OF THE GOVERNOR
TO THE SECRETARY
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Harold L. Ickes, Secretary
TERRITORY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Lawrence W.CCramer, Governor
For sale by the
Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.
Price 10 cents
Economic situation--__--------------------- 1
The sugar business---- -- ----- ------- 2
The cattle business--- - - --- ----- 6
Shipping business_____ ---------- --- 6
Tourist trade-- ------ ----------- -- -- -- -- -- 8
Congressional legislation_ _----------- ---- 8
Special judge for the district court of the Virgin Islands - 9
Amendment to navigation laws--- -------- 9'
Local legislation---_- _- --_.-------- ------------- 9
Fiscal _--_____ _-_---------__ ------- 11
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John------------ 11
Municipality of St. Croix .---------- -_ --------- 11
Cost of the municipal governments ------------- 11
St. Thomas Harbor Board-- --_-- -------------- 11
The Federal appropriation--__ -- -- --- - -- - -- -- 12
Works Progress Administration projects-----_----------- 12
Street and highway improvements- _- _-- --- 12
Sanitation _---- ----- ------------------ 12
Cattle tick eradication- _ - -- -- -- - -- 12
Morgue renovations ----------- - ---------- 12
Municipally owned buildings improvements ------------ 12
Agricultural experiment station and Federal homesteads
improvements -----_ --. -- -- -- ----------- 12
Public recreation grounds---- -- ---- -- -- -- 12
Women's projects--- -- -- -- -- -- 13
Nursery schools---------- -- - -- ---- 13
Survey and study of skin and blood diseases ------13
School improvements ---_ _---- ------ ----- --13
Drainage improvements and floodwaters control ----13
Administrative expenses of the Government__ ---- 13
Rural rehabilitation projects 13
Virgin Islands Cooperatives Association aid ------13
Public Works Administration Federal project 13
Public Works Administration non-Federal project- _- 13
Collections for deposit in the United States Treasury ----- 14
United States Housing Authority rental collections 14
St. Thomas lottery ------__------______._ -- 14
Work-relief program accomplishments in detail---- _- 14
Homesteads------------------------ --------------- 16
Virgin Islands cooperatives. ---- 17
Agricultural station and vocational school --------- 18
Municipal-government activities.. ------------19
Health and sanitation---- _------- 20
Welfare -- 2--.--.--- -- ------------------ 21
Public works- -- 21
Public libraries---- ---------------- 21
Police and prison-__ -- - ----- 22
Civilian Conservation Corps-- ----- 22
Administration of United States immigration laws ------22
Conclusion----_ ---------------------- 23
ANNUAL REPORT OF
THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, ST. THOMAS
August 30, 1939
The HONORABLE the SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, D. C.
SIm: Pursuant to section 20 of the Organic Act of the Virgin
Islands of the United States, approved June 22, 1936, I have the
honor to submit the following annual report of the transactions of
the government of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year ended
June 30, 1939.
Developments during the past fiscal year have sharply revealed the
fundamental differences in the basic economy of the two municipalities
of the Virgin Islands.
St. Thomas continued during the year to show improvement
due to substantial increases in the shipping business and in the
tourist trade. This improvement is illustrated by a variety of
indices such as tonnage of ships calling at the port of St. Thomas,
the number of tourists and transients visiting St. Thomas, increase
in automobile registrations, increase in private building activities,
and improvement in the fiscal situation of the municipal government.
It is traceable largely to increased activity in the port of St. Thomas,
around which the trade and commerce of the entire island revolve.
In St. Croix, where agriculture is the basic industry, confined
almost entirely to sugarcane and cattle production, there has been
an unfortunate and serious retrogression. The drought of 1938
which reduced the sugar crop for that year by 50 percent was fol-
lowed by a drought in 1939 which has again gravely affected agri-
cultural activities. Both the sugar and cattle businesses have
suffered heavy losses which have been reflected in the fiscal affairs
of the municipality. It is probable that the sugar business will
sharply decline if unjust discrimination now imposed on it are not
promptly removed, or unless that business is heavily subsidized.
2 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
It must be borne in mind that such improvements as there have
been in the economic and fiscal situation of the municipalities of
the Virgin Islands have not in any substantial measure reduced the
unemployment problem. Such reduction as there has been, has been
balanced substantially by increases in population, both by immigra-
tion and by reason of excess of births over deaths.
Sugar business.-Total local sugar production for the year 1939
was 4,956 tons, 60 percent of the 1937 crop (the last not to be reduced
by drought). The price of sugar was 10 percent less than in 1938.
Production was approximately one-half of the production quota
established in the Sugar Act of 1937 for the Virgin Islands. Aver-
age per acre yields reported by one sugar company of 38 tons per
acre in 1937, 13.8 tons in 1938 and 12.9 tons in 1939 vividly reveal
the disastrous effects of 2 drought years. It is probable that the
1940 sugar crop will be even lower because there was a total of only
8.8 inches of rainfall in the first 6 months of this year-the lowest
on record in 52 years.
There are approximately 950 growers of sugarcane in St. Croix
of whom 400 are homesteaders assisted by the Government in acquir-
ing small farms. The balance are chiefly renters of small plots who
raise their crop largely without mechanical cultivation aids.
These growers are paid for their cane by the grinding factories
at a rate based on the New York Commodity Exchange sugar price,
after numerous deductions. Extraction from sugarcane approxi-
mates 10 to 11 percent. Thus, 100 pounds of sugarcane yield 10
pounds of sugar. The grower on delivery of his cane to the factory
is paid the value of 6 pounds of sugar at the New York Saturday
closing price, minus deductions. In effect, the cane producer is paid
the value of six-tenths of the sugar produced from his sugarcane
and the factory retains four-tenths. The grower is required to pay
haulage charges for transporting his product to the factory and from
his six-tenths there is deducted export tax, lighterage, freight, and
insurance on the sugar to be made from the cane he delivers to the
This method of computing sugarcane prices resulted in a price of
$2.626 per ton of cane as the average price paid to growers this year.
This price compares with $2.925 in 1938 and $3.166 in 1937. Three
hundred thirty-eight small growers whose production records are
available averaged 9.5 tons per acre during the year. Converted into
sugar this yield represents approximately 1 ton of sugar per acre.
At the average price paid, these small growers received $24.947 per
acre as a gross return on their crop. The agricultural experiment
station reports that the cost of production per acre of certain experi-
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
mental plantings is slightly over $25, which cost does not include the
cutting of seed or harvesting, the latter representing a sizable cost.
It appears therefore that the price of cane was less than the cost of
production on a labor wage basis.
A preliminary study of the operations of four sugar factories
which have operated in St. Croix for varying periods during the
past 20 years suggests certain conclusions which may be of value
in determining future policies for the sugar industry.
One of these companies which owned 13,400 acres of land of which
it normally kept 4,500 in cultivation in administration cane went
bankrupt in 1930. During the last 10 years of operation this com-
pany established an average annual loss of $111,178. Another com-
pany which owned and leased 2,200 acres of which it kept 900 in
cultivation discontinued operations in 1928 after a 6-year period of
activity. During this time it made an average annual gain of $1,391.
A third company which owned and leased 2,400 to 4,400 acres of
which it kept 1,200 in cultivation established an average annual loss
of $6,865 during 16 years of operation ending in 1938. This company
is still in operation. A fourth company owned no agricultural land
whatsoever, and during a period of 3 years of operation ending in
1934 established an average annual profit of $6,003. These com-
panies operated during a period when sugar prices were 50 percent
higher and wages were 50 percent lower than they are at the present
A positive correlation between the size of their land holdings and
the size of average annual losses is apparent. Parenthetically, there
is not in effect in the Virgin Islands a law similar to the Puerto Rico
law limiting corporations or individuals to agricultural land holdings
of not to exceed 500 acres. The two companies described above which
showed a net profit from their operations would have shown a sub-
stantially increased profit except for the imposition of an export tax
on shipments of sugar made from the Virgin Islands. The net loss
of the third company referred to would have been converted into a
net profit from operations except for the payment of this export tax.
The first company would have continued to show a loss even without
payment of export tax.
This export tax is levied on sugar shipped from the Virgin Islands
to the United States (their only market) under a law originally
enacted by Congress in 1917 at a rate of $8 per ton. In 1927 the
rate was reduced to $6. The tax was originally imposed to replace
revenues from customs duties collected on American goods imported
into the islands lost to the local government after the change of
sovereignty. Collections are deposited in the local treasury, where
4 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
they constitute a large item of local revenue. Unfortunately, the tax
is shifted to the producer of sugarcane, whose sugar is sold in the
American market at going market prices and who is thus placed in a
highly unfavorable competitive position. This situation has in turn
led to a reduction in the amount of sugar grown in the past two
decades, with consequent reduction in income to the local treasury.
The most important consequence of the reduction of sugar cultiva-
tion, however, is the reduction in employment in this industry which
has historically been the most important employer of labor in the
The sugar grower in the Virgin Islands is the only sugar producer
under the American flag who is called upon to pay this unusual and
burdensome tax, which takes from him in excess of 10 percent of his
gross return. After 2 years of drought it has become obvious that
he cannot much longer endure the distinction of being singled out
for this discriminatory treatment.
The Virgin Island sugar grower is subjected to a further unjust
discrimination. Under the Sugar Acts of 1934 and 1937 production
quota restrictions are applied to the Virgin Islands to which he must
conform. No sugar refineries may be established in the Virgin
Islands under the terms of the Sugar Act of 1937. Other restrictive
provisions of this act apply to the islands. The local grower, how-
ever, is singled out for unusual treatment in that he alone of all
sugar producers under American jurisdiction receives no benefit pay-
ments which elsewhere return $10 to $12 per ton to the grower.
Thus, the Virgin Island farmer receives $16 to $18 per ton less
for his sugar than do growers elsewhere under the American flag.
Although the total amount of money involved is not great, since the
Virgin Island sugar quota is limited to 0.24 of 1 percent of the domes-
tic allotment (9,200 tons), the loss to individual growers is substantial.
The 338 small farmers referred to above who received an average of
$24.947 per acre this year would have received $38.547 with benefit
payments and without payment of export tax. On their small farms,
which average 7 acres, this would have meant the difference between
$174.62 as a gross return this year and $269.82. Income at the latter
rate would have encouraged them to continue their operations and
expand them whereas income at the former rate is discouraging their
continuance as small farmers.
In the last session of Congress efforts were made to secure the enact-
ment of a bill (H. R. 4773, S. 1685) "To authorize the appropriation
to the Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States of taxes
collected under the internal-revenue laws of the United States, on
liquor and other articles imported into the United States from the
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Virgin Islands; the return to the producers in the Virgin Islands of
the benefit payments on sugar exported from the Virgin Islands to
the United States under an act of Congress known as the Sugar Act
of 1937; and also the repeal of the export duty tax on sugar in St.
Croix, Virgin Islands." This measure proposes to repeal the export
tax now levied on sugar shipped from the Virgin Islands regardless
of its destination, to give to sugar growers in the Virgin Islands benefit
payments equivalent to those established in the Sugar Act of 1937 and
paid to sugar growers elsewhere and to transfer to the Treasury of the
Virgin Islands internal-revenue taxes collected in the United States
on articles produced in the Virgin Islands and shipped to the United
The repeal of the export tax would occasion a substantial loss of
revenue to the local government. It is proposed therefore to transfer
to the treasury of the Virgin Islands internal-revenue taxes collected
on products of the Virgin Islands when shipped to the United States
to make good this loss and to make available funds which will permit
the satisfactory operation of the municipal governments without
annual "deficit" contributions from the United States. Internal-reve-
nue taxes collected on Puerto Rican goods shipped to the United
States and on goods from the Philippine Islands shipped to the United
States are transferred to the respective insular governments in a
manner identical with that proposed in H. R. 4773. This practice
has been followed for many years in the case of these two insular
governments and it is believed that no logical objection can be ad-
vanced to the proposal to accord to the Virgin Islands the same
At the present time sugar-processing taxes are collected on Virgin
Island sugar shipped to the United States where they are deposited
in the United States Treasury. It is safe to assume that the sugar
grower in the Virgin Islands pays, in the form of a reduced price for
his product, at least a portion of this processing tax, yet it.is withheld
The enactment of this measure is urgently recommended both to
remove unjust discrimination which seriously endanger the survival
of the most important industry of the Virgin Islands and to supply
the fiscal needs of the local governments in a manner which will
permit them to improve their various municipal services without
necessity of making annual application for funds to the Congress.
Because of the importance of this legislation each of the municipal
governments sent two delegates to Washington to urge its adoption.
After 4 months of effort on their part and on the part of adminis-
6 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF TR.E VIRGIN ISLANDS
trative officials of the Department of the Interior, a hearing was held
before a subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee under the
chairmanship of the Honorable Jere Cooper, of Tennessee. Unfortu-
nately, the subcommittee could not be persuaded to make a report on
the bill before the adjournment of Congress.
Those sugar growers who continue their operations will thus need
to await the next session of Congress before they may hope for the
removal of the discrimination which now apply against them.
Meanwhile studies are in progress to determine what measures may
be taken locally to increase the return to sugar growers for their
product, both in ascertaining the elements which should properly
enter into the determination of its price, and in improving cane varie-
ties and cultivation methods to produce greater individual yields.
The Farm Security Administration has established an office in the
Virgin Islands and is actively engaged in inaugurating crop plans
recommended by the agricultural experiment station and in process-
ing loans to small farmers. These efforts will necessarily be sec-
ondary to the major requirement of the industry, namely, that of
removing the discrimination that now apply against it.
Cattle business.-Operating under laws passed by each of the
municipal legislatures, whose provisions closely follow a similar law
in force in Puerto Rico, a cattle-tick-eradication program was in-
augurated during the year with a W. P. A. allotment, supplemented
by municipal funds. Twenty-three dipping vats were constructed in
St. Croix, nine in St. Thomas, and five in St. John. Upon completion
of this construction program in April a dipping program was in-
augurated under a W. P. A. allotment, supplemented again by munici-
pal funds. In St. Croix 7,157 cattle, 2,718 horses, mules, and donkeys,
and 3,436 sheep and goats are now being dipped every 2 weeks. In
St. Thomas 2,068 cattle, 807 horses, mules, and donkeys, and 1,047
sheep and goats, and in St. John 994 cattle, 278 horses, mules, and
donkeys, and 379 sheep and goats are being dipped. Considerable
objection was manifested for the first few months, as has been the
case elsewhere where such a program has been undertaken, but opposi-
tion is gradually subsiding and it is anticipated that the project will
be successfully completed after running its course of 18 months of
biweekly dipping. The cattle are reported to be in better condition as
a result of their dipping which has probably saved many from death
in this year's severe and prolonged drought. Legislation has been
enacted by the municipality of St. Croix to provide for the destruc-
tion of all wild deer, a host which cannot be dipped. Steps are being
taken to capture and corral young deer which will also be dipped
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
and released to restock the island at the conclusion of the tick-
As a result of negative reaction to tuberculin tests conducted by
the United States Department of Agriculture, and the establishment of
effective control measures covering importations of foreign cattle, the
islands have been declared a modified accredited area with respect to
The shipment of live cattle to Puerto Rico continues to be limited
to the shipment of animals for slaughter. The insular authorities in
Puerto Rico require the pre-testing for tuberculosis and Bang's dis-
ease of all cattle shipped from the Virgin Islands to Puerto Rico, thus
causing added expense to local cattle growers. Adequate measures
have been taken to prevent the importation into the Virgin Islands
of tuberculous cattle and of tick-infested animals. An animal-industry
control board supervises all incoming shipments of cattle, which are
quarantined and which are admitted only for immediate slaughter.
The British Virgin Islands, from which cattle move to the Virgin
Islands, have inaugurated a tick-eradication program under the
direction of a competent veterinarian, which is believed to be wholly
At the close of the fiscal year a P. W. A. allotment was made for
the construction of an abbatoir in St. Croix. Plans are now in prep-
aration -for the erection of this much-needed facility. It is expected
to eliminate the losses and the inhumanity resulting from the ship-
ment of live cattle to San Juan, which is now carried on chiefly in
small sailing vessels.
Studies for the improvement of cattle types, cattle fodders, and
cattle-raising methods are being carried on. The loan facilities of
the Farm Security Administration are available to assist in the
improvement of this industry.
Shipping business.-The following table of arrivals of vessels of
over 100 gross tons reveals the steady and continued improvement of
shipping in the harbor of St. Thomas:
Fiscal year Number Gross
1936 --- ----- ---- ---------------- ------------ ------ 647 3, 017,682
1937 --------------------------------------------------------- 777 3,084,173
1939------------- ---- -- ......................................... 850 3,682,121
1939---------------------------------------------------- ---------- 81 ,8,2
The transshipment of bauxite has continued, bringing 33 ships to
the port for discharging and loading. Twenty-four cruise ships
with 11,715 passengers called at St. Thomas during the year as com-
pared with 6,487 passengers from 13 ships in 1938.
8 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
A new airplane service between Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and St.
Croix has been established during the year, giving the island of St.
Thomas airplane service in addition to that now provided by the Pan-
American Airways and giving St. Croix a regular schedule of air
Authorized harbor improvement work at the port of St. Thomas was
not undertaken by the United States Army Engineer Corps during
the year due to lack of funds. The increase of the shipping business
and especially the inclusion of this port in the itineraries of large
cruise ships make it imperative that harbor improvement work be
undertaken at an early date. One of these vessels the S. S. Nieuw
Amsterdam of 36,287 tons, is the largest vessel ever to have entered
and docked in the harbor.
Ninety-five war vessels were included in the number of ships calling
at the port. Most of these were vessels of the United States Navy
which conducted extensive maneuvers in the Caribbean area during
the winter. At one time 23 vessels of the United States Fleet rode at
anchor in and about the harbor. The increased use of the port by
vessels of the United States Navy is an added reason of very great
importance for the early prosecution of authorized harbor improvement
Tourist trade.-The substantial increase in the tourist trade in St.
Thomas has been noted above. For the first time there have been a
substantial number of cruise ships calling at St. Thomas during the
summer months, and more have already been scheduled for the fiscal
year 1940. Among many reasons contributing to this great increase is
the development of the Cooperative Handicraft Shop and the estab-
lishment of several other shops catering to the tourist trade. Under a
law passed by the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John there was
created a "Virgin Islands Board of Business and Tourist Development"
which is assisting in the development and administration of plans to
increase and improve the facilities of the island to attract and accom-
modate tourists and winter residents.
Substantial progress has been made in road construction and in
improving the sanitary facilities of the community, which have
contributed to making the island an accessible and an increasingly
H. R. 4773.-This bill, intended to repeal the export tax on sugar, to
give benefit payments to sugar growers in the Virgin Islands equiva-
lent to those given to growers elsewhere, to make available to the insular
government internal-revenue taxes collected on Virgin Islands prod-
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
ucts shipped to the United States, was not favorably acted upon by the
Congress despite many months of effort by representatives of the local
governments and by various administrative officials. The imperative
necessity for the enactment of this measure has been described above.
Its enactment will permit the continued operation and expansion of
the only important agricultural industry in the Virgin Islands. The
failure to remove legal discrimination now operating against it will
inevitably increase the unemployment and relief problem of the
islands which is already disproportionate.
S. 2682.-A bill "To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938
to provide a special procedure for fixing minimum wage rates for
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands" was passed by the Senate but
failed of passage in the House. The enactment of this measure
would have the effect of depriving workers in the Virgin Islands en-
gaged in interstate commerce or in the production of goods for inter-
state commerce of part of the benefits of the Fair Labor Standards
Act of 1938. Where such workers are engaged in the production of
goods which are sold in the American market in competition with
goods produced elsewhere in the United States where the minimum
wage provisions of the act apply, it is doubtful if any justifiable basis
exists for depriving them of the benefits of the act.
Judge of the district court.-There was enacted an act to authorize
the appointment of a special judge for the District Court of the
Virgin Islands for temporary periods in the absence or disqualifica-
tion of the judge of the district court.
Amendment to Section 4 of the Organic Act.-There was enacted
an amendment to section 4 of the Organic Act of the Virgin Islands
to clarify certain wording contained in this section which had been
interpreted to make all navigation laws of the United States, includ-
ing all taxes falling on shipping, applicable to the Virgin Islands.
After an investigation by a representative of the Department of
Commerce who held hearings in the Virgin Islands, a form of amend-
ment was agreed upon by the various administrative agencies of the
government concerned and recommended for adoption. Under this
amendment it is specifically provided that the navigation laws of
the United States do not apply to the Virgin Islands, but authority
is given the President of the United States to extend such portions
of these laws to the Virgin Islands as he may find and declare to be
necessary in the public interest.
Legislative assembly.-Of 15 items included in the call of the Act-
ing Governor for consideration by the Legislative Assembly which
10 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
met for its second session from November 14 to November 21, 1938,
2 measures were enacted. One of these established a uniform elec-
toral law for the Virgin Islands, the other was a law of minor
importance to standardize leave of absence for government employees.
Three resolutions not properly before the assembly were also enacted.
Municipal council of St. Thomas and St. John.-In addition to a
number of routine ordinances, legislation was enacted to authorize the
selection of two delegates to proceed to Washington to represent the
municipality in securing legislation of interest to the Virgin Islands;
to create a corporation to be known as the Virgin Islands Board of
Business and Tourist Development and to establish and define its
powers; to authorize the purchase of a portion of John Brewer's
Bay, St. Thomas, for transfer to the United States Navy for the
Marine aviation field.
Numerous important measures introduced in the municipal council
were not acted upon. An ordinance to authorize the establishment
of a parental school, whose need is universally recognized, was not
acted upon. An ordinance to establish more effective regulations for
the operation of motor vehicles, the need for which has been re-
peatedly demonstrated, failed of enactment. Legislation calling for
the elimination of pit privies and the insanitary night soil removal
service within the limits of the town of Charlotte Amalie, and the
substitution therefore of sanitary flush toilets was neglected. An
ordinance to control the entry into the municipality of persons af-
flicted with dangerous communicable diseases was not acted on. A
bill to create a municipal housing authority to undertake slum clear-
ance which would be eligible to receive assistance from the Federal
Housing Authority was not enacted. Similarly, bills to provide a
pension system for officials and employees of the municipality and
to establish a workmen's compensation system in the municipality
Municipal council of St. Croix.-Several measures of importance
were enacted by the municipal council including an ordinance to
authorize the execution of a contract with a private power company
to furnish electrical energy for light and power in the island of St.
Croix, which has brought about a slight reduction in rates and the
establishment of a sliding scale of rates which will be reduced as con-
sumption increases; to continue an ordinance imposing excise taxes
in the municipality; to authorize the appropriation of funds for
cattle tick eradication and for the elimination of wild deer; and to
select two delegates to represent the island in Washington in matters
of legislation relating to the Virgin Islands. An important measure
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
creating a municipal scholarship fund from which loans are made
to worthy students to permit them to enter collegiate institutions
in the United States was also enacted.
The revenues of the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John again
showed substantial increase over the previous fiscal year. Those of the
municipality of St. Croix showed a very considerable decline. This
decline was due in part to the decrease in revenues from the sugar
business resulting from drought but chiefly because of the nonshipment
of sugar ground in the 1939 harvest, because factory owners hoped for
action by Congress to repeal the export tax on sugar. The fiscal situa-
tion of the municipality of St. Croix will continue to be unsatisfactory
until the major industry of the island is permitted to operate on a basis
of equality with other sugar-producing areas of the United States.
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John.-The actual revenues of
the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John were $232,676 as compared
with $213,981 in 1938, and $179,640 in 1937. Income tax collections were
$81,900, practically equal with collections of $81,876 in 1938, and com-
pared with $35,488 in 1937. A new tax of 4 cents per gallon on gaso-
line, which became effective on July 1, 1938, yielded $5,843. A new
trade tax which became effective on July 1, 1938, superseding an old
trade and lamp tax, yielded $11,644.
Municipality of St. Croix.-The actual revenues of the municipality
of St. Croix were $156,881 which was a substantial decrease from reve-
nues of $191 816 in 1938, and $178,069 in 1937. Income tax collections
were $9,816 as compared with $16,365 in 1938, and $12,042 in 1937.
Export tax on sugar yielded $18,493 as compared with $37,303 in 1938,
and $29,958 in 1937.
Cost of the municipal governments.-The total expenditures of the
municipality of St. Thomas and St. John were budgeted at $273,244.
The United States contributed a deficit appropriation of $40,000,
$20,000 less than the preceding year.
The total expenditures of the municipality of St. Croix were bud-
geted at $249,391. The United States contributed a deficit appropria-
tion of $80,000, of which $45,000 was appropriated in the second defi-
ciency bill. It is probable that after all accounts for the fiscal year
1939 are closed there will still be a deficit of approximately $20,000
borrowed from the public funds of the municipality, which must be
repaid during the new fiscal year.
St. Thomas Harbor Board.-Revenues of the St. Thomas Harbor
Board were $30,154 compared with $30,869 in 1938, and $32,267 in 1937.
12 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
The Federal Appropriation
The appropriation "Government of the Virgin Islands, 1939," was
as follows: "
Central administration --_ ---------------- $127, 250
Agricultural station and vocational school__- ---- 38, 000
Deficit, municipality of St. Thomas and St. John_---- ----------- 40,000
Deficit, municipality of St. Croix---------------------------- 35,000
Total ------------- ---------------- 240,250
The Second Deficiency Appropriation Act, fiscal year 1939, appro-
priated $45,000 to provide for the additional deficit of the municipality
of St. Croix.
W. P. A. Projects
After 2 months' delay at the beginning of the fiscal year and with an
additional 2 months' delay after February 28, 1939, the following work
relief projects, carried on as W. P. A. projects, were authorized for
completion by June 30:
1. Improve highways system throughout the municipality of St. Thomas
and St. John------------------- ------------------------ $86,023
2. Improve streets throughout the city of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas_ 25,000
3. Improve streets of C( it i..n i.. I and Frederiksted, St. Croix _--_--- 20, 445
4. Improve highways throughout the Island of St. Croix-------------- 50, 000
5. Collect, transport, crush, and screen rock for use on W. P. A. highway
improvement projects, St. Thomas-------------------------- 14, 514
6. Improve public highways throughout the municipality of St. Croix- 47, 700
7. Improve sanitation and water supply in Christiansted and Frederik-
sted, St. Croix___--------------------------- 25, 500
8. Extend sewer and water lines, erect public automatic flush toilets,
etc., throughout the city of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, V. I--L 17, 000
9. Construct pit privy and other sanitary facilities at Mafolie public
school, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands----------------------------- 1, 500
10. Eradicate and control cattle tick throughout the islands of St.
Thomas and St. John---------------------------------- 4, 728
11. Eradicate and control cattle tick throughout the island of St. Croix__ 12,320
12. To improve, alter, and renovate the morgue at the municipal hospital,
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands---- 4, 000
13. Improve and rehabilitate municipally owned buildings and grounds
in and near Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, V. I------------- 6, 506
14. Improve and rehabilitate municipally owned buildings and grounds
throughout the island of St. Croix ------ --- 30,956
15. Eradicate and control cattle tick throughout the islands of St. Croix,
St. Thomas, and St. John, V. I----------------------- -- 5,432
16. Make general improvements to utilities, facilities, roads, and lands at
the agricultural experiment station on estate Anna's Hope; Federal
homesteads projects at Whim, Princesse, St. John, and Colquhoun;
and municipal homesteads at Rattan, all on St. Croix Island ---- 6, 592
17. Improve Long Bay public recreation grounds in Charlotte Amalie,
St. Thomas, V. I--------------------------- --------- 1, 248
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
18. Maintain and operate sewing rooms in Christiansted and Frederik-
sted, St. Croix, V. I-------------------------------- 12, 500
19. Operate a production project for making of mattresses to be dis-
tributed free of charge to the needy, at Charlotte Amalie, St.
Thomas--------------------- ------------ 10,500
20. Provide, coordinate, and supervise nursery schools and necessary
parents' education at St. Thomas and St. Croix, V. I------------- 7, 916
21. Maintain and operate sewing rooms in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas,
V. I---------------------- -------- 8,300
22. Conduct a survey and study of skin and blood diseases, Charlotte
Amalie, V. I----------------- ---------------- 5, 330
23. Improve school gardens; landscape and improve school grounds;
prepare school lunches, St. Thomas, V. I--------------- ----- 1, 000
24. Improve school gardens; landscape and improve school grounds,
prepare school lunches, St. Croix, V. I------------------ --- 878
25. Catalog, bind, and mend books and provide special assistance for
children's library work------------------ ----415
26. A construction project to construct more roads and trails to make
homesteads more accessible, St. Thomas, V. I--------------- 5, 576
27. Improve grounds at the H. H. Berg's Homes Project of the
U. S. Housing Authority in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, V. I_- 1,200
28. Improve drainage facilities and control flood waters at Bourne
Field on Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas, V. I ---------- 2, 000
29. Administrative expenses of the government of the Virgin Islands-- 11, 950
30. Rural rehabilitation projects of the Department of the Interior
on Federally owned property in the Virgin Islands --------- 53, 804
31. To aid Virgin Islands Cooperatives Association for needy persons,
etc., .Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, V. I -- --_------ 12, 772
Total -____--_-------------___- --- 493,605
P. W. A. Federal Project.-An allotment, Federal Project 15, was
made by the Public Works Administration in the amount of $28,709
for the purpose of removing the Agricultural Station from Lind-
bergh Bay to a new site at Estate Dorothea, including the purchase
of land and the construction of buildings thereon. The Lindbergh
Bay site was transferred to the United States Navy Department for
use in connection with the United States Marine Corps air base.
Construction work is progressing rapidly and a well planned, well
located, and adequately equipped agricultural station will be avail-
able in the new fiscal year.
P. W. A. Non-Federal project.-The Public Works Administration
made a grant to the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John, in the
amount of $30,273 representing 45 percent of the cost of reconstruct-
ing the municipal building at Charlotte Amalie. The total cost of
this project was estimated at $67,273. The municipality of St.
Thomas and St. John contributed $15,000 by direct appropriation and
$22,000 by loan from the public funds.
14 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
When completed, this building, which is an historical and architec-
tural monument, will house a number of activities of the municipal
government for which space must now be rented.
Collections for deposit in the United States Treasury.-A total of
$7,304 was collected from homestead ars under land and house pur-
chase contracts, interest and principal on loans and miscellaneous
United States Housing Authority rental collections.-A total of
$5,461 was collected in rentals in three low-cost housing projects,
whose management has been turned over to the Government of the
Virgin Islands. These collections compare with a total of $5,798
in rentals due.
St. Thomas, V. I., lottery.-There were six drawings held during
the year. The amount of $5,420 borrowed from the public funds to
start the lottery was repaid. In addition, an appropriation of $1,800
was made from the lottery fund, for distribution on December 24,
1938, to 100 needy persons, for repairs to public buildings of the
medical service, and for school lunches. At the close of the fiscal
year the lottery surplus fund had a cash balance of $7,346 of which
$4,212 was held in a surplus account.
WORK RELIEF PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Roads.-In St. Croix 3 miles of new hard-surface highway were
built and 271/2 miles of asphalt-surface roads were seal-coated; 39
miles of dirt roads were improved; 13 bridges and large culverts were
built; 84 miles of roadside clearing and ditching were completed. In
St. Thomas 31/4 miles of asphalt penetration road, largely in difficult
hillside areas, were laid. In St. Croix rights-of-way established by
law have been reclaimed where abutting property owners have en-
croached on the public highway. No difficulty was experienced in
St. Thomas in securing additional rights-of-way where needed from
property owners in accordance with authority granted by local law.
The road construction programs have contributed to the development
of St. Thomas as a tourist resort and to the facility of farm-market
transportation in St. Croix.
Streets.-In the two towns of St. Croix 96,034 square feet of hard
surface streets were laid and asphalted and a total of 171,723 square
feet were seal-coated, and 9,829 lineal feet of concrete gutters were
constructed along these streets which, together with the installation
of culverts, has contributed greatly to reducing a serious health
In St. Thomas 114,000 square feet of hard-surface streets were
laid and asphalted in the town of Charlotte Amalie and 500 lineal
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
feet of concrete gutters were constructed along these streets. The
street surfacing and drainage programs which have been carried on
for a number of years with allotments of relief funds have improved
the healthfulness and the appearance of the towns of the Virgin
Islands whose cleanliness is frequently commented upon favorably
Sewers-Water lines-Water supply.-Additional units of sewer
lines and salt-water lines were laid in each of the three towns of the
Virgin Islands. Sewers, salt-water lines and flush toilets were in-
stalled in hospitals and in public schools in St. Croix. Sanitary
facilities were installed in the Mafolie country school in St. Thomas.
Twenty-one public wells were cleaned and sealed against surface con-
tamination. Additional cisterns with a capacity of 48,000 gallons for
the storage of rain water were constructed.
Extensive repairs were made to Creque Reservoir in St. Croix
where silting and increasing seepage endangered the dam structure
which impounds 9,000,000 gallons of potable water. The dam foot-
ings have been strengthened and the reservoir area cleaned and put
in order for the storage of water when the rains fall.
Cattle tick eradication.--As noted above cattle dipping vats have
been constructed in each of the islands and a dipping program has
been inaugurated, which after an 18-month schedule is calculated to
exterminate the cattle tick in the Virgin Islands.
Municipal buildings.-The morgue at the municipal hospital at
Charlotte Amalie was rebuilt. General repairs and improvements
were made to the hospital buildings in St. Croix. A number of small
structures including sanitary sheds, markets, etc., were repaired and
improved. In both islands a beginning was made to effect much
needed repairs and improvements of the municipal telephone systems.
Women's projects.-A mattress-making project, employing an
average of 35 persons, gave employment to 380 persons through a
system of biweekly rotation of employment. A total of 1,036
mattresses were made which were distributed to relief cases.
Sewing projects in both municipalities gave employment to a sub-
stantial number of women most of whom are family heads. There
were 8,338 articles of clothing produced on these projects which were
distributed to needy cases.
Nursery schools.-Three nursery schools were conducted under the
direction of a highly qualified and capable supervisor. These schools,
with an enrollment of 25 preschool children each, have operated as
model schools to demonstrate the feasibility and desirability of
establishing this phase of education on a permanent basis and to
develop a program of parental education in child rearing. The suc-
16 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
cess of this program encourages its expansion in the new fiscal year.
Homesteading.-In the island of St. Croix 77 municipal home-
steaders and 261 Federal homesteaders grew approximately 20 per-
cent of the sugarcane produced in the island. The Federal home-
steaders made installment payments to the Government of $8,503 and
received $11,497 for themselves. This average is slightly better than
last year but is far short of the 1937 record when 230 paid the Gov-
ernment $10,247 and received $34,284 for themselves. The repeal of
the export tax would have increased their gross returns by 15 percent,
and return of the sugar-processing tax to them in benefit payments
would have added another 40 percent.
On the four Federal homestead projects in St. Croix there are
284 homesteads totaling 2,148 acres under contract. About 70 per-
cent of the homesteaders are now in their fifth or sixth year. During
the year 7 homesteaders died, 9 relinquished their plots and 18 were
evicted for continued neglect of cultivation. Many of the relinquish-
ments and evictions resulted from the fact that homesteaders found
outside wage employment preferable to the uncertain income from
cane cultivation, which is realized only at harvest time.
Relinquished plots have been divided among adjacent home-
steaders who have proved their ability to operate farms of greater
area than the average of 7 acres now held by homesteaders. This
average has proved too low to support a homesteader and his family
in good years and bad, and to make it possible for him to meet
amortizing rentals both on his house and plot. With mechanical
cultivation facilities supplied at cost by the Government, with seed
and cultivation loans, ambitious homesteaders have proved their
ability to operate farms of greater area.
Seven new houses were built, bringing the total of houses con-
structed for homesteaders on Federal projects in St. Croix to 74.
Many more houses must be constructed if all successful homesteaders
are to be provided for.
Fifty-three homesteaders occupy 80 plots on two Federal homestead
projects in St. Thomas on which they have contracted to purchase
609 acres. These projects are largely of a subsistence homestead
character since no agricultural cash crop other than vegetables and
fruit for local consumption is grown in St. Thomas.
The perennial difficulty of supplying management and superin-
tendence of these projects was relieved at the beginning of the year
by an allotment from Farm Security Administration funds. This
allotment expired on June 30 and again there is need for funds to
carry on the management and administration of this 20-year pro-
gram. Representations have been made to the Farm Security Admin-
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
istration, which was established to administer rural resettlement
programs, to have that agency take over the various homestead
projects in the Virgin Islands whose operation has been successful
and hopeful. That agency has already established an office in the
Virgin Islands and is well qualified to administer them.
Virgin Islands cooperatives.-The Virgin Islands cooperatives are
made up of three units-a handicraft cooperative, a cabinet makers'
cooperative and a farmers' cooperative.
The cabinet makers' cooperative has 10 members and employs 25
apprentices. It manufactures furniture and small wooden objects,
some of which are sold through the handicraft cooperative market.
It seeks orders for a variety of local commercial woodwork and
occasionally bids on Government contracts.
The farmers' cooperative has 63 members, most of them farmers,
but a few who are market women who act as "distributing members."
These latter sell vegetables, fruits, etc. at retail in the public market.
They have found the cooperative a useful source of supply for their
small stock-in-trade. The cooperative takes from farmer members
all of their produce which it subsequently attempts to sell in a small
market conducted by the cooperative. Sales have increased but
lack of adequate facilities for storage and refrigeration have been
seriously limiting factors in the development of this organization.
Funds have now been made available for the erection of a suitable
market with storage and refrigeration facilities which it is proposed
to lease to the cooperative when completed. Much additional busi-
ness is to be hoped for when sanitary and satisfactory facilities and
equipment are available, both in supplying local needs and in selling
local produce to the many steamships 'which call at the port of St.
The handicraft cooperative is the largest and most important'
unit of the cooperative organization in the Virgin Islands. It fur-
nishes a market where local handicraft goods are sold chiefly to
tourists calling at the port of St. Thomas on cruise ships, but also
to mail-order customers and to wholesalers in the United States.
Approximately 750 persons are engaged in the production of goods,
of whom 200 are steadily engaged in this work. Weekly purchases
by the cooperative from producers have risen to $600 per week.
Sales during the fiscal year of these three units were as follows:
Handicraft cooperative ----_---------- ------ ------- $45, 394. 96
Cabinet makers' cooperative------------ 6, 571. 84
Farmers' cooperative _-- ----- ------__ 8, 785. 51
Total ---------------------------- 60,752. 31
18 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
A W. P. A. allotment for administration and supervision of coop-
erative activities made possible the employment of 15 instructors
who conducted classes to teach interested persons methods of pro-
ducing goods for sale to the cooperative.
A great increase of tourist traffic has resulted in an increase of 17
percent in the sales of the handicraft cooperative and has on several
occasions led to its inability to meet the market demand. The pros-
pect for the new fiscal year is that all previous records of the number
of cruise ships calling at St. Thomas will be exceeded. The handi-
craft cooperative will therefore need to expand its production con-
siderably if it is to meet market demand. Additional instruction and
some changes in management policy to give a greater return to pro-
ducers of goods are necessary to permit the further expansion of this
highly successful enterprise.
Miscellaneous projects.-A number of projects, including a survey
and study of skin and blood diseases in St. Thomas, improvement of
school gardens, improvement of grounds at the Charlotte Amalie low-
cost housing project, and improvement of drainage facilities at the
marine aviation field, were successfully conducted.
AGRICULTURAL STATION AND VOCATIONAL SCHOOL
Emphasis has been placed on extension work, especially to assist
homesteaders and small growers to improve their cultivation practices.
Plantings of a selected variety of sugarcane have been made on each
of the homestead projects in St. Croix from which seed sufficient to
plant 120 acres will be available for distribution to homesteaders who
adopt approved methods of cultivation. Studies are in progress to
determine the factors which account for the low price paid to cane
growers for their product.
The normal work of the St. Thomas substation has been impeded
because of the necessity for removing the station from its present site.
The construction of a new station has proceeded satisfactorily and will
make available in an excellent location a well-equipped station as a
center of activity from which extension work among small farmers
can be carried on. An advisory committee on agricultural problems
has in preparation an exhaustive report on the potentialities of agri-
culture in St. Thomas in which numerous recommendations for the im-
provement of farming methods and administrative control will be
The personnel of the agricultural station has administered the tick-
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
A reorganization of the activities of the vocational school was suc-
cessfully accomplished, resulting in the concentration at that school of
all vocational instruction for boys previously given there and in the
municipal high schools and grade schools. This centralization of voca-
tional education permits improvement in the type of training given
and has made the facilities of the vocational school available to a
greatly increased number of students. Emphasis continues to be placed
on agricultural education to fit boys for the type of farming operations
carried on in the island.
MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT ACTIVITIES
Education.-In the Mafolie district, St. Thomas, there was com-
pleted and put into operation a new rural school, making public-
school facilities available for the first time in a district whose popu-
lation has been steadily increasing. Adequate provision was made by
the municipality to equip this school which is now one of the most
satisfactory units in the school system. An extensive program of
minor repairs and improvements to school buildings and grounds was
made possible through an allocation of W. P. A. funds. Added ap-
propriations were made available by the municipality of St. Thomas
and St. John for the maintenance and equipment of public schools so
that plant maintenance and improvement have been conspicuously
above average. Unfortunately, this field has been so long neglected
that a number of above-average years are required to put school build-
ings and equipment in satisfactory condition. Four thousand dollars
was appropriated by the municipality for deposit in the previously
penniless municipal scholarship fund. Sufficient funds were made
available from local sources to permit the uninterrupted operation of
the school lunch service. Appropriations and facilities were made
available for the development of industrial education as a feature of
the secondary school program. The reestablishment of nursery
schools has already been commented upon.
The failure of the legislative bodies of the Virgin Islands to act
upon recommendations repeatedly made for the revision of antiquated
school laws has deferred again the inauguration of many necessary
improvements in the school systems.
Whereas the results of standard achievement tests given in the ninth
and twelfth grades of the Charlotte Amalie High School compare
favorably with standard norms; namely 75.5 compared with the
standard of 76, and 140 compared with the standard of 142, respec-
tively, similar tests given in the sixth grade in St. Thomas schools
indicate that achievement in that grade as measured by standard
20 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
tests is still conspicuously low. The median for all sixth-grade
pupils in the public schools in terms of grade equivalent was
5.4. Undoubtedly this disparity is attributable in large measure
to the fact that many grade-school teachers are themselves without
adequate educational background. A study in 1938 revealed that of
119 teachers in the municipal school systems, 26 had college or normal-
school preparation, 37 had completed high school, while 56 had less
than a high-school education. Progress continues to be made with
the generous support of the municipalities to assist students through
scholarship aids in acquiring higher education in collegiate institu-
tions in the United States. The regularization of this program
through the establishment of municipal scholarship funds in both
municipalities and through the generosity of colleges and universi-
ties in the United States in making tuition scholarships available for
Virgin Island students, will permit the gradual elimination of inade-
quately prepared teachers in the school systems. Unfortunately,
efforts to establish a pension system which would permit the retire-
ment of superannuated teachers have not yet met with success. When
such a system is established, as it should be in the near future, ad-
ministrative officials will be able to attack the problem of inadequate
Health and sanitation.-Although handicapped by decaying, in
some cases unsafe buildings, inadequate equipment, and transporta-
tion facilities, the medical staff has maintained its excellent record
both in caring for the sick and in preventive work. There have
been no epidemics of any kind and further scientific research has
been carried on. The resignation of Dr. James I. Knott, after seven
years of service as chief municipal physician, St. Croix, constitutes a
great loss to the medical department.
There is growing concern over the increased incidence of tubercu-
losis, in this climate an insidious disease which too often terminates
fatally. No special facilities are available for the segregation and
proper treatment of tuberculosis cases. This situation and the un-
satisfactory condition of all medical buildings continues to constitute
a serious problem.
Mr. Felix Lamela of the School of Tropical Medicine of San Juan
conducted a survey of medical department structures and reported
that none of them are satisfactory or adequate, that all but one should
be replaced with modern structures built to meet special institutional
requirements. The cost of such a program is beyond the financial
capacities of the local governments and must be met from other
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
A medical advisory committee has been appointed to make a
thorough study of the health and sanitation needs of St. Thomas.
Preliminary reports indicate that much legislation must be enacted
by the local government in order to safeguard and improve the
health of the community.
Customary annual examination of school children revealed again
that a large majority of school children suffer from malnutrition and
For the calendar year 1938 the birth rate was 32, compared with an
annual average of 29.8 in the years 1933-37. The infant mortality
rate was 131.9 compared with 131.2. The death rate was 22.2, com-
pared with 21.5.
Welfare.-The welfare offices, although severely limited in per-
sonnel, continued to administer a great variety of activities. They
administer the distribution of direct relief funds appropriated by the
municipal governments, which in St. Thomas were considerably in-
creased during the year. Sufficient funds are, however, not yet
available in either municipality to meet even the minimum require-
ments for this purpose. The Federal Surplus Commodities Corpo-
ration has made foodstuffs available to assist in meeting the needs
of indigents and of the unemployed, many of whom were not given
employment on relief projects due to limitation of funds. These
offices administered sewing and mattress-making projects which gave
relief not only to those employed on them but made possible also the
distribution of clothing and mattresses to needy cases.
They act also as employment offices for the registration, investiga-
tion and assignment of relief project workers. They continued to
act as tenant selection agencies for the three low-cost housing
projects. In addition, they carried on district nursing activities in
cooperation with the medical service.
Public workss.-In addition to directing important construction
projects carried on under the W. P. A. program, the Public Works
Departments carried on their routine work of maintaining public
buildings, roads, sanitary and street cleaning services.
Public libraries.-Only one of the three structures used as public
libraries is adequate in space and satisfactory in arrangement.
In addition to maintaining the normal library service, attention
has been directed to the accumulation of a collection of books, maps,
and historical documents relating to the Virgin Islands, and to the
West Indies in general. This special collection is growing and will
soon require additional facilities for its storage and for making it
accessible to students and others who desire to use it.
22 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
Police and prison department.-No unusual developments dis-
turbed the public peace. Although there is obvious need for im-
provement in the administration of the police departments, routine
activities were carried on with moderate effectiveness. The need for
the establishment of a pension system is especially evident in relation
to the personnel problem of these departments where decreased
efficiency of superannuated officers leads inevitably and quickly to
the deterioration of an essential service.
CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS
In St. Croix the Civilian Conservation Corps carried on three major
projects. One was the development of Federally owned land at
Sandy Point which is being cleared of brush and planted in coconuts,
and which is now extensively used as a recreational center by residents
of the western part of the island. The construction of a road over
the mountains connecting the central plain of the island with a here-
tofore isolated fertile area along the north shore was continued. When
completed it will provide a shorter haul for sugar growers on the
northside and encourage the development of that section. In addi-
tion it will constitute a scenic drive for local residents and tourists.
The third and largest project in St. Croix is the development of a
public reservation of 4,500 acres at East End. Along its western
boundary a 12-strand wire fence has been built from sea to sea, with
gateways on the north-shore and south-shore roads entering the area.
Considerable clearing of land has already been done to permit affor-
estation activities. Many miles of roads have been improved or
opened and the recreational possibilities of the area are gradually
being made available. This area will subsequently constitute a game
refuge and will, at the conclusion of the tick eradication program, be
used to restock the island with wild deer.
In St. Thomas a substantial road construction and improvement
program has been carried on. The present site of the C. C. C. Camp
at Lindbergh Bay has been transferred to the United States Navy
Department for use in connection with the development of the Marine
Corps aviation field. A new camp site has been made available and
the transfer of buildings and the construction of new buildings is
now in progress.
United States immigration laws were administered by officials of
the Government of the Virgin Islands designated by the United States
Department of Labor to perform the various duties of immigration
REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
A total of 690 vessels and 37 airplanes entered the ports of St.
Croix, with a total of 8,048 passengers, of whom 2,753 landed. Of
those landing 186 were aliens. Immigration exceeded emigration
by 349 for the year, a slight decrease from the previous year. Most
of these incoming residents came from Puerto Rico. All immigrants
are required under a local law to submit to medical examination.
Only 30 of those examined were found to have communicable diseases.
Of these, 12 were deported and the balance were permitted to remain
after submitting to treatment for mild forms of lesser infections.
The law has apparently served a good purpose in deterring attempted
entry by those who know they are diseased.
On 850 steamships and 191 airplanes a total of 25,436 passengers
were brought to St. Thomas. Of these 4,113 landed at this port. In
addition a total of 3,745 passengers arrived from the British Virgin
Islands on 1,535 sloops. Of this number 3,574 departed during the
It is of first importance that legislation be enacted by the Congress
to remove discrimination now operating against the sugar business
in the Virgin Islands and thus to permit continuation of the notable
progress which has resulted from the program of economic rehabili-
tation carried on in St. Croix now interrupted by 2 disastrous
drought years. The desirability of encouraging this industry, which
is the greatest single employer of labor in the island is obvious.
Little or no possibility exists of reducing unemployment unless it be
through the expansion of this industry. The encouragement and
assistance given by the government to 400 families to establish them
on small farms, most of whom depend on sugar as their cash crop,
should be continued and made effective by removing discrimination
which greatly discourage private industry and initiative.
The execution of authorized harbor improvement work in the
harbor of St. Thomas at an early date will greatly contribute to
and accelerate the economic progress of St. Thomas. The enactment
of legislation by the Congress in the last session to relieve the
shipping business of certain restrictive requirements of Federal law
gives encouragement and promise of further increase in this business.
The improvement of the harbor will facilitate and encourage addi-
tional tourist traffic to the Virgin Islands and will be of importance
in connection with national defense plans.
In addition to the need for continuing the program of economic
rehabilitation of the islands to permit the useful employment of their
24 REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
population and their meager natural resources, there is immediate
and imperative need for funds which will permit the reconstruction
and equipment of medical institutions maintained by the local
LAWRENCE W. CRAMER, Governor.