alaska for the Native peoples. It
wasn't so bad that they denied us the right to pick our mineral lands, but now we became second in line.
Under the Carter administration, because the two Senators from Alaska could not get their act together, the Alaska Land
Bill was killed. This was a national interest land bill in the Congress. Because this took place, President Carter put the Antiqui-
ties Act on us, which authorized him only to withdraw lands of significant national interest for example an archeological
site or historical site. However, he blanketed us, and what land was left over, he put under Scenic Wilderness Areas. We were
then in the position that neither did we get the land nor the covenant that was conveyed to us in the Statehood Act. This
brought about much frustration and many law suits. The frustration of Alaskans mounted as we found ourselves in the position
that this self-government right we had within this compact was totally being denied to us, not necessarily by Congress, but by
the Federalism attitude held by the Federal Establishment. This is one area where your problems will interface with our prob-
lems in Alaska. We find that most of the Western States are in the same boat. The Bureau of Land Management Organic Act of
1976 allows them to come into states and select and buy land according to qualifications of a certain attitude without regard
to the Legislature or local government.
Last year, because of all of these frustrations and more, the Alaskan Legislature said, "Let's take another look," and they
established the Alaska Statehood Commission. It was passed by the Legislature and was referred to the people so that it would
become a Constitutional Commission. We are therefore answerable only to the people. The act was passed in referendum by
52%. It was very close, and it was very close because many people thought it was an act to secede. Because of the frustrations,
they felt we were a secession movement. The Commission is comprised of 11 people, appointed by four different appointing
authorities. Five members are appointed by the governor, two members appointed by the president of our senate, two members
appointed by the Speaker of the House and two members appointed by our Alaskan Legislative Council. The Act specifically
asks the Commission to consider six basic things:
1. progress made in implementing the Alaska Statehood Act and the likely nature of its implementation in the future;
2. recent experiences of other states and peoples under the American flag in their relationships with the United States;
3. the structures of foreign federations, including their methods for changing forms of association;
4. alternative forms of association possible between the people of Alaska and the United States;
5. the legal basis for new forms of association between the people of Alaska and the United States,
including amendments to the constitutions of the United States or of the State of Alaska;
6. other matters the Commission considers germane to its purpose.
We have two years, and must submit our preliminary report by January 10, 1982, and the final report by January, 1983,
which doesn't give us much time to make some sense out of what the Federal Government has been doing for the last two
hundred years creating a very tight, close, centralist system.
We have divided the Commission into four different task groups. One task group will identify themselves to everything that'
is germane to the United States government and its authority to do things to research how the other 36 states were entered
into the Union. We feel the need to research every legal detail of the Northwest Ordinance of equal footing doctrine. We feel
that at the outset, the 13 states when they first formed their union had no right under the aegis of the founding fathers to limit
what happens to another state when it becomes a part of the Union. It has to come in on equal and free footing. That is the
first group consisting of three commissioners. I am part of that particular task group.
The second task group is looking into the alternate forms of association, including what other democratic nations are doing,
and what is oeing done down here in your struggle with your identification to that strong Federalist system which is so con-
trary to what the founding fathers had structured in the beginning.
The third task group is charged with studying all of the inter-relationships within the state of Alaska the state constitution
and its grievances with the federal system, its treaties and compacts. Under the Constitution of the United States a state can
compact with another foreign unit.
The fourth task group is what we call "The Bill of Particulars Group". The Bill of Particulars is concerned with where the
Federal system has come into our state system very strongly and is trying to deal with the treaty having to do with the Caribou
herds between Alaska and Canada for example. We feel that is our perogative, because the Caribou herds are a resource of the
State of Alaska.
What direction will all this take? We don't have the slightest idea at this time. We have about 12 different studies in process,
and right now we are taking a very low profile. Along about August we will have some solid information for our people and at
that time we will be coming out. On October 7-9th we will have a full-fledged conference, similar to this conference here,
but with additional emphasis on experiences of the Western States. We hope that by that time we will have the foundation
studies completed, so that we will know the legal ramifications. Now with all due respect to those persons in the legal pro-
fession, it is not our intent to take this into the legal arena. If we do that we will be tied up there for the next 150 years. It is
our intent to take it to the political arena with the other states, and by that we hope that we in Alaska can help you resolve
some of your frustrations. Thank you very much for your time.
in United States
Vir in Islands Relations:
c cotmmi a
& 1 __- thieir-actors
DR. AUGUSTE RIMPEL, Chair
DR. JEROME McELROY
DR. ORVILLE KEAN
MR. VALDEMAR HILL, JR.
MR. RICHARD MILLER
Vice-President, Booz-Allen & Hamilton International
(former Commissioner of Commerce, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Associate Professor of Economics
University of Notre Dame
(former Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Research
of the Department of Commerce, U.S. Virgin Islands)
Dean of Instruction
College of the Virgin Islands
(former Director of the Office of Policy Planning and Research
of the Department of Commerce, U.S. Virgin Islands)
President, Chamber of Commerce
St. Thomas-St. John
U.S. Department of the Interior
AUGUSTE RIMPEL I would like to begin by stating that when I was first asked to talk about the economic
issues, I said, "Well, how in the world do you separate those from the political issues?" The truth of the matter is there is no
way that you can separate the two. In my presentation, and I am sure also in the presentation of the other panelists, one has to
look at the political framework within which the economic relationship is developed. Of the two factors, I would suspect that
the stronger, more driving force in the '80's will probably be the political one and how it impacts on the economic one. We
would like to try to keep the focus, of course, on the economic issues which is the subject of our discussions here today.
One of the basic theses I would like to present for your consideration and discussion is the fact that I feel quite strongly
that one cannot look at the Virgin Islands in isolation; that one has to look at the Virgin Islands very much in terms of the
particular geographic environment in which we live. I am pleased with the discussions which I sat in on over the past day in
which it was clearly recognized that the Virgin Islands is an intergral part of the Caribbean. Therefore any focus on economic
issues should be looked at in the context of that Caribbean relationship in addition to the relationship we have with the United
States. I think that the common trend I saw in previous discussions in the presentations made by a number of people seemed to
stress that point. I wish to reinforce this point by indicating that this is a very important element that must be considered.
The second issue I would like to present is one which Dr. Passalaqua brought out in the opening session where I think he
stated that the situation in the islands is one where one has to react to external activism. It is not so much a condition where we
have an opportunity to shape our own destiny as much as reacting to issues that impact on us over which we have no control.
This is something that is becoming more important with governments and is becoming more important in the private sector in
some of the new concepts of strategic planning that have been applied. The focus becomes less on what I would like ideally,
but based on the strengths in the real world "out there". What are the implications in terms of what I can do to reach the
objectives I would like to obtain over a given period of time? In order to do that we must have the right kind of information to
approach the dialogue either with the federal government or whatever entity impacts on the economic development. This is the
importance of going into situations with a full understanding of the framework in which you are conducting discussions. This is
so very important, and I think it was pointed out last evening by the gentleman discussing vis-a-vis the Marshall Islands indicating
the island had the best kind of technical assistance, legal, technical and other advisory services that permitted them to go into
those negotiations and conduct them in an effective and professional way.
Let me try now to place the economic issues in the Virgin Islands within the perspective of different ways you might want
to look at it. What are these different ways to look at them? What is going to happen in these islands economically over the next
few years? First we must look at what is happening world-wide to the economic situation, and what are the implications of
those world-wide developments on activities here in the Virgin Islands? What are some of the key factors that one might wish to
deal with in looking at world-wide economic development? First of all, most economists will project over the next five years
that it is going to be a period of fairly limited economic growth within the market area. We are talking about growth rates in the
U.S. of approximately 2/2% to 3% projected over the next five years. There is general agreement that there is going to be limited
growth in the United States over the next five years as a result of a number of constraints. On the other hand there are other
markets which will be growing at much larger rates, but we have limited opportunities to tie into those, for example, Mexico,
Venezeula. Our ability to tie into those markets in Latin America and of our own development might be limited. We will have
to look at inflation over the next five years which will impact on us and thereby on our economy in all possible ways in which
you can imagine energy prices will be increasing, and this will impact across the board in a number of areas in terms of the
competitive position of the Virgin Islands in pursuing its economic development. Currency shifts as the result of economic
change in major components of the world economy and how does that impact on us? An example, one of the recent develop-
ments in the mainland U.S. markets is the shift of currency flow out of U.S. to Europe and back into the U.S. The high currency
rate which exists today makes the U.S. a bargain for most European travellers. These are the kinds of things which are happening
out there that impact on our development and how to tie it in to the U.S. relationship. What do these changes imply these
kinds of world economic issues how will they impact on our primary industry sector that we have here? Tourism is a major
component of the economy and will also impact on our light and heavy industries here. These changes are all supposed to affect
the Virgin Islands' competitive position in the market place, which is the bottom line. Just as important as the world-wide
situation is, I think it is even more important to look at what is happening in the Caribbean. Let's just take a minute to deal
with the development of the Caribbean, and point out how this ties into what may happen here in the Virgin Islands.
We see over the past 6 to 10 years a very important historical development. First we saw the rise of left wing governments
using the terminology of democratic socialism in a number of islands in this area of the world. In my judgement it is clear that
the rise of these governments has brought the attention of the U.S. government to deal with the issues of the Caribbean. Hereto-
fore the Caribbean has always been looked at as an appendage of Latin America. Latin America has problems that are complete-
ly different from the unique problems of the island nations of the Caribbean. We had the establishment within the World Bank
of a Caribbean Development Group as a response to the development, and that is focusing the activity on assistance to the Carib-
bean area in terms of economic development. Again this was split off from within the World Bank. We see the establishment of
a private sector organization which has now evolved into the Caribbean-Central America Task Group. Its objective is the im-
provement of the dialogue between the private sector in the United States and the Caribbean and to foster ways to improve the
development of the Caribbean area. President Carter endorsed the activities of the Caribbean center of American action, and
some of you may be aware that I have been an active participant in that group as a member of its Board of Directors in terms of
looking at ways in which the U.S. private sector can better inter-act with the Caribbean area. More important is something which
I think has been overlooked and not stated before at this conference. We have seen that the governments of the Caribbean
through an electoral process have chosen to move away from left-wing, democratic socialist governments. I think this was ex-
emplified recently by the elections in Jamaica. On the positive side for the Caribbean, it has been a demonstration that the
Caribbean people are sophisticated enough to make their own choices. It is not the system that is imposed, but people when
given the right to make their choice, have demonstrated that they have chosen one way versus another. In elections in five or six
different countries in this area over the last nine months there has been a shift back towards moderate government govern-
ments that are committed to work hand in hand with the private sector, governments that are committed to the free enterprise
system which is an important element in their development. This was also pointed out by the fact that the President of the
United States, President Reagan, received as his first official head of state Prime Minister of Jamaica. This is recognition of
attention to the Caribbean area as a whole. The issue becomes how does that interact with the Virgin Islands economic activi-
ties? This will impact on the Virgin Islands economy because we are an integral part of the Caribbean, like it or not. As a result
of all this the U.S. Government is likely to make concessions to the Caribbean area because it is an area of strategic importance.
We will now have some leverage to extract some concessions from the U.S. over the next few years. This will all impact on us
here in the V.I. and on our business. Another issue we must look at is rum exports to the United States, and it need not be
stated that the primary source of capital investment is tied into the ability of the Caribbean region to export their products into
the U.S. There is a question here that comes to mind and I would like to throw it out for discussion in that I think we have a
knee-jerk reaction when an issue is suggested that is going to impact on the Caribbean either negatively or not. I would like to
ask whether one studies this to find out whether that impact is truly there because by taking these hard issues and trying to pro-
tect what we have we tend to build up mistrust in regard to the rest of the Caribbean. I have seen this personally in my dealings
with Caribbean leaders over the last three years or so in how they perceive the role that the Virgin Islands plays in the area of
Caribbean economic development. I think what we need to do is clearly differentiate these areas. Because of broader and more
important U.S. interests there will be steps taken by the U.S. over which we probably will have no control, and we'll have to
accept them because these are in the broader interest of the United States. Our existence in this territory, our standard of living
is based largely on the fact that we are tied into the U.S. economy which gives us a competitive advantage vis-a-vis other areas. I
think that must be recognized very clearly.
There are also some developments on the federal government front, but I will not go into a lot of detail here. Suffice it to say
there is a whole new ball game in Washington these days. I have never seen such extensive changes in such a short period of time.
This is bound to impact on us, and maybe in some ways it might even be positive. The Reagan administration is clearly going to
tighten up in terms of federal funds all over the United States particularly in social and human needs funds. They are talking
about tax cuts which will act to stimulate the mainland economy, but which acts as a negative impact here in that it simply re-
duces the amount of tax dollars available here in the Virgin Islands. These are issues which we will have to recognize and deal
with, but it may force us to clean up our own act. It might even make us a little more self-reliant, which is a good thing.
Very quickly I would like to deal with two major sectors of our economy $hat will be impacting on us immediately. First let
us look at the tourism sector airline deregulation has had an enormous impact on this part of the world as regards our eco-
nomic development. There has been an ambivalent position of the federal government in promoting the U.S. as a travel des-
tination. Markets and marketing are very important because the wave of the future in tourism is going to be an emphasis on
"pre-packaged" vacations and we will have to be competitive in this area. We are seeing tremendous changes in the airline, hotel
and touring industry, and we must be able to respond to those changes.
In the industrial sector there are a number of things happening regarding economic development which will have to be ad-
dressed. For example, the deregulation of the oil industry has had a huge impact on the mainland U.S. and will have here also
because of the Hess Oil complex on St. Croix. The key impact comes here because the oil industry is going through a period of
dramatic change. It is important for us to understand those changes in order that the Government of the Virgin Islands can
respond and deal with these changes. The rules of three or four years ago are no longer applicable. Also in these islands the
bauxite-alumina industry is going through significant changes. There are currently developing countries which have the bauxite
and aluminum and are now pressuring to have the aluminum processing right in their country. This makes economic sense because
the cheap energy needed to make that aluminum is also in those countries. If we see a trend towards this direction, it is clear we
will see aluminum processing on St. Croix fall back, and this would have a tremendous impact on our heavy industry here in
In summing up I would like to mention a few key points and then I will let my colleagues take over.
First,the economic development of these islands will be in large part defined by activities external to these islands, and our
effectiveness in dealing with these external constraints will determine how successful we are in coping with them.
Second, the Virgin Islands government will have to attempt to gain control over some sectors of the economic development
of the Caribbean region which are now in the hands of the federal government.
Third, the Virgin Islands will have to recognize our role as being a part of the Caribbean and look to that relationship for
opportunities for our own economic development. This is very important over the long term for our economic survival.
Fourth, the Virgin Islands will have to increase its ability to monitor the external environment as it impacts on our economic
development because only then, with that kind of information,can we anticipate changes and then respond either through our
own local government or through the federal government.
Fifth, and I feel this is extremely important, we used to act as though the Department of the Interior was our primary con-
tact, but Interior isn't impacting on us any more. What truly impacts on these islands is the State Department. It is the State
Department which negotiates issues that tie into the Caribbean which then impacts on our economic position and our develop-
ment. Therefore there must be increased dialogue and participation between the State Department and the Interior Department
regarding our position here in the V.I. and how their decisions affect us.
Now I would like to turn this over to Dr. McElroy who will talk about specifics of economic development and how it ties
into the U.S. economy. Thank you very much.
JEROME McELROY Thank you very much, Gus. I would like to look at one aspect of policy making.
This is that all policy making is undergirded by a perception of the economy, and that the federal perception of the V.I. and
the territorial perception of the V.I. have often differed. We are all very much aware today of the great controversy in Washing-
ton over Reagan economics. It can be demonstrated in a very simple way that the root of the controversy is really around dif-
ferent perceptions of how the economy behaves. Most of you know something about supply and demand. The key thing they are
discussing is what the main impact of the tax cut will be. The Reagan people say it is going to stimulate output, so they perceive
that the behavior of the economy is driven by supply. If you lower the structure of taxes, the supply curve will shift out, prices
may even decline, and output is going to increase. On the other hand the Democrats say the economy is actually primarily driven
by spending and by demand. If you lower taxes you increase spending, the demand curve jumps up, and we get more inflation.
The question, then, is fundamentally how does the economy behave, and how do policy-makers perceive it as behaving?
I would suggest it is very fruitful to look at this whole federal/territorial relationship in terms of such differential perceptions
of the economy. I am going to make a case, which is somewhat overdrawn, that the federal perception of the V.I. is that of a
semi-autonomous, quasi-self-contained economic system called an "outlying territory". It is out there and if we can just wind it
up a little bit with aid we can just turn the thing on and it will run by itself like a watch. From the territory, however, the per-
ception has always been that the V.I. is a cog in a big machine, and the big machine is the U.S. economy.
In Doctor Dookhan's book we learn that by the year 1830 the U.S. had become the major trading nation of the V.I. In 1917
the United States ratified this economic linkage by the purchase of the islands, but then performed an about-face by defining the
V.I. as an "unincorporated territory". Implicit in this notion is that the territory may decide to go off independently on its own.
It is not necessarily going to become a state in the sense that we annexed Louisiana or Texas. This was strongly brought out in
Professor Boyer's paper yesterday, namely that traditionally the way you integrate a region is to assimilate it into the state
system gradually by territorial incorporation percisely because it has economic linkage with the U.S. This is not what they did
with the Virgin Islands. They grouped it with the Philippines and Puerto Rico, other outlying U.S. possessions.
The next major policy initiative was 1930 when federal officials used the V.I. as a New Deal experiment. The idea was mass-
ive aid, infra-structure rehabilitation, and a policy to stimulate local agriculture. The following quotation from the Brown
Report, the blueprint for the policy, is interesting because it underlines the federal perception of economic autonomy for the
... by helping Virgin Islanders to help themselves
to reduce gradually the federal aid with the ultimate
result of making the islands entirely self-supporting.
This is quite striking in the sense that most all V.I. food, hardware and manufactured goods came from the U.S.
In addition to this, if the economy is perceived as being out there off in the distance with a life of its own, then normally the
problems of the economy are seen as being internal to the system. If stagnation occurs, the perception is that there is something
wrong inside the system, i.e. insufficient capital, not enough trained doctors, too much monopoly, too much inefficient manage-
ment, unskilled and undisciplined labor, and so on. These were the perceptions bandied about Washington during the '30's and
'40's to characterize the economic problems of the Territory. Although the economy should have been moving, there were
internal deficiencies in supply and demand thwarting progress.
From the local side, however, there was always an appreciation of tight ties with the U.S. economy, but the policy problem
was due to the dual-island structure of the economy, St. Croix and St. Thomas. As a result there was no single economy. There
were really two economies: the Crucian economy where the concern was about Prohibition and what that was going to do to
rum and sugar; and the St. Thomian economy where concern focuses on fear of repeal of the Jones Act, which allowed shipping
to and from the U.S. in non-U.S. bottoms. As a result, there were in the territory two different economic perceptions because
there were in fact two different and relatively non-integrated economies. Thus, though Islanders recognized the overwhelming
importance of the U.S. impact, island duality prevented a united policy stand.
Now skipping to the '60's, massive growth occurred. I think that one reason Federal officials felt that this economy was going
to wind up and run on its own was because it had been given so many concessions: the Jones Act, 302, the matching funds, and
so on. All these legislative concessions were enough to keep it going. They formed a kind of built-in stablizer. If the system got
shocked, it had enough of these concessions to make its way back home. That, however, really contradicts Federal Policy
because if this is an independent economy with a life of its own, the decision makers in the territory should have had control
over taxes and immigration. They should also have been able to unbalance the budget.
In the '60's Federal policy became passive and rightly so. What happened then was that Cuba became enbargoed, and the
tourists came to St. Thomas. The growth engine speeded up as a result of all the gears that had been established the 302 con-
cessions, the duty-free liquor, etc. The real drive of the system, however, was the affluence occurring outside. One of the major
internal factors of this growth was the very aggressive growth policies fostered by the Paiewonsky administration.
In the '70's, as we all know, the events changed and Federal policy became more active especially with concern over fiscal
irresponsibility. This is interesting because this concern over the revenue situation in the territories prompted a comprehensive
review of Economic policy in all the territories. What occurred was a study by Mr. Miller and a study by the Treasury Depart-
ment. On the basis of these studies, President Carter developed the so-called New Territory Policy. Let us look at that. When the
analyses were done on the fiscal performance of the V.I., the revenue capability of this tiny outlying territory was directly com-
pared with the big U.S. system. Tax effort in the U.S. system remained essentially constant between 1970-77, but the fiscal
system in the V.I. declined. On the basis of these questionable results (apples versus oranges), the V.I. system was declared fiscal-
As a result, the Feds proposed taking over the V.l.'s revenue capability to make it move upwards. Here the contradiction is
clear. The supposition is that an outlying economy going on its own should behave and look like the U.S. economy, whereas in
reality the policy proposed is appropriate for a dependent state economy: taking over the income tax, perhaps also the privileges
of the Jones Act, and maybe next the excise tax. Federal officials are treating the V.I. economy in terms of policy just like
Arizona, Florida or Texas. Thus, their economic perceptions about the independent behavior of the economy are out of joint
with their policy prescriptions for a dependent system. Let me quote from the Carter statement:
Swe in Washington have an obligation to protect and
nurture the unique cultures and fragile economies of
these islands, which are so distinct from the rest of
the Nation (italics added) in terms of history, geography
economic potential... (President Carter's February 14th
Here are the vestiges of the same "outlying territory" syndrome. I think that one of the things that bothered us the most last
year was the fact that in line with the above perception there was not one recognition nor mention in Carter's document that the
unique driving force of the Virgin Islands is the U.S. economy. This egregious oversight and the inconsistency and conflict be-
tween Federal perception and policy are ample justification for starting over afresh to develop a similar perception of the be-
havior of the economy. Then we could talk more profitably about the appropriate policy mechanisms.
There are a few things that are not well known which I would like to bring out in terms of the structure of the V.I. economy.
Again try to think of it as Florida or New Mexico, even though this is not a perfect analogy. The exports of the territory are
almost exclusively destined for the U.S. market. Between 1970 and 1978 exports to the U.S. (exclusive of petroleum and
aluminum products) amounted to 89% of all exports. U.S. imports were 72%. Of tourists, mainland visitors represent 85 to 90%
of the total. The Federal government subsidy, depending on how you define it, represents 20 to 40% of all the resources avail-
able to the local government. So, the dependent structure of the system is well documented. However, the behavior of the
system and the sensitivity of the economy to Federal policy is even more striking. There are two outstanding examples which
Regarding airline deregulation, when we look at the data for 1979, which was a banner tourist year here in the V.I., air
arrivals increased 24 percent. Because of deregulation, this was a period of very low rate structures. There was also a tremendous
increase in Westerners, Californians, coming into the V.I. This was due primarily to the airlines' low-cost, packaged vacations.
Then in 1980 came the OPEC fuel increases and the cost of air travel for U.S. visitors to the V.I. went up 35-40 percent. Air
arrivals in 1980 declined about 16% and hotel occupancy rates fell from 75% in 1979 to about 66% in 1980. That's the impact
of deregulation. It's not the whole story, but it's a big story.
Second is the case of devaluation. The first devaluation occurred in 1971 during the Nixon years. At that time our textile in-
dustry, which is based on the importation of raw textiles from Europe and upon the exchange rates of the time, supported
$24 million in exports. We know that the dollar devalued in successive periods from 1971 to 1978. In 1978 the total export of
textiles was $5 million. That's a decline of $24 million to $5 million. Members of the industry indicate that devaluation has been
the primary culprit for this drastic decline in importance.
I don't think we have sufficiently appreciated the impact of the immigration law on the territory economy. There is no ques-
tion that the V.I. has benefited from this a special "temporary worker" program which was instituted in the late '50's. These
so-called "temporary workers" have become a permanent part of the economy. I wish to make one small analysis of what has
happened to the behavior of the insular labor market because of immigration. It has really strong local implications for local
policy. It is what I call a job ratchet. What occurs is that in a period of rapid growth such as in the '60's the labor force grows
extremely rapidly because of the influx of off-island labor from the Continent, from Puerto Rico, and the Eastern Caribbean. It
results, however, in the peculiar paradox of a very tight labor market coupled with a relatively low wage structure because the
majority of people coming into the islands are from very low wage areas and cluster at the lower end of the wage scale. The in-
teresting part is the cyclical sensitivity of the ratchet. When income and employment decrease, the people don't leave the Ter-
ritory as one would expect. They stay on by means of multiple job-holding, multiple family incomes, reducing their off-island
remittances, drawing down their accumulated savings and using the social services available. This variety of options keeps them a-
float until prosperity returns, and new immigrant waves subsequently appear.
What are the implications of all this? One I would like to mention is a procedural way that policy options could be discussed
which might be more beneficial to the Territory. It's what you could call the Camp David Accord procedure. This involves a
process of reiteration whereby final consensus and agreement surfaces from a series of revised and amended drafts circulating
between the decision-making actors in Washington and in the Territory. Thus when we are talking about a major reorientation
of federal economic policy, the V.I. should participate from the very first draft, through subsequent revisions to the final sign-
ing. The Virgin Islands should be consulted at every step of the way.
I think the Territory, if indeed it does behave more like a state, has to be institutionalized in the policy sense. In other words,
we cannot continue to run up to Capitol Hill and paste the V.I. on some bill as an afterthought. It ought to be presumed that
any economic legislation has Virgin Islands impacts in it, and therefore policy should explicitly include the V.I. instead of the
customary practice of exclusion so frequent now. When states are, for example, given certain public grants and public works
projects during a recession, the V.I. should also automatically be included in such counter cyclical packages because the insular
economy fluctuates much more than the national economy.
Finally, new research efforts must be undertaken at both federal and insular levels which would, on the one hand, assess the
Virgin Islands repercussions of forecasted U.S. behavior and policy, and on the other hand, would produce a bank of specific
contingency options to accentuate the insular effects of expected favorable events and to eliminate as far as possible the nega-
tive local fallout from untoward events. Thank you.
ORVILLE KEAN My remarks will focus on three aspects of federal-territorial relations that have a
direct bearing not only on the economic development of the territories but on their political development as well. To the best
of my knowledge these aspects are not generally discussed in the context of economic development in the territories. For ex-
ample, when one looks at the latest analysis done by the federal government regarding the territories and here I refer to the
Inter-Agency Policy Review on U.S. Territories and Trust Territories which was completed by the Carter Administration in the
Spring of 1979 one finds that they were not discussed.
It is my understanding that the task forces which comprised the Inter-Agency Policy Review Committee were asked to address
six problems relating to U.S.-Territorial relations and to recommend initiatives which could be taken by the federal government
that would result in a more coherent federal policy toward the territories. I would like to begin my discussion by reading from
the Inter-Agency Policy Review.
The Review contains an introduction which states:
The United States is committed to encourage the
political, economic and social development of the
Territories and the Trust Territories of the
Pacific Islands. It is obligated to do so as the
result of its responsibilities under the United
Nations Charter. It would choose to do so no
less, however, even if it had no such binding
The Executive Branch is also required in
discharging its responsibilities with respect
to the territories to comply with the pro-
visions of Chapter XI of the United Nations
Charter which requires that we ensure the
political, economic, social and educational
advancement of the inhabitants of the
territories and in doing so to take due
account of the political aspriations of the
The document also contains the following statement on self-determination:
The record of the United States in encouraging the
political development of its offshore areas has
been marked by willingness to permit the people
of the affected areas to determine their own
preference for status. There has been displayed,
usually not swiftly but always eventually, a
federal willingness to accommodate a variety of
political arrangements as directed by the
aspirations of the people of the affected areas.
In responding to these statements my first concern relates to the use of the terminology "inhabitants of the territories" and
"aspirations of the people of the affected areas". It occurred to me that if self-determination has any meaning at all, then "the
people of the affected areas" ought to have control over who are to be "inhabitants" and who are not to be "inhabitants". If
they cannot exercise such control, it follows that, in the long term, all statements on self-determination become meaningless.
The Virgin Islands is a case in point. Liberal estimates of the territory's population which is native born place that number
around 40%/. In no other island in the Caribbean is the native population so overwhelmed. In effect the, U.S. Virgin Islands
natives have already lost their ability for self-determination.
Population pressures in the Virgin Islands continue to escalate. It is the most significant economic variable over which the
people of the territory have no control. Driven by the labor force, which behaves as though the Virgin Islands were fully inte-
grated into the United States economy, the population reflects the market place, rather than territorial objectives. This inter-
feres with the ability of local authorities to achieve territorial objectives. It should, therefore, be evident that if the aforemen-
tioned statement on self-determination is to be honestly applied to the territories, then the territories must negotiate with the
Federal Government for the right to exercise control over the size of their populations.
My second concern is related in a general way to my first. As mentioned above, the population and labor force in the Virgin
Islands behave as though the territories are fully integrated into the U.S. economy. Other economic variables behave different-
ly, as though the islands were a sovereign nation. Thus, some variables behave as though the V.I. were "fish" and some as though
it were "fowl". Mr. Tanaka, the speaker of the Guam Legislature, gave a list of "fish/fowl" designations as they apply to Guam
and the Virgin Islands. Moreover, it appears that we will be stuck with these "fish/fowl" designations for some time, for as has
been stated several times during this conference, statehood for Guam and other small territories is unrealistic now and probably
will remain so for some time to come. Hence, the territories will not be fully integrated politically into the United States during
the foreseeable future. Therefore, it would be beneficial to the territories to negotiate with the Federal Government on which
variables ought to be "fish" and which ought to be "fowl". If we do not, the "fish" will want to be "fowl" and the "fowl" will
want to be "fish".
As a case in point, Congressman DeLugo mentioned that currently the presidential vote is a right which does not extend to
the territories, and expressed hope that in the near future territorial residents will be able to vote for the president. However,
because of their small population base the territories would have no significant impact on the presidential election. Therefore,
in my opinion, that is an entirely useless switch from "fish" to "fowl". As stated before, it would be more useful to allow the
territories to exercise control over the size of their populations.
Many years ago the Federal Government took the position of not dealing with the territories on an ad-hoc basis regarding
support for infra-structure, etc. Instead they created institutional mechanisms which were designed to address such problems.
For instance, by returning to the Virgin Islands federal taxes paid on Virgin Islands manufactured rum sold in the United States,
they tied the financing of infra-structure in the Virgin Islands to the sale of V.I. rum on the mainland. These taxes were ear-
marked for captial projects only. Unfortunately, the pressures on infra-structure relate to population, not to the sale of any
V.I. products sold in the United States. Indeed, for this policy to be effective the Federal Government should require everyone
residing on the U.S. mainland who wishes to relocate in the Virgin Islands to first buy 50 cases of V.I. rum! The sad fact is that
the local government finds itself unable to use these funds to finance capital programs because of the need to reallocate them to
pay for the increasing services required by the population explosion.
The problem lies in the failure to recognize that the territories will remain in an unincorporated status position for a long
time. To repeat what was stated before, what is needed is for the territories to negotiate with the Federal Government keeping
territorial objectives in mind on the subject of the variables which each territory should control and those which should be
controlled by the Federal Government.
The third subject of my discussion concerns the congressional mandate toward the territories. Again, I read from the Task
Force Report, ". the determination of U.S. Policy is fundamentally within the jurisdiction of Congress and not the Executive
Branch." This statement has been repeated several times during the conference. It is based on the fact that Article IV of the
Constitution of the United States empowers the Congress to ". dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations re-
specting the Territories..."
If Congress took this responsibility seriously, as it should, it would consider using the same legislative approach regarding the
territories that it uses in fulfilling its other mandates. Currently almost all federal programs which apply to the territories exist
as headnotes or footnotes in bills passed by Congress. By continuing to treat the territories as a footnote Congress has given
clear indication that it does not intend to give serious, continuous attention to them until it is pressured into doing so. Obvious-
ly, a better approach would be for Congress to fashion bills which pertain to the territories only and to reauthorize them on a
regular basis as they do with bills on education, labor, welfare, etc. This is not to say that every bill which impacts on the Virgin
Islands should be handled this way. What is being suggested is that to the fullest extent possible, Congress should address the
needs of the territories separately by tailormaking legislation and appropriations that apply to the territories on a long term
basis. Only then will Congress' long term commitment to the economic and political development of the territories become
manifest. Furthermore, Congress, as the result of negotiations with the territories, should make a determination on exactly
which provisions of the Constitution should extend to each territory. (Needless to say, I am not suggesting that anyone's rights
should be denied.)
Finally, I realize that the only force that could be used to bring this about would be intellectual and moral persuasion. In
speaking to Professor Gordon Lewis, I asked him about the options that are available when moral and intellectual persuasion
fail. He answered that he is a student of Alfred North Whitehead, a teacher and philosopher who said that civilization results
when man replaces the use of physical force with logical persuasion based on moral positions, and that he considers himself to
be a civilized man. If you feel there is merit to the things I have said, then I ask you to join me in using intellectual and moral
persuasion to help in accomplishing these goals.
VALDEMAR HILL,JR. Today, unlike some former times, it is necessary to relate economics to the soci-
political factor. There is no way we can treat our topic of this panel unless we include in our presentation some aspects as they
pertain to the social developments and political developments. The presentations made thus far on this panel have talked about
the relationship between the United States government and the Virgin Islands. I would like to focus the discussion on private
sector concerns in the Virgin Islands. I will talk about those concerns as they relate to socio-political ramifications unfolding in
the Virgin Islands.
One of the things which has been mentioned before is that you cannot divorce economic growth from the soical awareness
of those involved in any given society. I was very pleased to listen to your presentation, Jerry, and you are absolutely right that
there are different perceptions regarding what is happening in the Virgin Islands vis-a-vis the United States Congress. I would like
to talk about local perceptions from the private sector viewpoint.
The private sector is comprised primarily here of many, many, small businesses just like in the United States. And they come
and they go. There are a few large businesses; more specifically the Hess Refinery on St. Croix and Martin Marietta. There are
some watch manufacturers and a few textile manufacturers, but we must recognize that in a tourist oriented economy, we have
to zero in on the sensitivities that are very much prevalent in the islands as far as that is concerned. We also have to be aware of
local legislation that impacts the viability of business in the islands.
I think that the Virgin Islands Legislature over the years has rightfully recognized that it is important to provide, not only
from an outside investment point of view, but it is important also to cultivate, acknowledge and encourage greater growth in
involving the local, indigenous inhabitants here in our economic mainstream namely getting involved in the private sector.
What happened? I have read many pieces of legislation pertaining to the creation and development of the S.B.D.A. the Small
Business Development Agency and the focus of the legislation in 1969 is very clear: to enable more local inhabitants (and I
use that word widely) to participate. I have also read the legislation creating the Industrial Development Program the invest-
ment program. I think that the thrust and intent of it is quite honorable and worthwhile when we look at the total structure
here in the Virgin Islands and when we look at the population mix. What I have not found is a channeling of monies and financ-
ing of these programs to enable the indigenous population and island residents to participate and get involved in the private
sector. What happens when we find this type of situation taking place? We must not lose sight of the fact that the majority of
businesses in the Virgin Islands are small businesses, and that the focus is on tourism.
In the '60's, when we were experiencing the economic boom as a result of the introduction of tourism, we found tremend-
ous economic growth. This growth happened to us; we didn't plan for it. Now those kind of things do happen, but twenty years
later, I still see things happening to us. The legislation that I referred to is designed to encourage the indigenous population into
the economic mainstream and designed to encourage economic growth. We found that with the advent of tourism more money
came into the territory, and as that tourism developed, we found that business in the V.I. capitalized on that growth and focused
its attention strictly on business. The social awareness on the part of the private sector was not very prevalent at all. Today,
however, the business sector has recognized that there is no way it can continue to survive and grow unless it recognizes its
social responsibility toward the community in which it operates. I have seen that awareness growing over the years. Just a few
months ago the private sector and a panel forum, which was called by the Chairman of the Commerce Committee of the Legis-
lature, addressed itself to the problems encountered by private business and recognized that there is no way that the private
sector can overcome these problems unilaterally. The private sector has recognized that it is going to take a concerted effort and
a partnership between them and the government. This means then that the private sector must become more integrated in the
total social structure and begin to understand all the sensitivities and ramifications if this type of involvement does not take
place. The private sector must begin to look at the total society, not only from a business perspective, but from a social and
political perspective. It is one thing to be concerned about a social responsibility, and another thing to be responsible for en-
couraging and fostering proposed legislation which will reflect the total community. If the community as a whole does not
develop and grow, there is no way that business can develop and grow. There must be this type of partnership and understanding.
I feel that the private sector does recognize the need for a meaningful relationship with the public sector. I think that this has
taken place, but what about the public sector? There is a beginning of an understanding by the local legislators of the dynamics
of business in the islands and how it impacts on the local economy. This is good. For the first time there is an interest on the
part of the local legislators regarding the impact of legislation on business as it is introduced, and there is a continuing dialogue
between legislators and the private sector. The new private sector recognizes that it is not only important for us to engage in
dialogue with legislators on legislation that impacts business and the social development of the islands, but we realize that in
this process we must provide as much information as possible so that our legislators can begin to understand and appreciate
the nature of the problems that businesses face. For example, taxes are important, but the nature and type of tax to be applied
should be looked at vis-a-vis the benefits which will accure to society in general and business in particular.
Another area is investment opportunities and various exemptions to attract investors to the islands. The Industrial Develop-
ment Program talks about enticing investors to invest in the Virgin Islands, but it also addresses the question of providing op-
portunities for local businesses to develop and grow and to encourage local participation in the economic mainstream of our
society. Therefore, I feel that the private sector in the Virgin Islands has really come a long way in recognizing that it cannot
continue to have an attitude of "business as usual" anymore. There must be, and there is, a growing awareness of social respon-
sibility because we are all in the same boat. Whatever happens from an economic point of view is going to happen to all of us,
so we need to look out for each other. There is a job that needs doing in the private sector and that is to provide assistance to
the public sector to enable it to understand the problems and ramifications of private business operations. It is also important
for the public sector to apprise the private sector of proposed policies and legislation which will impact on them so that there
can be meaningful dialogue prior to any policy decisions or before any legislation is passed. Thank you.
RICHARD MILLER Jerry, Orville has said he considers himself a teacher, as he is, and among this group
of 4 teachers, I consider myself a student. Jerry is also very persuasive. I only have one quarrel with Jerry's argument, which I
think is symbolic and significant, and that is his definition of the territories as cogs in a larger wheel. I think the problem may be
that this is not the territorial perception. It is largely his perception, and I tend to agree with him.
I have, in my work, spent much time trying to explain to others how territories perceive themselves and what they want
economically. I am afraid we get very confusing signals on this. The federal government is often accused of not understanding
what the territories want, and I think that is true; they don't understand and there is a reason for that.
This whole conference has been most instructive to me even outside of this economic group and, of course, everything is
inter-related. I constantly hear complaints that the territories are not paid enough attention in the United States that the
national press only writes them up when there is a riot or other disturbance. Of course, that is true everywhere in the world
and the only thing that can be done about that is through some effort from the area involved. In that regard, last evening I noted
that the spokesman for the previous administration, Jeff Farrow, put a lot of emphasis on the territories making demands them-
selves, such as demanding that the new administration address status options. Tom McGurn stated that the territories should act
vigorously and aggressively; that the window of opportunity might not be open too long. As a civil servant I tend to agree with
both of those statements, although I think the window of opportunity is always open. There probably should be more recogni-
tion of that in the territories.
The federal government is very hard to define as a unit, but it is represented by bureaucrats like myself and we are hungry
for some kind of indication from the territories as to what their objectives are. I get very good indications now from my col-
leagues on the panel but the question is; do we see these things in official documents? Do we see them in bills drafted by the
Representative from the Virgin Islands and the other territories in the Congress? Do we see them in letters from the Governor
and in resolutions by the Legislature? Occasionally we do. (We also get opposite points of view from these various sources.)
We see them from the Chamber of Commerce, which is also an important consideration. When we see the same thing from every-
body there's no stopping it. Dr. Passalacqua mentioned yesterday that the territories would do well if they would act together.
They usually don't do so, understandably, because of geography. But, they are doing so in this conference. I think that is an
excellent development. Perhaps as a prerequisite, the territories should get together, each of them, within themselves, so that
they can develop a stronger position.
There are a few things that we might discuss among ourselves and then get into questions. I was very interested in Gus Rimpel's
mention of the importance of rum exports. As was brought out later, the Internal Revenue taxes given to the Virgin Islands
based on rum exports were intended originally to be used for capital infra-structure. They have been used less and less for this
purpose in recent years because of territorial fiscal problems. The fiscal problems are serious, but I don't think we can get too
far by discussing whether they should be solved by federal government or local government. I think they need to be solved by
both, but the initiative and the means of solution must come from the territorial government.
There was mention made that federal tax cuts will reduce the revenues of the territorial government. Here, too, there is a
means of dealing with that which is brought about by the Congress and which gives the territorial governments the right to
impose a tax surcharge. This is very difficult for them to do, though, because it requires initiative by the local legislature on an
unpopular subject. There is no reason, however, that the subject cannot be addressed.
There is also the matter of communication which must be dealt with. I was once given an agenda item for the V.I. Legislature
to petition Congress to permit the territory to establish its own level of import duties. I then brought along a copy of the law
that the Congress had passed two years before, but I couldn't find anyone who was aware of that. This is a communication
problem and it's the federal government's fault too. The federal government is probably at least as amorphous as the local
government is, and the territories are dealing with Congress, Interior, and all the other executive agencies. Right now I would
like to throw it open to specific questions from the audience. Thank you very much.
in united States
MR. JAMES BEIRNE Staff Member
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
PROFESSOR J. R. FERNANDEZ Graduate School of Public Administration
University of Puerto Rico
MR. GORDON LAW Former Official, U.S. Department of the Interior
PETER ROSENBLATT, Chair Attorney, Washington, D.C.
(former U.S. Ambassador, Micronesian Status Negotiations)
MR. JOE SAN AGUSTIN Minority Leader, Guam Legislature
PETER ROSENBLATT, Chair I don't think it would be possible for one in my position to thank the organizers of
this conference a sufficient number of times, but it gives me particular pleasure in this final session of the conference to speak on
behalf of all the participants, of the effort, time and funds which went into the preparation of this distinguished gathering. It
constitutes a land-mark in the discussion of U.S. relations with the territories. Let us hope that it is only the first of many such
meetings in the future, and that other institutions in the territories will pick up where this conference leaves off. The universities
can play a very successful role in bringing together peoples of the territories to discover among themselves the kind of free inter-
change where they have matters of common interest, and where they may find through mutual discussion, avenues of approach
to the federal government and to the people of the country as a whole. We shall now proceed in the same order of panelists as
listed in the program.
JAMES BEIRNE I would like to do a quick over-view of recent happenings in the Pacific Basin. There
is not a great deal of connection between the various developments, but taken together, it is fairly significant in terms of political
The first item is the Marianas Covenant which has been getting a lot of play, and which is significant in that it is one element
of the termination of the trusteeship. I think it is necessary to keep the trusteeship in perspective because it is conceptually and
legally a different relationship between the United States and an offshore area than exists with the other offshore areas. The
terms of the covenant are significant in that it is the first time, since the Puerto Rican Status Commission, that everyone has had
the chance to start off with a clean slate and take a look at programs, and try to formulate a package that would make some
sense. Some of the political give-and-take which went on is useful because it is the same give-and-take that is necessary for other
areas. The Marianas Covenant does not fall within a particular framework. It includes provisions which are enjoyed by the Virgin
Islands with the exemption of the Jones Act but are not enjoyed by other areas, for example, Puerto Rico and Guam. There is
one provision which is fairly remarkable, and that is the one on the alienation of land. It is remarkable for two reasons. Land by
all standards is the most important thing to the people of the Pacific Basin. In 1950, when the Organic Acts for Guam and
Samoa went to the floor of the Senate, each act contained a provision restraining the alienation of land. On the Senate floor,
there was considerable controversy over whether or not the extension of citizenship was consistent with the restraint on the
alienation of land. The decision from the Senate was that it was not, and the land alienation provision was deleted from the
Guam Organic Act. At that time the American Samoans asked us to call back the Organic Act for Samoa. To this date, Samoa
does not have an Organic Act. Samoans are also officially U.S. Nationals, although a considerable percentage have obtained
citizenship through other means.
In the Marianas Covenant the same issue arose, and was bitterly debated on the Senate floor. Politics making strange bed-
fellows, the A.C.L.U. and the John Birch Society joined in denouncing the provision. It carried, though. I think this says some-
thing more about the way the country has progressed into a recognition of the importance of land, the importance of citizen-
ship, and the ability to fashion a provision which took into account the very real, personal needs of a given people who wanted
U.S. citizenship, and that it was not necessary that everyone be exactly alike. To some extent the melting-pot experience caught
up with the philosophy of the time.
In reference to Samoa, after asking that the Organic Act be withdrawn, American Samoa was the latest offshore area to
achieve self-government. It came fitfully because of the very strong emphasis in Samoa on the preservation of traditional rights,
the tribal system and restraint of land alienation. Three times American Samoa rejected the idea of an elected governor. To
some extent the Congress pushed, hammered and yelled in order to have an elected governor, and this was finally done by the
Secretary of the Interior through a Secretarial Order, not by an act of Congress. Following on that came the decision that with
elected leadership, Samoa should also have a non-voting delegate. This raised another question. Since citizenship had not been
extended, was the traditional form that had been used for Guam and the Virgin Islands to be used beca'ce this would require
that the non-voting delegate be a U.S. citizen, or should we open it up to a U.S. National? Again, the decijon by the U.S. Con-
gress was to go with a U.S. National which is not entirely unique. Both resident commissioners in the Philippines were Nationals,
and the first resident commissioner in Puerto Rico was also a National before citizenship was extended. This was the movement
in Congress to get away from formulas that were set in stone or to rely too heavily on past experiences, and to recognize that
different situations demand different treatment, and some appreciation for local concerns.
There are three additional recent developments which I feel are important to the Pacific. One is the movement by insular
governments to become more and more active in regional associations and international fora. One is totally U.S. and that is
the Pacific Basin Development Conference composed of the governors of Hawaii, Guam, Northern Marianas and American
Samoa. Together their range of interest covers almost the entire Pacific Basin, and it covers both Polynesian and Micronesian
cultures. It is an example of inter-island relations, which is almost unknown. It is also to be noted that it includes an insular
area which is not a territory the State of Hawaii. To that extent, shared problems and common problems are addressed re-
gardless of status, and addressed on equal footing.
In two other instances, international fora are involved. At the last meeting of the South Pacific Commission, the Northern
Marianas, the Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia were seated as full partners in the South Pacific Commis-
sion. At that same meeting, American Samoa, which had been a member of the Commission chaired the Drafting Committee.
This is a fairly significant move, and became more so because of the actions of the Northern Marianas which did not sit back,
but promptly introduced a resolution on nuclear dumping in the Pacific, much to the discomfort of the French, and with some
discomfort to the U.S. delegation. This expressed a view unique to the Northern Marianas but shared with a lot of other Pacific
Basin countries. The resolution was debated and modified by several other countries and with imput from American Samoans,
who contributed drafting, was eventually accepted. Throughout this entire process, the Northern Marianas carried its own motion.
A more recent occurence is Guam's being tentatively accepted for associate membership in the United Nation's Economic
Cooperation for Asia and the Pacific, again an international fora where they are sitting in their own right, although only as
associate members. Therefore, there is something happening in the Pacific which does not appear to be happening quite as much
in the Caribbean. There is a much closer identity between the various peoples of the Pacific Basin, and a surer identity as mem-
bers of the Pacific Basin, whatever their particular alliegances are. With some minor problems generally there is an identity in
the Pacific, and it has facilitated inter-regional cooperation, discussions, and an ability to address problems which affect them as
Pacific Islanders, as opposed to affecting them as members of the United States. I think that is generally where we stand, at least
in terms of recent development. Thank you.
PROFESSOR J. R. FERNANDEZ The main events that have taken place in the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands
during the 1970's all relate in one way or another to the most important development that took place in that period, namely the
division of the territory into five separate units.
As is well known, in 1969 the United StatesGovernment, responding to the insistent requests made by the Congress of Micro-
nesia, agreed to commence negotiations as to the future political status of the Trust Territory. Shortly afterwards, however,
these got into a stalemate when 'it became very difficult to harmonize Micronesia's and U.S. interests. By April of 1972 the U.S.
government suddenly announced its decision to negotiate separately with the Mariana Islands district and by December of that
same year they held the first formal round of negotiations. After four other sessions the rather complex process ended with the
approval of a "Covenant to Establish a Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in Political Union with the United States
of America". The Covenant was signed by both parties on 15 February 1975 at Saipan. After being endorsed by the Northern
Marianas Legislature as well as by the voters in a plebiscite, it was submitted to the U.S. Congress where it obtained final approval
by the Senate in February 1976 and was signed into law by President Ford on March 24th of the same year. These governmental
actions did not result in a new Marianas commonwealth. By its terms, the Covenant would be effective only after the Marianas
had drafted and accepted a Constitution something that was achieved in 1977 and the President of the United States had
declared that the trust arrangement for all of Micronesia has been terminated a matter that is still pending.
Meanwhile and through a much more difficult and tortuous process negotiations were carried out with the other parts of the
Trust Territory. These concluded just last year with the approval by the parties concerned of a "Compact of Free Association
between the United States, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau". According to section 411 the
Compact will go into effect once all the following steps are completed:
a) approval by the Government of Palau, the Marshall Islands or Federated States of Micronesia in accordance with its
b) the holding of a plebiscite as stipulated in section 412 of the Compact, and
c) approval by the Government of the United States in accordance with its constitutional processes.
It must be noted at this point that the Reagan administration has just recently announced that the compact is scheduled for
a "full review" by all concerned agencies. So it seems that we are far from seeing the last chapter of the pain-staking process that
has already lasted through more than eleven years of difficult negotiations.
It is not my purpose here to enter into a detailed consideration of the many serious issues emerging from the procedures so
briefly summarized in the preceding paragraphs. Aside from the fact that many of those issues have already been more than
aptly discussed, among others, by professor Paul Leary in his article on the Northern Marianas Covenant and by the former U.S.
Representative to the United Nations, professor Donald F. McHenry in his book "Micronesia: Trust Betrayed", it is my belief
that my time here can be more usefully employed in a different way. I intend to discuss how what has taken and is taking place
in Micronesia is being perceived from the Caribbean and to reflect about the impact it might have in this area.
American officials have been quoted as stating that neither the Compact of Free Association with Micronesia nor the Northern
Marianas Covenant has any bearing whatsoever on the political status of Puerto Rico or of any other area. This position is con-
sistent with the historical United States stand, which in simplified form can be put thus:
1 the U.S. is not a colonial power;
2 the United States has never had colonies, therefore,
3 the U.S. does not have a colonial policy.
Neat and simple but also very disingenuous. United States policy has been described as a "flexible approach which tailors
political status to the particular requirements of each area". The fact is that such "flexibility" has been very well used to suit
United States needs and/or desires. It is that flexibility which has allowed the United States to deal differently with the Philip-
pines, Alaska and Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Moreover, it has been used to
rationalize the kind of actions taken at different times with other Central American and Caribbean countries such as Cuba,
Nicaragua, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. It is not too far-fetched to suspect that the so-called flexibility may have another
side to it a side which has allowed the U.S. government to do whatever it wants under the guise of defense, security or some
other alleged imperative. This kind of "non-policy" has allowed the United States to currently have no less than five different
kinds of territories within its orbit and which is invoked to claim that what is done in one of them does not affect the others and
viceversa. Frankly, this policy of "not having a policy" appears to be a most convenient device.
This kind of self-serving maneuvering on the part of the U.S. ought to impel all the pertinent offshore areas to develop
stronger links and to establish a closer relationship than what has been the case to date. In fact the transcendent importance
and relevance of this Conference lies precisely in its potential to serve as an initial step for the promotion of a better integration
and articulation among us. It is high time that every one of us get to know much better and in much more detail what really
is going on in each one of the areas. We should no longer allow a so-called "flexible approach" to be used against our peoples'
legitimate desires for improvement. Much less should we tolerate that such desires be dismissed by some U.S. official saying that
what has been conceded elsewhere has no bearing whatsoever on the other situations. That is simply no longer acceptable.
Now that Micronesia has been the first to engage in what to some extent has been bilateral negotiations and is or was at the
brink of getting what she wants we should all do our best to see that that is accomplished. We should all put our efforts together
so that no "full review" based on a so-called "flexible approach" is used to con her out of what is rightly hers.
As far as Puerto Rico is concerned the compact of free association that has been agreed to by the U.S. and Micronesia's
representatives should serve as a stimulus for the improvement of the present Commonwealth status. In this agreement, Micro-
nesia has been able to elicit the following:
1) a much wider latitude for the conduct of its own foreign affairs;
2 the power to control non U.S. citizens immigration to its territory;
3 the non-applicability of U.S. laws to Micronesia except when specifically agreed that it be so;
4 the non-inclusion of Micronesia in the U.S. customs territory
5 the exclusion of Micronesia from any U.S. formal declaration of war without its consent;
6) the establishment of an Arbitration Board to deal with the disputes that may arise out of the
compact's implementation and,
7) the power of Micronesia to unilaterally terminate the compact.
If there is one point of agreement among Puerto Rican leaders and the people in general it is that our current situation is
highly unsatisfactory and that change is needed. Those of us who favor autonomy and free association must strive for the at-
tainment of the improvements that will transform Commonwealth into a legitimate and acceptable political status both domes-
tically and internationally. For that the Micronesian experience may well serve to properly orient our endeavors.
But, what about our partner to the north? Is it capable of rising to the heights required by the contemporary world? It is
indeed ironic that as decolonization is coming to an end the United States is being increasingly received as the last great col-
onizer. It may well be that the closing chapter of the decolonization story will besmirch the country that after the Second World
War was the hope of the oppressed peoples and countries.
Indeed, things have changed and the image the United States now projects is far from being the one it had in that not so dis-
tant past. The way Americans have dealt with their offshore areas has undoubtedly been a factor promoting that negative image.
The rumblings coming from the new administration are not the least encouraging. First we are told that the Compact of Free
Association that resulted from more than eleven years of hard negotiations and that was duly initialled last October by U.S.
and Micronesian representatives is scheduled for a "full review" by the Washington side. In addition, the acceptance of Am-
bassador Rosenblatt's resignation who has so ably headed the American team in the negotiations with the Micronesians for
the lastdifficult three years has also been a source of deep worry for the Trust Territory representatives.
The intended "full review" without Mr. Rosenblatt's participation and in the context of such recent actions taken by President
Reagan like the withdrawal of a fisheries treaty with Canada from consideration by the Senate, holding up American partici-
pation in the Law of the Sea Conference and the dismissal of a commission appointed by President Carter to examine the claims
of native Hawaiians growing out of the annexation of their islands by the United States in 1898, does not bode well for Micro-
nesia. But, it also may prove harmful for the United States if they don't deal fairly with this situation. It is high time for the U.S.
to shed the requirement for subordination that has so obviously characterized American policy in its dealings with the offshore
areas. Of course, it is within its powers not to do so, but that would be at a price. Though it is true that in the international
scenario we may not be that relevant, on the other hand we are not completely powerless. The offshore areas would be in a
much better position if we could present a more united front opposite the U.S. intentions. It is my recommendation that we
should strive for that. Moreover, in the contemporary world there are other ways and other fora where we can be heard. That
possibility should not be ignored either. Certainly, it would be more enlightened and convenient for the United States to avoid
all that and deal differently in a more fair, equitable and even-handed way with its offshore areas. Unfortunately, from here and
at this time there is not much room for hope.
GORDON LAW I think I am going to have to drop the word flexibility from my vocabulary because
that is what I am going to talk on for the next fifteen minutes. I think that I have a rather different definition and connotation
of the word, but we will sort that out as we go along.
In as much as this is an academic setting, I have taken license with the word "recent", as historically 35 years can be very
recent. I have divided the history of Micronesia into three eras for my thought process; the first era from 1947 to 1967, which I
call the political development phase. During that time, the U.S. Government spent $145,000,000. Political development is
compromise and flexibility but with flexibility there obviously are pluses and minuses. I have been a political analyst for 35
years, and I feel that the words flexible and compromise can be used interchangeably. The second era I shall address is the Micro-
nization process which covers the establishment of Status Commissions. Near the end of this era came what may well end up as
the Achilles heel in our management for the past 35 years in the western Pacific decentralization. During the Micronization
period of 1968-1978, the U.S. government spent $742 million dollars. Now we get to the third stage (1969-1980) and I call
that the decentralization era, where I think we failed miserably, and in that period of time we spent $229,000,000.
Therefore from 1947 to 1979/80 a lot of things happened to people who could not speak English, but who were very well
versed in their culture and background and language compared to many, many other areas of the world. During that period of
thirty-five years one billion plus dollars was spent in Micronesia. It did a lot of things; some for the better and some for the
worse. Hospitals were built, but not enough of them, docks were built but were inadequate for today's technology, Micro-
nesia became a microcosm of the Great Society. Decentralization, which is the continuation of Micronization, was an idea that
someone had which I think is preceptually totally defensible, but operationally has been a disaster. That concept, however,
assumed that the indigenous level of education, management and integrity was high enough, that overnight, one could push
people into jobs, give them authority and responsibility then basically walk away from them. It did not happen, and it won't
Now let me jump very quickly to what I call the "frightening future"; and again please remember it is my perspective. Whether
or not some of the frightening future is going to be what some of the past has been I don't know, but being a political animal,
I have learned to live with the fact that history has a disturbing repetitive cycle. Is it (the future) going to be politicians' plati-
tudes or people programs? We (the USG) are proposing to spend a total of 2/2 billion dollars in the next fifteen to seventeen
years in Micronesia. We have not left, nor are we prepared to leave, nor are we doing anything about leaving adequate personnel
or physical infra-structure by which those people can manage their future. While we as trustees have not done a very commend-
able job, by the time some of the "quick-buck" artists get through manipulating this constituency, they will be damn lucky if
they get 40 cents of worth from each dollar of money. I will go a step further. By the time the Micronesians get around to re-
negotiation, (which is .their right) the extension of the Compact of Free Association about year 2001 or 2002, we will find that
some of the society which we know today, will have disappeared. We will no longer recognize the outer-island peoples because
they won't be there any more; existence and survival can only go on so long. The big city will get bigger, and the lights brighter;
sooner or later the metropolitan areas will draw these people to them. However, things are not better in the big city, and in most
cases a hell of a lot worse. Again I make no judgement on this, the people will have to make it for themselves. If I am indicting
myself at this time its because I was party to this management for four years, but I am willing to stand up and be counted.
This poses the very real question, which may have been almost mentioned here, but ducked for the most part. Is there any
Island policy? No, there is no policy. I don't care what people call it; it is not policy. There is tradition, and there is a tremend-
ous amount of difference between tradition and policy. The tradition you find in history books does not get you money from
a legislature that's policy. If you have policy you can beat on people for money, especially if you are a land-grant institution.
In regards to the various offshore areas, the only policy that exists is what people call O.M.B. (Office of Management and Budget). I
don't care what anyone else says, O.M.B. creates what passes for policy. Now you have heard all sorts of things about the Reagan
Administration, what they are and aren't, but I will not denigrate the new administration. The Department of the Interior is
blessed with many, many bright, brilliant, committed people, but in Territorial Affairs it is undermanaged, and possibly mis-
managed. Why is this? The O.M.B. from my own perspective creates policy, and that is not its function. It is not much different
from being in an institution of higher education when it starts folding. Go and look at the financial services section, and you will
discover that they are running the institution, and that is not what institutions exist for, to be managed by the policies of the
The O.M.B. creates problems that are very, very difficult to overcome. Why cannot Interior Department take on O.M.B.? Be-
cause the budget people in Interior love the O.M.B. types. I recognize that you have to cut someplace, but it seems to me that
the programs that are most often cut are "people programs". The programs that were aided and abetted were those that received
politicians' platitudes. The Interior way, whether people like it or not, is involved with people Native Americans, Alaskan
Natives, Micronesians, Guamanians, Samoans, Northern Marianans, and what's left of the indigenous Virgin Islanders. We are
more people oriented than H.E.W., but we never seem to get the story across. We have more control over the lives of more native
peoples than any other agency in the world. We have more control over more resources than anyone else in the world coal,
gas, oil, onshore or offshore, ports that give you security it's all owned by people who were not born in the Lower 48 for the
most part, except the Native Americans who are left and who own about 82 percent of the coal.
So what is the bottom line to all this? I wish I knew. The things that really bother me are those such as a World Health Or-
ganization report issued about six months ago that Micronesia might have the most active leprosy incidence in the world, a re-
port from the Loma Linda Medical School which shows 50% of the Marshallese may have diabetes, that we can't resettle the
Bikini people because we have no place to put them. We took their land but can't let them go back because if they do go back,
they will kill themselves. I am concerned that current fishing treaties permit 1,800 ships to sweep the the West Pacific with no
catch limitations and that by 1987 there may not be any fish left to catch in Micronesian waters. These are island communities
who depend on the only renewable resource they have fish and the sea. When the resource is gone, in fifteen years from now,
with a projection of a 60% increase in population, the eco-system will be unable to sustain the growth. Are we building a Wel-
fare State? There is no economy. Self-sufficiency is so far away the word shouldn't even be in the Micronesian vocabulary. When
they come back in the year 2000 to re-negotiate the next seventeen years of status, they will be more dependent on the U.S.
than they are today, and so little will have been achieved. Thank you.
PETER ROSENBLATT I would like to take a few minutes of your time to try and combine two things which
are perhaps not combinable. One is to discuss the circumstances which surrounded the adoption of the Compact of Free Associa-
tion, and the other is to discuss briefly what this Compact of Free Association really is. There has already been some discussion
of it, most of it accurate; but if this conference is to mark the beginning of an effort to discuss seriously the Virgin Islands' and
other U.S. Offshore Areas' alternative formulations of their relationships with the United States, then perhaps as Chief Negotiator
for the United States in the creation of this Compact, I owe you a brief description without hopefully getting lost in a lot of
When this process with the Micronesians began, they were faced with the three major policy alternatives which confront all
of the offshore areas. There was independence complete political independence. Integration into the United States which
has a different meaning for the Micronesians than it has for the territories because of the fact that residents of the Trust
Territory are not U.S. citizens. It embraces such concepts as territorial status, which embraces everything from Kentucky to the
Northern Marianas and Puerto Rico, which therefore has no juridicial meaning. Finally, there is that third choice, which has
sometimes been confused with Commonwealth status, known as Free Association. I think it has been so often confused with
Commonwealth status because the official description of Puerto Rico's status embraces both terms. Puerto Rico's free associa-
tion with the United States, which is a unique Commonwealth status, has nothing in common with the Free Association which
we have recently negotiated with Micronesia. Confronted with these choices, the Northern Marianas preferred what is loosely
known as Commonwealth status; it is essentially territorial status. It is closest in terms of description to the status enjoyed by
Guam and the Virgin Islands closer to that than to any other.
The other Micronesians, the residents of the Carolines and Marshalls, preferred the Free Association alternative. The term
Free Association has no meaning whatsoever. It is simply understood in International Law that Free Association is an alterna-
tive status, acceptable to the United Nations, to integration into the metropolitan power or another sovereign and to full politi-
cal independence. Beyond that it has no definition. The meaning is given to it only by the negotiators, who among themselves
agree upon the terms under which free association is to be established.
Why then did the Micronesian negotiators opt for Free Association? Let me read to you from an article written by Dr. Leary,
which appeared in the Journal of the College of the Virgin Islands last year, wherein he quoted the four, non-negotiable princi-
ples which were adopted by the Congress of Micronesia in 1970. These formed the basis of the Congress of Micronesia's and the
subsequent three separate Micronesian entities negotiation positions. I will read them in full.
"1. That sovereignty in Micronesia resides in the people of Micronesia and their duly constituted government.
"2. That the people of Micronesia possess the right of self-determination and may therefore choose independence or self-
government in free association with any nation or organization of nations.
"3. That the people of Micronesia have the right to adopt their constitution and to amend, change or revoke any constitution
or governmental plan at any time; and
"4. That free association should be in the form of a revocable compact terminable unilaterally by either party."
Now, of course, for "Micronesia" and "either party" read four parties, the United States, the Marshall Islands, Palau and the
Federated States of Micronesia. This, then, is the basis on which the Micronesian negotiators embarked upon this lengthy pro-
cess of negotiation for their future political statuses. This collection of basic principles was certainly more compatible with the
status of Free Association than with any other.
As flexible as it was, undefined as it was, it now permitted the Micronesians to enter into these free-swinging, open-ended
negotiations with the United States, and to achieve whatever objectives were most important to them, sacrificing in the process
those things which were of lesser importance. They ran up against a U.S. position on national defense which was perhaps as in-
flexible as theirs was in reference to their four basic principles. Note that none of their four basic principles touches the funda-
mental U.S. defense issue. That was perhaps not perceived in the earlier stages of negotiations; those which endured from 1970
to 1976. It became recognized during the second stage of the negotiations in 1977 to 1980, and made possible the resolution of
The second point which should be taken into account as to why Free Association was so attractive to the Micronesians -
the basic factor which separated their choice from that of the Marianas is that since they had decided to sacrifice the advantages
of American citizenship they didn't need to make the status accommodations necessary for citizens. The fact that they decided
not to be U.S. citizens, and not to be a territory or commonwealth of the United States, made it possible for them to secure a
degree of autonomy not available to American territories, commonwealths or states. Yet at the same time, they did not wish
to be fully independent. Hence, in considering the terms of this compact one should recall that what seems like a great deal of
autonomy and freedom of action, is given to the Micronesians precisely because they decided to reject the considerable ad-
vantages of American citizenship. Had they made the alternative decision to be Americans, as did the Northern Marianas, their
freedom of action as separate governmental and cultural entities would have been restricted in return for the security that comes
with permanent attachment to the United States.
Finally, Free Association was recognized as a legitimate form of self-determination. It has international status as a form of
self-government which is an acceptable alternative to integration into another nation or full independence. Why then, you
might ask, would Free Association be acceptable to the United States?
There are three basic reasons why. Firstly, the basic U.S. interest in the Micronesian area, apart from the redemption of our
legal and moral responsibility towards the people who live there, is a defense interest. Free Association is sufficiently flexible
to permit satisfaction of U.S. defense interests in the area, without derogation of the autonomy accorded to the inhabitants.
Secondly, the U.S. was pledged by its signature on the Trusteeship agreement of 1948 to permit and promote self-determina-
tion by the residents of the Trust Territory. After the duly elected representatives of the peoples of the Trust Territory in-
dicated, through their four non-negotiable positions, what they wished, it was incumbent ultimately upon the United States to
meet those points. We did.
Finally, Free Association was acceptable to the U.S. because we were, in the final analysis, willing to accept economic and
other burdens under the Compact of Free Association with the necessary economic support to make it a meaningful choice and
not merely a "throw-away".
Just a word here about this economic situation which will tie in with some of the sense of depression that I have sensed in
some of the things Gordon has said. I think that any of us with any sensitivity towards the problems of the Trust Territory,
and who have dealt with the Trust Territory, have been appalled at the economic aspects of U.S. policy there.
Because the administration's economic policy towards the Trust Territory was so notoriously unsuccessful, we (successive
administrations) are sometimes accused of having produced this situation deliberately. Allow me to assure you that nothing
could be further from the truth. The resounding failure of our economic policy in the Trust Territory is the direct and inevitable
result of a factor to which several speakers have referred to over the last two days namely, the absence of any kind of policy.
In the absence of a policy, each new initiative in the economic or other fields in Micronesia has taken on the light of a mini-
policy of its own. The result was that I found myself, as chief U.S. negotiator, faced with the need to gain U.S. government
approval of negotiating positions which would ensure Micronesian political, economic and social stability without making
these positions politically unacceptable at home. Time will tell whether we have succeeded at this. It was undeniable, that
because of the immense amount of money that we had been spending for some years, especially in social service, we simply
couldn't completely walk away from those social programs. It was therefore necessary in this compact to create circumstances in
which the entire social superstructure, which had been built up in the Trust Territory, would not collapse once the trusteeship
ended. That meant supporting levels of social programs for which there was no local economic support.
We approached this by beginning with a high level of economic assistance for the first five years of the free association
period, allowing it to taper off over the next five years and even further in the final five year period. This was provided so that
the Micronesians would be able to devote 40 percent of the total of U.S. economic assistance to infrastructure construction
and economic development. These expenditures would be made pursuant to plans of national development to be drawn up by
the Micronesian governments, but subject to approval by the United States government. The implementation of those plans
over the fifteen years would be subject to auditing by U.S. government agencies and to annual reports to the United States
We have heard references to two separate stages in the negotiations. These are of extreme importance, particularly to those
who are studying these negotiations in relationship to the evolution of other offshore areas of the United States. Between 1970
and 1976 the negotiations with Palau, Marshall Islands and F.S.M. culminated with a so-called Compact of Free Association, and
the earlier phase of negotiations has very little in common with the second phase during 1977 to 1980.
Firstly, during the earlier phase we were dealing with a single Micronesian entity rather than three. Secondly, many of the
interagency rivalries and problems which existed then were a feature of the U.S. administration at that time. The attitude shifted
sharply after 1976 and made the agreement possible. The 1976 compact collapsed because there was no constituency for it
within the Trust Territory. In 1977 when the new administration came in, an effort was made to find a new basis for negotia-
tion within this amorphous concept of Free Association. The first effort to find that basis took place in San Diego in January
1978. At that conference the U.S. side presented a revision of the 1976 draft compact. Within a matter of hours all three of the
Micronesian negotiating commissions rejected it. After that was done we were able to approach the problem with open minds,
and we discussed as to how we could come to agreement which would have a chance of approval by all the parties. Four months
later in Hilo, Hawaii, we came up with eight principles which guided us in further efforts in negotiating the Compact of Free
Association. We were able to resolve the problems in that four month period by separating United States military considerations
from the political considerations. We wound up with an approach which allowed either side to terminate the political Compact
of Free Association by a vote of the people.
In exchange for the flexibility of the political relationship, Micronesia was more than willing, indeed welcomed a military
relationship of fixed duration which cannot be altered, even by the termination of the political relationship, until its natural
expiration. At that time the parties will then discuss renewal, but as equals and with no pre-conditions. This more than anything
else was responsible for the Compact being initialled last fall.
The foreign affairs provisions of the Compact differentiate the relationship from either of the efforts at free association which
have previously occurred elsewhere in the world, in that each of the Micronesian states has the authority to manage its own
foreign relations, to appoint its own representatives abroad and to receive representatives from abroad. Each state has the
privilege of signing international treaties; it must however consult with the United States government in the exercise of this
authority, because defense considerations and foreign relations are sometimes difficult to tell apart. Conversely, the United
States will not undertake foreign policy initiatives which would relate to or affect the Micronesian governments without con-
sulting with them.
Immigration is another important topic. Since the Micronesians are not Americans and manage all of their own internal
affairs, it follows that one of those affairs is immigration. Within the terms of the Compact, citizens of the Micronesian states
are privileged to come to the United States at will, to become "habitual residents". This does not permit them to become per-
manent residents, but if they wish to become United States citizens, they must first change their status to permanent resident.
United States citizens wishing to establish residency in any of the Micronesian states are privileged to do so subject to the laws
of the Micronesian entities. We do recognize that there cannot be absolute reciprocity in immigration matters because of the
fragile nature of these societies and their small land areas.
The Compact also provides for a form of reciprocal diplomatic representation of each Micronesian government in Washington
and for U.S. representation in the Micronesian capitals. It also provides for an extremely generous form of environmental pro-
tection. It was recognized that any U.S. governmental activities in the freely associated states would most likely be primarily
military in nature; it was agreed that no major actions would be undertaken without environmental controls. There is an ex-
tremely complex provision in the Compact which permits the U.S. Government to take action, but subject to the same environ-
mental controls which would apply to similar activities in the United States. The Micronesians also agreed to abide by similar
The next major provision of the Compact provides for U.S. economic assistance covering a fifteen year period. The United
States will provide grants to each of the three Micronesian states in amounts set forth in the Compact rather generous assis-
tance, but on a declining scale as outlined earlier. Much of the money will be disbursed during the first five years, and will
result in the development of economic enterprises. This will produce income for the latter years when assistance is reduced.
There is a provision in the Compact for program assistance. This, however, is not entirely complete. Areas to be covered
would be technical assistance such as U.S. Postal Service, the F.A.A. and other technical agencies of that sort. We also under-
take to extend certain levels of health and education program assistance. Finally in the economic field, there are trade and taxa-
tion provisions which, in most essentials, are the same as those accorded to U.S. territories.
The security and defense provisions are extensive and quite detailed. I would like to read to you the introductory section of
the defense and security section of the Compact:
'The Government of the United States has full authority and responsibility for security and defense matters, in or relating
to, Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia. This authority and responsibility includes:
"1. the obligation to defend Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia and their peoples from
attack or threats thereof as the United States and its citizens are defended.
"2. the option to forclose access to or use of Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia by military
personnel or for the military purposes of any third country.
"3. the option to establish and use military areas and facilities in Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of
Micronesia, subject to the terms of various separate agreements."
Some of these military base options have been negotiated, and some have not. There are lengthy ramifications to all of this
which we do not have time to get into, but some of the military arrangements remain to be spelled out.
Finally, there are various technical provisions in the Compact such as the procedure for the approval of the Compact, dispute
resolution provisions, arbitration provisions, etc. There is also the termination provision previously discussed, which provides
for the termination of the free association political relationship. In addition there will be separate arrangements negotiated for
the use of specified areas for military purposes which will have duration periods of their own which could be substantially in
excess of 15 years.
A few concluding comments. I cannot stress too often, that the degree of flexibility which has been achieved in our relation-
ship with the Micronesian states, is a function of the fact that they made the basic decision not to be Americans. Had they
chosen otherwise, some of this flexibility would not have been available, at least not as of the present. Who knows what lies in
the future as the United States Government continues along the path of taking a more relaxed attitude towards autonomy in
several key areas by the U.S. Offshore Areas?
I had heard some reference to the need for the Offshore Areas to get together. This is what I promoted over the past 3Y2
years with all the Micronesian parties. I encouraged them always to get together and coordinate their positions before negotia-
tions. As the U.S. representative, I found it much more attractive to deal with positions which were shared by all three entities.
It is difficult enough in the context of the U.S. federal system to get a U.S. position when the entities agree on their positions,
but it is almost impossible when each one wants something different. There are differences among the various Offshore Areas,
which is to be expected, but this does not mean that a strenuous effort should not be made by the territories to find common
ground wherever it is possible. This is not only in the interest of the territories, but in the interest of the U.S. Government. It
facilitates the negotiation process.
A word also on an issue raised by one of our speakers; the creation of policy by O.M.B.. It is an unfortunate fact that in our
system of government, in the absence of an agreed policy or plan of action, the budgeteers will always have the last word. That
is the fact of life. I agree with Gordon that, in the administrative context, it is often an extremely frustrating experience. This
negotiated Compact was an effort to get away from this fact of life. The role of the O.M.B., while often and quite properly
primary, was not in this case as important as that of several other agencies in our inter-agency group.
Let us also not forget the role of Congress. Congress in the final analysis will dispose the Executive branch proposes.
While we may have mismanaged our relationship with the Trust Territory over the last generation, the Compact will permit
the Micronesians to take a firm hand in the management of their own destinies and in setting their own priorities. Let us hope
they will be successful. The new administration in Washington, of course, has the right and duty to review incomplete actions
of a previous administration and this is incomplete until it is signed and to make up its own mind to accept or reject what
has previously been done. It also has the right and obligation to be served by its own appointees, and we shall await their arrival
with interest. Thank you very much.
JOE SAN AGUSTIN Thank you Mr. Ambassador Rosenblatt. As this conference concludes, I want to ex-
press my appreciation and gratitude to Dr. Leary for extending the invitation to participate. Most especially, the Guam delega-
tion would like to extend a sincere thank you to the people of the Virgin Islands for being such a wonderful host and to the
Governor, Governor Juan Luis.
In a discussion of developments in a relationship with United States, it is important to note here that the stages of develop-
ment in each area have been indeed progressive. I would venture to say, that in each Pacific Territory, the United States has
endeavored to be responsive. Various forms of governmental arrangements have emerged which appear to be the result of com-
promises insofar as they relate to the United States Government's historical policy. Indeed, the United States in the Pacific area
has exercised its maximum flexibility to the areas involved since it could not be considered within the confines of the doctrine
of territorial incorporation.
Guam, as a United States territory with a small "t", is surrounded by the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. We note care-
fully the developments of these areas.
Guam has had two constitutional conventions. The first one through our own initiative, and the second was under the federal
enabling legislation. The first Constitution was not authorized by United States Congress; thus it became part of our historical
library. The second Constitution, although it was given legitimacy, was rejected by Guam's electorate.
The refusal of Guam's electorate of the Constitution was attributed to several reasons. The most principle reasons are:
1. It was no different in substance with the existing organic act except that we wrote it.
2. Acceptance of the Constitution would have given the United States a breathing spell not to address a federal-territorial
3. Acceptance of the Constitution would have precluded the exploration of other status options, most particularly since the
on-going negotiations in the Trust Territory of the Pacific have not yet been completed. Status quo is not an option.
In another dimension, permit me to discuss that for too many years we found ourselves looking to Washington, D.C. for
answers for the many social and economic problems confronting our island since the Second World War. For a time the island's
population was satisfied with the answers being given to us. However, we began to recognize that the policy of the United States
federal government towards the island was more a policy of more economic and social development programs which, in fact,
have done nothing more than nurture a dependency on the United States mainland. So we began to voice our concern.
As a Pacific territory, the fact of the matter is that:
1. We are not just across the stateline of California or Hawaii, but rather over 3,000 miles away.
2. In fact, our neighbors are the Trust Territories of the Pacific, Tokyo, Philippines, Hong Kong and China.
3. Thus, a realization emerges that our potential trading partners are in Asia and in the Southwest Pacific. Thus, if self-
sufficiency is the ultimate goal our economic survival lies in these directions. Guam is in the western Pacific and is tied
socially and culturally to its island neighbors.
Guam as a people has recognized all of these and through its leadership has begun to articulate our development goals. The
federal government in a spirit of mutual cooperation and assistance must work with the responsible leaders, conscious of its
regional ties and working toward development goals for the mutual interest of the federal government and the people of Guam.
I believe Washington has responded. The Carter administration policy review and the establishment of the Pacific Basin
Development Council were honest efforts and aggressive issues were raised by Guam leadership and the leadership of other
United States holdings. The support of being admitted as a member on the Economic Cooperation and Asian Pacific Area,
and also being accepted as an associated member of the APPU, that is the Asian Pacific Parliamentarian Union which consists
of legislative leaders of the Far Eastern nations.
Initially, we can anticipate some difficult times ahead economically, if the Reagan Administration's recovery program is
applied in total to Guam. We also see a need to educate some of the new leaders in the realities of Western Pacific economic,
social culture and geographical realities. Having been successful with the education process with the last administration, we are
optimistic that we will be successful with the new administration. Thank you.
This book "Proceedings: Conference on Recent Developments in United States-Offshore Areas Relations" was entirely designed,
produced and printed in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The book is set in IBM Composer type style 'Theme'.
We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Mildred Crocker, Ike Day, Ginnie Dunlop and Dyana Warner in the production
of this manuscript.