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Group Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands to the Secretary of the Interior.
Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015459/00016
 Material Information
Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands.
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Virgin Islands of the United States. Governor.
Publisher: for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
Publication Date: 1940-1941
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Bibliographic ID: UF00015459
Volume ID: VID00016
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: aaa5018 - LTQF
01235215 - OCLC

Table of Contents
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        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
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    Table of Contents
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Full Text

Annual Report





Report of the



HAROLD L. ICKES, Secretary


United States Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C.
For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C., Pjice 10 cents


Economic situation ...... ........... ......... 1
Fiscal. . . . ...... .... 3
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John ....... 4
Municipality of St. Croix ................ 5
St. Thomas Harbor Board ................ 5
The Federal appropriation ............... 6
W. P. A. projects ..................... 6
Public Works Administration ............. 7
United States Housing Authority .......... 8
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands lottery .......... 8
Public Works Department .......... .......... 8
Virgin Islands Cooperative ................. 9
Agricultural station and vocational school ........ 10
Public welfare ........................ 11
H health and sanitation ....................... 12
-Education ... ... ............ ......... 13
Police and prison department ............... 14
Harbor Department ................ ...... 14
Public libraries ......................... 151
Legislative authorities . . . . . . . ..... 15
Nursery schools and parent guidance program . . 16
Immigration ........................... 16
National Youth Administration . . . . . ..... 17
Public utilities commission . . . . . . . ... 17
Civilian Conservation Corps . . . . . . . ... 17
Reconstruction of Government buildings ......... 17
Conclusion . ............ ........... 18

Annual Report of
The Governor of the Virgin Islands

August 15, 1941.

Washington, D. C.
SIR: 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, 1941.
During the year Lawrence W. Cramer, who had been Lieutenant
Governor of St. Croix from March 18, 1931, to August 31, 1935, and
Governor of the Virgin Islands from August 31, 1935, resigned as
Governor of the Virgin Islands. He was succeeded by Charles Har-
wood, of New York, who took the oath of office on February 3, 1941.

Economic Situation

T IE ECONOMIC STRUCTURE of the Virgin Islands rests
entirely on the agricultural economy of the island of St. Croix, which
has a population of 12,902, and on the shipping activities of the island
of St. Thomas, which has a population of 11,265.
In St. Croix the sugar industry normally provides, directly or
indirectly, most of the island's employment. Cattle raising, which
utilizes about two-thirds of the land, provides less than 5 percent of
the employment. Sugar production, about 2,000 tons, was the lowest
in many years due to 3 years continued drought. Many small
farms were abandoned or neglected in favor of wage work made
available at the new Army Air Base.
Weather, marginal low-yield land, and sugar prices are uncontrol-
lable factors, but the island of St. Croix alone of all sugar areas
under the American flag labors under two additional handicaps, the

2 Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands

removal of which by legislation would be a substantial contribution
by the United States Government to the economy of St. Croix. St..
Croix sugar pays the Federal processing taxes, but its cane growers
do not get sugar benefit payments. All other cane growers do. St.
Croix sugar, for revenue requirements of the municipality, pays a
$6 per ton export tax. No other American sugar producers pay
export tax. This tax could and would be repealed by the local
legislative authority if there were returned to the Virgin Islands the
internal-revenue taxes collected on products of the Virgin Islands
shipped to the United States. The return of these taxes would also
eliminate the need for annual deficit contributions by the Federal
The cattle industry of St. Croix likewise has shrunk to the lowest
point in several decades. At the close of the year, there were less
than 6,000 head as compared with 10,000 in 1932.
A concerted effort is in progress now to broaden the economic base
of St. Croix by providing relief from dependence on sugarcane.
From funds made available by the Public Works Administration
there has been constructed a modern abattoir which will be operated
by the Virgin Islands Co., under the direction of its new president,
Frederick H. Walton, who is especially qualified by experience to
direct its policies and operations. The cattle industry of St. Croix
undoubtedly will place its chief future reliance on the abattoir and
prospects for its successful operation are brightened by the increased
military personnel and activities in the Caribbean area. The cattle
of the islands must be greatly increased in number and improved
in breed in order to obtain the maximum benefits from the operation
of the abattoir. During the time necessary for this development, the
importation of cattle and other animals may be necessary and justi-
fied to meet the market and to provide the material for efficient
operation. To this end, a demonstration project has been started for
the raising of more small animals to supplement the ground crops,
of the thousand small farmers, nearly half of whom are Federal or
municipal homesteaders. Breeding stock is being introduced and
there is to be created a cooperative for their feeding and marketing.
The closer coordination of the work of all Federal agencies in St.
Croix, including the Virgin Islands Co., the Farm Security Adminis-
tration, the Soil Conservation Service, the National Youth Adminis-
tration, and the agricultural experiment station is part of a plan to
develop a unified program to make the most of the natural resources
of the island of St. Croix.
The shipping business, the chief economic asset of St. Thomas on
which the well-being of most of its population depends, was the
greatest on record. A total of 1,220 ocean-going vessels called at the
port of St. Thomas during the year in comparison with 985 in 1940:

Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands 3

and a 10-year 1931-40 average of 659. The character of the shipping,
however, has undergone a transformation by reason of the war.
Foreign cruise ships, heretofore the island's chief dependence for its
tourist trade, were withdrawn at the outbreak of hostilities in 1939.
They were partially replaced by American cruise ships which, too,
by the end of the fiscal year had been withdrawn for naval service.
The bunkering business continued brisk during the year and, in-
fluenced by war conditions, is now increasing. The transhipment of
bauxite has increased tremendously, also influenced by war condi-
tions. At the present time the ceiling for this business is limited only
by the capacity of the dock plant.
Heartening, indeed, is the progress of the Virgin Islands Coopera-
tive in the production and marketing of native handwork despite
unsettled world conditions. Total sales were $55,000, an increase of
41.25 percent in 5 years. A factor largely responsible for the increase
in this business is the demand for silk-palm braid for the manufac-
ture of hats by continental hat manufacturers.
Of potential benefit to the community, particularly in view of the
great demand for foodstuffs caused by defense activities, is the
modern market in St. Thomas now under construction and planned
for completion by January 1942. Financed by funds made available by
the Public Works Administration, the plant will include a modern
market and cold-storage building, a building for fish cleaning and
poultry dressing, as well as necessary water supply and dock appur-
tenances. The operation of this market will be coordinated with the
operation of the new abattoir in St. Croix within the framework of the
Virgin Islands Co.

The finances of the municipal government in St. Thomas were in a
satisfactory condition by reason of an unprecedented increase in in-
come-tax collections and the covering into the municipal treasury of all
revenues from the harbor of St. Thomas, heretofore covered into a
special fund. By the end of the fiscal year, liabilities of the munici-
pality of St. Thomas and St. John incurred in previous years totaling
approximately $48,000 had been liquidated in full.
The financial condition of the municipality of St. Croix has con-
tinued at low ebb throughout the year. Salaries of municipal per-
sonnel, already low, had to be reduced by 10 to 20 percent. In order to
carry on the already inadequate medical, educational, sanitation, and
other essential services, the municipality was forced to mortgage many
of its public buildings. Fortunately, Congress generously increased
its Federal deficit contribution during the year which enabled the
municipality to liquidate this mortgage. By the end of the fiscal

4 Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands

year, outstanding liabilities of the municipality were $82,000 borrowed
during recent years to meet municipal deficits.
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John.-The actual revenues of
the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John amounted to $349,260.27.
In order to compare this figure with revenues of the preceding year,
for the purpose of noting any advance or decline, it is necessary to
reduce it by certain funds which were received during the year by
reason of an opinion of the district attorney holding that the revenues
of the St. Thomas Harbor Board should be covered into the treasury
of the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John. These were:
Transferred from St. Thomas Harbor surplus fund _____________----$5, 596. 53
Transferred from St. Thomas Harbor current account ----- -_ 14, 749. 73
Ships' dues (approximately) _______________-______________ 12, 272. 00
Pilotage ----------- --- --------------------_______ ---- 11,703.04
Total --_ --- __- __- __ ___-------- 44,321.30
When so reduced, the normal revenues of the municipality of St.
Thomas and St. John were $304,938.97, as compared with $232,848.85
during the preceding year, which is an increase of 31 percent.
Income-tax collections were $138,552.45 compared with $99,236.21
collected in the preceding year, an increase of 391/2 percent. It is of
interest to note that income-tax collections 5 years ago, in 1936, were
$18,237.08. Real-property taxes yielded $50,014.15 compared with
$46,506.74 collected in the preceding year, an increase of 71/2 percent.
The 4 percent gasoline tax yielded $9,981.48 compared with $6,675.90
in the preceding year, an increase of 491/2 percent. The trade tax of
1 percent on importers and 1/ percent on nonimporters and on trade
in coal and fuel oil, which was increased to 11 and /4 percent, respec-
tively, on July 1, 1940, yielded $27,061.37 as compared with $18,759.04
in the preceding year, an increase of 44 percent.
The budget for the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John for
the fiscal year 1940-41, enacted late in June 1940, carried total estimated
expenditures of $255,915.80 of which $233,900 were estimated to be
collected in local revenues, $15,000 from the Federal deficit appropria-
tion and $7,015.80 from sources then unforeseen.
During the year the sum of $34,131 borrowed from the public funds
and from the Virgin Islands National Bank in prior years for recon-
struction of a municipal building and for assisting in meeting munici-
pal deficits, was repaid in full with accrued interest. In addition,
repayment of the sum of $14,142.51 borrowed from the St. Thomas
Harbor Board was cancelled by reason of the transfer of harbor board
funds to the municipal treasury.
In addition to the normal deficit appropriation of $15,000 an addi-
tional appropriation was made by Congress in amount of $29,933.78
for the purpose of enabling the municipality to refund certain income

Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands 5

taxes which had been paid in prior years to the municipality but
which subsequently had been held to be payable to the United States
Treasury. Refund was actually made in the sum of $28,535.93.
Municipality of St. Croix.--The actual revenues of the municipality
of St. Croix amounted to $139,111.07, compared with $176,013.23 dur-
ing the preceding year, a decline of 21 percent. Income-tax collections
were $11,149.39, compared with $11,428.83 collected in the preceding
year. Real-property taxes yielded $36,898.65, as compared with $53,-
487.94 in the preceding year, a decline of 31 percent because the largest
and some other taxpayers took advantage of the provisions of the law
to defer payment until after June 30. The export tax of $6 per ton
of sugar brought in $11,419.98, compared with $33,549.39 in the pre-
ceding year, a decline of 66 percent.
The cost of the municipal government of St. Croix was budgeted at
$246,435. The Federal deficit appropriation was $75,000, which was,
later supplemented by an additional appropriation of $28,500. Prior
to this additional appropriation, the municipality was forced to mort-
gage municipal property for a loan of $17,000 from the Virgin Islands
National Bank and to borrow $15,000 from public funds to meet its
current operating expenses. Of the additional deficit appropriation of
$28,500, $17,000 was used to liquidate the Virgin Islands National
Bank's mortgage and the balance was repaid to the public funds. On
June 30, 1941, the municipality still owed its public funds $82,956.89.
St. Thomas Harbor Board.-On February 18, 1941, the district
attorney of the Virgin Islands rendered an opinion to the Governor,
at the Governor's request, that section 35 of the Organic Act of the
Virgin Islands of June 22, 1936, operated to deprive the St. Thomas
Harbor Board of revenues allotted to it under preexisting law. This
section provided that all taxes, duties, fees, and public revenues col-
lected in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John shall be cov-
ered into the treasury of the Virgin Islands and held in account for
said municipality.
By virtue of this opinion and subsequent legislation of the muni-
cipal council, funds held by the St. Thomas Harbor Board were
distributed as follows:
Harbor board surplus fund
Transferred to municipal treasury___ ------------------------ $5, 596.53
Municipal indebtedness automatically cancelled--------------------- 14, 142. 51
Transfer to municipal improvement fund -------------------- 18,595.36

Total------------------------------------------------ 38, 334. 40
Harbor board current account
Transferred to municipal treasury------------------------------ $14, 749.73
Withheld for liquidation of obligations------------------------ 1, 867. 25

Total _-------------------------------- ----------------- 16, 616.98

6 Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands

The St. Thomas Harbor Board was abolished by legislation on
March 1, 1941.
The Federal appropriation.-The Federal appropriations for the
government of the Virgin Islands, fiscal year 1941, were:

Central administration ___------ ---------------- ---- $134, 000. 00
Agricultural station and vocational school----------------------- 41,150.00
Deficit, municipality of St. Thomas and St. John ---- --------- 44, 933. 78
Deficit, municipality of St. Croix -------------------- 103, 500. 00
Leprosy control ------------------ --------------------- 8, 255. 00

Total __------------------ ---------__ 331,838.78

Of this total of $331,838.78, $265,150 was appropriated in the
Department of the Interior Appropriation Act for the fiscal year
1941, $8,255 in the First Supplemental Civil Functions Appropriation
Act, and $58,433.78 in the First Deficiency Appropriation Act.
W. P. A. projects.-During the year the following Work Relief
projects were authorized:

1. Prepare and serve school lunches to be furnished without charge to
needy or undernourished children in the public schools of the
municipality of St. Croix---------------------- --------- $2, 550
2. Provide free nursing care in the homes of the needy and assist in the
operation of medical clinics for needy persons in St. Croix --_ 2, 256
3. Provide, coordinate, and supervise nursery schools and necessary
parent guidance which is part of the nursery school program in
St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix _____-------- ----- 10, 373
4. Maintain and operate sewing rooms, products to be distributed
free of charge to the needy in St. Croix -------- ---- 3, 252
5. Prepare and serve school lunches to be furnished without charge
to needy or undernourished children in the public schools of the
municipality of St. Thomas and St. John --------- -- 4,954
6. Extend and improve the present sewage disposal and water system,
including laying sewer and water lines, excavating, erecting toilets
and connecting to disposal systems, installing hydrants, and per-
forming appurtenant and incidental work in St. Thomas------- 11, 937
7. Conduct surveys and studies of leprosy and syphilis in St. Croix_-- 1, 707
8. Improve sanitation, public water supply, and municipal buildings
and grounds in St. Croix------------- -------------- 15, 500
9. Improve highways, streets, and gutters in St. Croix----- 18, 498
10. Rehabilitate government buildings, structures, and facilities in
St. Thomas_----_---__------ ___-- ----------------- 12, 494
11. Improve highway facilities in the vicinity of the Marine Air Base
on Crown Mountain in St. Thomas----------- ---- 139, 100
12. Operate a production project for the making of mattresses and
maintain and operate sewing rooms in St. Thomas -------- 6, 750
13. Operate the food-stamp plan and assist the public welfare depart-
ment in certifying eligible clients and personnel for single-unit
food-stamp issuing offices in St. Croix ------------------------ 1, 781
14. Operate the food-stamp plan and assist the public welfare depart-
ment in certifying eligible clients and personnel for single-unit
food-stamp issuing offices in St. Thomas __ _____-----_ 1,996

Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands 7

15. Improve and safeguard Federal property and facilities located on
Dorothea, Lindberg Bay, Mandahl Estate, and other Federal
property in St. Thomas_______------------------ $10,272
16. Alter and improve buildings and water supply including wells in
Company's, Queen's, King's, and West End quarters in St. Croix-- 4,982
17. Improve, alter and reconstruct roads, ranges, and ditches; improve
land by clearing, applying soil and water conservation methods,
etc., in St. Croix-- ----------------_------------- 7,494
18. Demonstrate operation of an abattoir and train local personnel to
operate this facility on the island of St. Croix---------------- 2, 614
19. Eradicate and control cattle ticks throughout the islands of St. John
and St. Thomas---------- ------------------------ 5,943
20. Eradicate and control cattle ticks throughout the island of St. Croix_ 12,397
21. Improve roads leading to Mannings Bay Air Base on the island
of St. Croix------------------------------ 89, 351
22. Improve and rehabilitate facilities and improve grounds at military
cemetery, powder magazine, and property Nos. 7-8 Curacao
Gade, St. Thomas--__------------- -------------- 19,943
23. Conduct a demonstration and training program on government lands
in the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix to develop and devise
improved methods of pasture care and to improve fodder and
cattle raising methods---------------------------------- 7, 800
24. Administrative expenses-Virgin Islands------------------------ 13,955
25. Provide administration, supervision, and instruction in cooperative
activities in St. Thomas for the benefit of needy persons in the
production of handicrafts and cabinet making ---- --------- 9, 000

Total ----__---______----------- 416, 899

Some projects, particularly the St. Croix access road project, were
authorized too late for completion of planned work by June 30, 1941.
Total obligations on June 30, 1941, were $370,609.
Public Works Administration.-The following P. W. A. Federal
projects were active:

F. P. No. 17. Construction of a modern cold storage market in St.
Thomas and additional space for the Virgin Islands
Cooperative, Inc ------------------ $180, 000
F. P. No. 18. Construction of a modern abattoir in St. Croix ----____ 110, 000

Total ----- ---------------------- 290,000

Non-Federal project, V. I. 1004-F, construction of municipal build-
ing at Charlotte Amalie was completed at a total cost of $79,341.32,
of which the municipality contributed 55 percent and the Public
Works Administration 45 percent.
Collections for deposit in the United States Treasury.-A total of
$6,872.45 was collected from homesteaders under land and house
purchase contracts, interest and principal on loans, and miscellaneous

8 Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands

United States Housing Authority.-During the year earned income
and cash collections from rentals of the three United States Housing
Authority projects were:

Earned Cash col-
income elections
H. H. Berg Homes, St. Thomas .----------------.---------------..- $3, 129.92 $3, 252. 63
Bassin Triangle, Christiansted, St. Croix --..--..-.-._.----------------- 1,294.93 1,247.49
Marley Homes, Frederiksted, St. Croix-.. ......- - --------------------- 1, 190.45 1,072.03
Total -------....-.. -------------.----. --------- 5,615.30 5, 572.15

St. Thomas Virgin Islands lottery.-There were 10 drawings dur-
ing the year. The sum of $65,499.45 was paid out in prizes. Sale
of tickets amounted to $86,207.76. The lottery board made available
to the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John appropriations
totalling $8,710 for hospitalization, sanitation, education, and poor
relief purposes. At the close of the fiscal year the surplus of the
St. Thomas Virgin Islands lottery was $9,309.91.

Public Works Department

With the large road projects sponsored by the War Department
and financed by W. P. A. funds, and with the help of funds made
available by the municipality from gasoline taxes and automobile
fees, improvements to the road system of the island of St. Thomas
were continued. Four miles of asphalt penetration road were laid.
Six miles of dirt roads were improved, maintained, and made pass-
able for vehicular traffic. Five hundred linear feet of streets were
In St. Croix 22.2 miles of dirt road in various sections of the
island were graded and reconditioned; 3.7 miles of road were hard-
surfaced; 4,681 linear feet of city streets were hard-surfaced and
necessary gutters installed.
Weather conditions during the year created the most serious water
shortage experienced for some time and again forcibly brought to
the attention of the communities the crying need for providing more
adequate water catchment and storage facilities.
The operation of the sanitary-flushing and fire-protection system
in Charlotte Amalie continued to be as satisfactory as is possible with
the limited facilities available. Action by the health and public
works authorities became necessary during the year to remove the
menace caused by industrial waste dumped into the harbor of St.
Thomas. The waste discharged into the harbor from a nearby
distillery was drawn into the intake of one of the pumping
stations with resulting offensive odor and discoloration. This pollu-
tion of the harbor water requires further investigation and control.

Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands 9

The assistance of the Public Health Service has been solicited in
an effort to find an adequate and permanent solution.
Removal of garbage continued to be a serious problem in the towns,
due to limited equipment and lack of proper disposal facilities. In
Charlotte Amalie, particularly, the growing population incident to
national-defense construction created a serious street-cleaning and
gutter-flushing problem. During the latter part of the year, regu-
lar daily flushing with salt water of the open sewers in the city
of Charlotte Amalie was inaugurated with fairly satisfactory results.
A new 600-line, 3-position telephone switchboard was purchased
and placed in operation in the St. Thomas municipal telephone
system. This new equipment should take care of increasing demands
on the service for some years. The St. Croix municipal telephone
system is in a complete state of disrepair and disruption due to lack
of funds and the fact that only routine maintenance work has been
possible. Many rotted poles and lines were replaced in conjunction
'with road construction, but the entire system needs to be rebuilt.
Routine repairs to public buildings were carried on to the extent of
available funds supplemented by W. P. A. projects in both islands.
In St. Thomas construction of a municipal building was completed
as a P. W. A. non-Federal project. This building now houses the
offices and assembly room of the Municipal Council of St. Thomas and
St. John, the public library, the St. Thomas municipal telephone sys-
tem, the government printing office, and the office of the tax assessor,
and the St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, lottery.
The W. P. A. works program was directed and supervised by the
public works department in both municipalities in addition to routine
work of maintaining buildings, roads, sanitary and street cleaning
Virgin Islands Cooperative

Despite unsettled world conditions and many local problems affecting
production, continued progress was made in the operation of the
Virgin Islands Cooperative for the production and marketing of local
handcraft. Total sales of this cooperative to tourists from 17 cruises
of the steamship America and the steamship Washington of the United
States Lines, amounted to $12,699.64 as compared with total sales of
$10,312.40 to tourists from 21 cruise ships during the preceding year.
Direct by mail sales were $4,692.98 as compared with $6,958.55 in the
preceding year, but this decline was off-set by improvement in the
export business. Due to the demand for silk-palm braid for the manu-
facture of hats by continental hat manufacturers, export sales in-
creased more than 126 percent and reached a record total of $12,956.16
as compared with $5,728.20 in the preceding year. Total sales of the
cooperative during the year were $55,357.77 as compared with $39,-

10 Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands
189.20 in the preceding year. This represents an increase of 41.25
percent in 5 years. A total of $28,177.55 was paid to 791 workers for
merchandise produced by them for sale through the cooperative. The
board of directors voted a bonus of 10 percent for workers based on
their production during the preceding fiscal year. A total of $1,881.14
was paid in bonuses to 247 producers. In 1937 the bonus was 3 percent,
in 1938 2 percent, in 1939 5 percent, in 1940 7 percent, and in 1941 10
percent. The policy of paying the producers 75 percent of the retail
price of articles produced for sale through the cooperative has been
adhered to and has been found to be satisfactory.
This is the tenth year since the cooperative was established and it is
interesting to note that gross sales have increased nearly tenfold, from
$5,712.71 in 1931-32 to $55,357.77 in 1940-41.
The organization'has continued its policy of giving free instruction
to all persons interested in learning the handcraft marketed by the

Agricultural Station and Vocational School

The agricultural experiment station of St. Croix was practically
defunct during the year because of the depletion of its personnel. By
the end of the fiscal year, however, new appointments of qualified
persons to the agricultural station offered great hope for the trans-
formation of that badly neglected activity into a potential source of
real service to the community. A boys' resident project was es-
tablished by the National Youth Administration at the agricultural
experiment station property in St. Croix. The operation of this
project, unfortunately, was not wholly satisfactory, partly due to the
fact that the agricultural station was at its lowest ebb with practically
all staff members resigned or on leave. The agricultural station failed
to provide proper instruction. The supervision provided by the
N. Y. A. was not adequate. The project was suspended on June 30,
1941, but negotiations are proceeding for its resumption. Under
proper direction, with a limited number of carefully selected boys,
adequate supervision on the part of the N. Y. A., and proper instruc-
tion on the part of the agricultural station staff, this project can,
and should, operate satisfactorily and be a potential factor in de-
veloping among the youth of the island a keen sense of the need to
develop fully the agricultural resources of the island.
In St. Thomas there has been a marked decrease in the number of
persons engaged in agricultural pursuits. This decrease is due to
discouragement created by the severe drought and to opportunity for
more lucrative employment on national-defense projects. The result
has been a considerable diminution in the amount of food produced
within the island and consequent increased dependence on outside

Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands 11
sources. Intensive stimulation of agricultural activity to provide food
and forage crops must be the important and primary function of the
agricultural experiment station in both islands.

Public Welfare

In St. Thomas especially there has been a gratifying forward move-
ment in welfare activities. A social-minded legislature has co-
operated with the administration in wholesome measures for social
improvement. The Federal Government has increased its help through
the addition of new and desirable agencies.
The food-stamp plan of the Federal Surplus Marketing Adminis-
tration was extended to the Virgin Islands during the year. The
Virgin Islands were designated a food-stamp area on February 1,
1941, and the sale of stamps actually began in both municipalities on
May 16, 1941. It is estimated that Government aid to pauper pen-
sioners and other unemployables has been doubled through this plan.
Large benefits have been made available to low-income relief workers,
though this latter group has been slow to take advantage of it.
Commodity aid during the year included distribution of mattresses,
sheets, and clothing produced by N. Y. A. and W. P. A. women's
relief projects, as well as surplus food commodities supplied without
charge by the Surplus Marketing Administration.
Social service for indigent families has been incidental to investi-
gational, employment, and direct aid services. The low standards of
living in the islands create many problems in which well-organized
social services could be distinctly helpful. A start has been made
in this direction in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John
because the legislature has provided funds for the employment of
necessary personnel for the department of public welfare. In St.
Croix the legislature has consistently failed to appropriate monies for
public-welfare activities, and public-welfare work in that island has
been carried on only by limited personnel financed from W. P. A.
During the year considerable attention was devoted to the problem
of juvenile delinquents. By the close of the year the construction of
a school for juvenile boy delinquents seemed assured. Funds have been
made available by the lottery board and construction will be started
in the near future. The municipal council of St. Thomas and St. John
and the department of public welfare are working on a plan to provide
increased emphasis on wholesome community influences such as com-
munity recreation, community centers, and club work.
A forward stride in social and economic legislation was accomplished
in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John by the enactment of
a public utilities ordinance in August 1940, and a workmen's com-

12 Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands

pensation act in December 1940. The urge to action which finally
resulted in the passage of legislation to control public utilities arose
from repeated refusals of an electric public-utility company, which has
a virtual monopoly in St. Thomas, to reduce its rates in proportion to
its increased business. Action in the case of the workmen's compen-
sation act followed several serious accidents on defense projects and
repeated demands from the naval engineer in charge of such projects
in St. Thomas.
As a result of expansion of construction of naval and military
facilities incident to national defense, every employable male worker
on the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix was gainfully employed.
In addition, hundreds of workers have been imported into St. Thomas
from neighboring British islands for work on defense activities, fur-
ther complicating problems of health, housing, sanitation, and
The resulting housing shortage added to the long-existing deplor-
able housing conditions among low-income groups. Small Federal
housing projects, in operation in both municipalities for several years,
had their most successful year. New housing activity is now an
important need.

Health and Sanitation

Medical and sanitation facilities, although much improved in recent
years, are still too nearly primitive. The physicians function valiantly
under handicaps of outmoded physical plants and inadequate equip-
ment. Additional doctors are needed. Open gutters in all towns,
inadequate garbage and refuse disposal, primitive sewage disposal
methods, limited modern sewage facilities, all constitute a potential
menace to community health. As the year closes, the Governor of the
Virgin Islands, keenly mindful of the importance of the health of the
islands, is devoting his attention to these problems, and has succeeded
in obtaining a Federal appropriation of $5,000 for a survey of public-
works needs of the islands as a basis of a broad program to remedy
these conditions.
In general, the health of the islands has been good. There is an
almost complete absence of tropical diseases. The most serious defect
in community health is indicated by examination of school children in
St. Thomas among whom malnutrition and anemia range above 70
percent and sometimes reach 90 percent. On the island of St. John a
complete medical survey was made during the year providing an
invaluable record for future medical work. The work done in the
municipal hospitals, at the clinics, and in the out-patient service, with
a limited number of physicians, has been extensive. The hospital staff,
as well as the public, deplore the cheerlessness and shabbiness of the

Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands 13

hospital wards in all towns, the lack of proper isolation, the lack
of running water, the lack of bathrooms, and the primitive sanitary
An outstanding achievement during the year was the transfer of 43
of the 56 insane patients from confinement, amounting to virtual
imprisonment, in the psychopathic ward of the municipal hospital of
St. Thomas and in the insane asylum in St. Croix to the comparative
luxury of the St. Elizabeths Hospital at Washington, D. C. This
humane achievement was made possible by the Department of the
Interior, which sponsored a law which was finally enacted by Congress
and approved by the President on July 18,1940, permitting the transfer
of American insane patients from the Virgin Islands to St. Elizabeths
Hospital. These 43 patients left St. Thomas on June 23,1941, in charge
of one medical officer and an efficient and competent group of native
male and female nurses. The transfer was accomplished without mis-
hap and they were admitted to St. Elizabeths Hospital on June 27,
1941. The insane asylum in St. Croix, a dilapidated and disgraceful
institution, has been closed and 13 alien insane patients, who cannot be
transferred to St. Elizabeths Hospital, remain in confinement in the
psychopathic ward of the municipal hospital at St. Thomas. Efforts
are being made to repatriate some of these patients to their native

Beginning with this year, the department of education has op-
'erated under a new school law which was enacted by the legislative
assembly of the Virgin Islands. This school law established school
boards with certain duties, authorities, and responsibilities which are
in line with the generally accepted practice of democratizing the
control and direction of education. Except for the lack of adequate
commercial and vocational courses, the courses and standards of educa-
tion compare favorably with those in other communities. Many
teachers have not had the education or the training necessary for
first-class work. Salaries are inadequate and there is no retirement
system. In St. Thomas the new municipal council, which came into
office on January 1, 1941, gave hope of improving teacher standards
by providing more adequate compensation patterned upon accepted
practices of basic salary scales and regular emoluments. Efforts to
establish pensions for superannuated teachers have failed. Progress
continues to be made in assisting students through scholarship aids
in acquiring higher education in collegiate institutions in the United
States. Virgin Islands' students who have attended such collegiate
institutions have been outstanding in their respective fields, and upon
their return to the islands to teach in the public school systems have
:shown interest and tireless energy in developing public education.

14 Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands

A new high school building is urgently needed in St. Thomas. The
present quarters are totally inadequate for proper academic and voca-
tional training. New equipment, and improved school buildings and
facilities are required in all the islands.

Police and Prison Department

The rapidly increasing population of the islands as a result of the
expansion of defense activities focused attention during the year on
the inadequacy of the police force. Unfortunately, rumors were
spread in the United States of the existence of a crime wave in St.
Thomas. Many of the charges made were fantastic in nature and
without foundation in fact. It is recognized that during the past
years the members of the police force have not received proper train-
ing and have not been required to pursue studies to improve themselves
in police routine. Many police officers should be retired on account
of superannuation, but there is no pension law in effect in either
municipality, and most of these men have served the municipalities
faithfully for a great many years. Unless a proper pension system is
inaugurated, their involuntary separation from the service would be
inhumane. Salaries have not been adequate to attract qualified men.
In the latter part of the fiscal year vigorous action was taken to
improve the efficiency of the police force in St. Thomas. The district
attorney volunteered his services as instructor and held classes semi-
weekly in the rudiments of law and legal procedure. Instruction in
the proper use of firearms is being provided by an officer of the United
States Marine Corps. Marked progress has been made. In St.
Thomas a total of 1,042 arrests were made as compared with 786 dur-
ing the last fiscal year. There were increases in petty offenses such
as disorderly conduct, traffic violations and violations of police regula-
tions. There were no major crimes. There was considerable activity
on the part of prowlers with apparent intention to commit burglary.
Convictions were secured in 65.5 percent of police cases, while 34.5
percent were acquitted. Thirty-three percent of the persons arrested
in St. Thomas were foreigners. Twenty-one and five-tenths percent
were females. The juvenile delinquency problem was a serious aspect
of the situation. The offenders were, in many cases, repeaters.

Harbor Department

During the year 241 American Government ships with a gross ton-
nage of 639,989 entered the harbor of St. Thomas. Nine hundred
and seventy-nine merchant vessels with a gross tonnage of 3,303,135
visited St. Thomas during the same period. Of these, 455 with a
gross tonnage of 1,768,604 were of American, 158 with a gross tonnage
of 399,103 were Norwegian, and 80 with a gross tonnage of 269,108

Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands 15

were British. Dutch, French, Finnish, Greek, Swedish, Jugo-Slav,
and many other foreign flags were represented.
Despite world conditions, shipping has shown a tremendous in-
crease over previous years as is demonstrated by the following table
of ships, with their gross tonnage, which entered the harbor of St.
Thomas during the past 4 fiscal years:

Gross Gross
Fiscal year Number toge Fiscal year Number tonnage

1938 ----------- 814 3, 239, 975 1940 -------. --------------. 985 3,844,289
1939 -------- 850 3, 682,121 1941 --.-------- - 1, 220 3,943,124

Public Libraries

The St. Thomas Public Library was moved from its former quarters,
to the new municipal building. An accident resulted in the total
loss of the juvenile library. The St. Thomas Virgin Islands lottery
promptly contributed $1,650 to purchase a new juvenile library.
At present the library has commodious quarters with a separate
children's room. Steel shelves and wooden chairs have been obtained
without charge from surplus stores in Washington. Owing to dis-
location incident to removal from old quarters to the new, circula-
tion was less than in recent years. Special attention continues to be
given to cataloging and to the Virgin Islands collection containing
some rare books, manuscripts, maps, and newspaper clippings. The
libraries of St. Croix function as well as they possibly can under the
handicap of insufficient budgetary allotments.

Legislative Authorities

There was no session of the legislative assembly of the Virgin,
Islands during the fiscal year. The municipal council of St. Thomas
and St. John made a forward stride in social and economic legisla-
tion by the enactment of a public utilities ordinance and a workmen's
compensation act. A wage and hour act for the municipality of St.
Thomas and St. John has been sponsored consistently by the new
municipal council since taking office in January 1941. Enactment of
this important and far-reaching piece of legislation has been delayed
because of the need for a careful study of economic factors. With
funds made available by increased income-tax collections, as well
as the transfer of funds from the former harbor treasury into the
treasury of the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John, the munici-
pal council has made available increased operating funds for the
various municipal departments, has provided salary increases for
deserving employees in the lower brackets, and has also provided for

16 Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands

the purchase of additional equipment which is urgently required for
fire protection and street cleaning and garbage removal.
The municipal council of St. Croix enacted a number of routine
ordinances. Among the more important pieces of legislation adopted
in St. Croix were an ordinance to regulate and control the sale of
alcoholic beverages, an ordinance to permit the killing of wild deer
in an effort to secure complete tick eradication, and an ordinance for
the proper control of leprosy. Unfortunately, the finances of the
municipality of St. Croix have been at such a low ebb that the munici-
pal council has not been able to make adequate appropriation for the
proper operation of municipal activities.

Nursery Schools and Parent Guidance Program

For the third consecutive year the nursery schools have been oper-
ated as a W. P. A. project sponsored by the two municipalities. Their
purpose has been threefold, namely, to provide physical and health
care and educational guidance for 2- to 5-year-old under-privileged
children; to provide training for parents; and finally, to provide
employment for needy persons. The nursery schools function at the
same time as training centers for teachers, nursemaids, N. Y. A.
youths, and potential mothers. During the year the nursery staffs
registered progress along the lines of improved health and living
conditions; improved methods in guidance and discipline of children;
practical training in child care and household tasks for girls; and
rehabilitating unemployed persons.
In St. Thomas one large double unit was operated for 40 children.
In St. John a unit was organized for 20 children. On the island of
St. Croix 6 units scattered throughout the island cared for 150

During the year responsibility for the enforcement of the United
States immigration and naturalization laws was transferred from the
Department of the Interior to the United States Department of
Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service. The increasing
burden of immigration enforcement, the added restrictions and regu-
lations attendant on the war situation, and especially the impossibility
of preventing illegal entries without a larger force, led the Governor
to request a release from this responsibility. The United States
Immigration and Naturalization Service established an office in St.
Thomas with an inspector-in-charge under the direction of the dis-
trict office in Puerto Rico.

Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands 17

National Youth Administration
The N. Y. A. extended its activities to the Virgin Islands for the
first time. In St. Thomas this Administration sponsored recreational,
sewing, clerical, nurses and nursery school aides projects. In St.
John, sewing projects, road and trail projects, reconstruction of a
clinic at Coral Bay, and a hot-lunch project were inaugurated. On
the island of St. Croix, recreational, sewing, clerical, nurses and
nursery-school aides, mechanic aides, construction of children's wards
at the municipal hospitals, girls' resident and boys' resident projects
were carried on. The activities of the N. Y. A. are effecting a sub-
stantial contribution to youth welfare.

Public Utilities Commission
By ordinance of August 14, 1940, a public utilities commission was
created in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John. On October
29, 1940, after proper hearings, the commission entered an order
considerably reducing the rates for electrical energy for light and
power for residents of St. Thomas.

Civilian Conservation Corps
The outstanding function of the C. C. C. during the past year
has been to serve as a reservoir of employees for national defense
work. Defense agencies engaged in the development of defense
facilities have secured many trained employees from the ranks of the
C. C. C. enrollees. Practically every older trained enrollee has been
turned over to these agencies. In St. Thomas new camp facilities
were completed at Estate Mandahl. A parking area was built for the
Bluebeard Castle Hotel. In St. Croix a new road has been opened
to the east end of the island, and a recreational area has been devel-
oped at the East End Estates, providing picnic facilities, bathing
areas, and horse and foot trails. The National Park Service has
also provided St. Croix with a well-drilling program under expert
supervision which is developing wells in many parts of the island.

Reconstruction of Government Buildings
Outstanding achievements were the completion of the rehabilitation
of the Government House and Administration Building in Charlotte
Amalie and the Government House in Christiansted, providing mod-
ern, comfortable living and office accommodations. The King's Hill
Poor Farm in St. Croix likewise is undergoing rehabilitation and
is nearing completion. This work has been done under the super-
vision of the Public Buildings Administration, Federal Works

18 Report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands

There is immediate and imperative need for funds to permit re-
construction and equipment of all medical institutions in the Virgin
Islands. Likewise, there is the most urgent need for funds to pro-
vide modern sewage and garbage disposal systems. Enlargement of
existing water catchment areas, the construction of additional catch-
ment areas and storage space to provide an adequate fresh-water
supply for the inhabitants of the island, demand attention. Improve-
ment is needed in the deplorable housing conditions existing among
low-income groups. These are the primary health needs of the
To relieve the economic situation of St. Croix, it is recommended
that Congress provide by legislation for the cane growers of St.
Croix to receive sugar benefit payments. The $6 per ton export tax
on sugar in St. Croix must be repealed. This can only be done if
there were returned to the Virgin Islands the internal revenue taxes
collected on products of the Virgin Islands shipped to the United
States. In addition, the return of these taxes would eliminate the need
for further annual deficit contributions by the Federal Government.
Congressional legislation to effect this is also urged. Removal of
these handicaps by congressional legislation would be an act of
justice to the people of the Virgin Islands and a substantial contribu-
tion by the United States Government to the islands' economy.
The execution of authorized harbor improvement work in the har-
bor of St. Thomas, and the construction of adequate dock facilities for
St. Croix will greatly contribute to the economic progress of the
islands. The work of the Virgin Islands Co., the Farm Security
Administration, the Soil Conservation Service, the agricultural ex-
periment station, the operation of the completed abbatoir in St. Croix
and of the modern cold storage market in St. Thomas, the latter
scheduled for completion by January 1942, bid fair to develop into
a program which will make the most of the meagre natural resources
of the islands. There must be intensive agricultural development in
St. Thomas and St. John.
Some of these essential needs can and will be developed through
local initiative and action. Others require the assistance of the Fed-
eral Government. Through cooperation of both branches, much can
be accomplished. The continued interest of the Department of the
Interior, and of the Division of Territories and Island Possessions,
in the solution of these basic problems, and in the urging of necessary
congressional legislation therefore, is earnestly sought.
Respectfully submitted.

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