Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

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/UF00015459/00025
 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: 1949-1950
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00015459
Volume ID: VID00025
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aaa5018 - LTQF
01235215 - OCLC

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
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    Back Cover
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Full Text

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Annual Report

Governor of


to the


of the Interior

Fiscal- Year Ended June. 3o, .950 -

of the



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For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office
Washington 25, D. C. Price 15 cents


Public finance and taxation . . . . . ...... 4
Real property . . . . . . . . . 5
H housing . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Personnel administration . . . . . . . . 7
Agriculture ................... .. .. 8
Commerce and shipping .. . . . . . . .. 9
Education . . . . . . . . .. . 11
Health and sanitation . . . . . . .... .13
Social welfare . . . . . . . . . . 15
Police and prison administration . . . . .... .16
Tourism. ................... .... 17
Public works . . . . . . . . . . 18
Public utilities. . . . . . . . . .. . 19
Labor and labor relations . . . . . . .... .20
Virgin Islands cooperative . . . . . . .... .21
Legislation . . . . . . . . . . 21
Political advancement . . . . . . .... .22
Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . 23

Annual Report of the Governor

of the Virgin Islands

Morris F. de Castro, Governor

ANOTHER FORWARD STEP in the process of self-government
in the Virgin Islands was made on March 24, 1950, when Morris
F. de Castro, a Virgin Islander, was inaugurated as Governor. Gov-
ernor de Castro a career official of 30 years government service in the
islands, and the Government secretary of the islands since 1945, was
appointed by the President of the United States to fill the vacancy
created when William H. Hastie resigned to accept appointment as
a judge in the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. During his
31/2 years incumbency, Governor Hastie made outstanding contribu-
tions to good and progressive government in the islands.
In his inaugural address, the new Governor emphasized the impor-
tance of self-support and self-dependence and outlined a program
including setting up of a planning agency, creation of a labor depart-
ment and a department of commerce, statutory organization of execu-
tive departments, developing new sources of revenue; reduction of
government expenditures, promotion of agriculture, provision of
better educational facilities, enlargement of the health program, re-
view of real property tax assessments including measures to hasten
the development of unused but potentially valuable land, and promo-
tion of tourism. He outlined needed congressional legislation: (1)
to provide a Resident Commissioner, (2) to return to the Virgin
Islands the proceeds of the Federal internal revenue taxes on products
of the Virgin Islands, (3) to authorize National Guard units, (4) to
transfer the agricultural station to the Department of Agriculture,
(5) to extend the Social Security Act to the islands, (6) to appropriate
funds for authorized harbor dredging in St. Thomas and harbor
improvements in St. Croix.
Many members of Congress and high executive officials visited the
islands. Members of a subcommittee of the Ways and Means Com-
mittee of the House of Representatives, under the chairmanship of
A. Sidney Camp, held hearings in the islands on the social security
law. Members of a subcommittee of the Education and Labor Com-
mittee of the House of Representatives, under the chairmanship of
John Lesinski, held hearings in the islands on wage and educational
problems. Senator Edward Leahy, Senator Hugh Butler, and Con-


gressman Fred Crawford also made exhaustive studies in the islands
of the islands' economic and administrative problems. The Secretary
of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Chairman of the
Reconstruction Finance Corporation attended a meeting of the Board
of Directors of the Virgin Islands Corporation in the islands. The
Director of Territories and other officers of the Office of Territories
made several trips to the islands. Increasing interest in the affairs
of the Virgin Islands has thus been amply demonstrated.
While the Virgin Islands still face serious social and economic
problems, considerable progress was made during the year on all
fronts. Congress extended to the Virgin Islands the benefit of the
Vocational Education Act of 1946. Congress also passed legislation
to enable the Virgin Islands to participate in the Federal housing and
redevelopment program. Congress also extended to the islands the
public assistance and insurance provisions of the Social Security Act.
These legislative actions will bring to the islands, for the first time,
some of the major social benefits which American citizens on the main-
land have enjoyed for many years, but which American citizens of
these insular possessions have not heretofore received.
The tourist industry, which holds great promise for the improve-
ment of the economic stability of the islands, expanded considerably
during the year and groundwork was laid for the first constructive
and professional program which these islands have known. In this
industry, the islands will develop an expanded economy based on its
God-given assets of perfect climate and natural beauty. A new hotel
was opened, also many smaller guest houses and shops catering to the
tourist trade. Construction of a modern 130-room luxury hotel in
St. Thomas, by private capital, advanced considerably and it should
be opened by the Fall of 1950.
Under the President's reorganization program the administration
of the Virgin Islands Public Works Program, authorized in Public
Law 510, Seventy-eighth Congress, was transferred to the Depart-
ment of the Interior, and assigned to the Office of Territories. This
transfer of jurisdiction has already tended to accelerate the execution
of the program and improve coordination of the various activities.
The salt water fire protection and sanitary sewer facilities and
intercepting sewer in Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, and Fred-
eriksted were substantially completed. The potable water facilities
for St. Thomas and St. Croix are nearing completion. The airstrips
at the Alexander Hamilton Field in St. Croix and at the newly re-
named Harry S. Truman Airport in St. Thomas were resurfaced. A
contract was awarded for extensive waterfront improvement in St.
Thomas, and work will begin during the next fiscal year. Contracts
were also let for telephone communication facilities in St. Thomas and


St. Croix. The abattoir at St. Thomas has been completed and is in
operation by private enterprise through a lease negotiated with the
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John. Several highways in St.
Thomas and St. Croix have been reconstructed and improved, includ-
ing the highway from the Harry S. Truman Airport to the city of
Charlotte Amalie. This highway has been named the Charles Har-
wood Highway in honor of Governor Charles Harwood (1941-46)
who initiated the public works program. During the next fiscal year,
emphasis will be placed on plans for and construction of hospital and
educational facilities in St. Thomas and St. Croix, and further
highway improvements on all islands.
In view of the limited credit facilities in the Virgin Islands, the
local government requested the President of the Federal Home Loan
Bank of New York to survey the potentialities and possibilities for
the establishment of a Federal savings and loan association in the
Virgin Islands. The proposal was approved by the Board of Direc-
tors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, and the survey
was conducted in the islands by three directors. The survey resulted
in a complete report on all phases of the local economy. The com-
mittee found that additional financing facilities were needed in the
Virgin Islands, but recommended that efforts to establish a Federal
savings and loan association in the islands should be suspended until
the local economy has shown more improvement.
Despite limitations on the funds appropriated to the Virgin Islands
Corporation, a small credit program was inaugurated for crop pro-
duction, water and soil conservation, and industrial and commercial
loans. This should prove to be a stimulant not only to the development
of the tourist industry, but to more extensive agricultural diversifica-
tion and improvement. This program should be expanded as an
important means toward making the Virgin Islands self-sufficient.
A combination of unusually good rainfall conditions and improved
agricultural practices enabled the Virgin Islands Corporation to
produce the largest sugar crop in decades.
Supervised by the United States Department of Commerce, Bureau
of the Census, the seventeenth decennial census was taken in the Virgin
Islands during the month of April 1950. The preliminary count re-
veals a total population in the Virgin Islands of 26,654 as compared
with 24,889 in 1940, an increase of 1,765. The increase was principally
in St. Thomas where the population was reported to be 13,811, as
compared with 11,265 in 1940. There was a slight decrease in St.
Croix from 12,902 in 1940 to 12,096 in 1950. In St. John the popula-
tion was reported as 747 as against 722 in 1940. In the capital of the
Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie, the population increased from
9,801 in 1940 to 11,463 in 1950.


Ever since the acquisition of the Virgin Islands by the United
States in 1917, there has been a definite and natural trend towards
adopting the American Way of Life with its improved standard of
living. However, with the enactment of the Organic Act of the
Virgin Islands in 1936, and its concomitant benefit of universal suf-
frage, there has been a social and political awakening which has re-
sulted in acceleration of the movement towards a higher standard of
living. Vigorous efforts have been made by the local government to
afford more and better education, health, and social services. As in
continental United States, this program of advancement has necessi-
tated an expansion of governmental activities and a consequent in-
crease in government expenditures. The increased cost of government
has called forth increased local taxation with generous contributions
from the Congress. The marked improvement in the quality of public
services rendered fully justifies the increased cost of government.
It is the policy of the administration to pursue this expanded pro-
gram with strict economy. A considerable effort was made this year
to limit the personnel needed to administer the public services with-
out any curtailment in efficiency. The budget proposals for the
municipality of St. Thomas and St. John for the fiscal year 1951, as
submitted to the legislature by the administration, provided for a
drastic reduction in personnel and also for increased local taxation.
The tax proposals included increased business license fees, increased
corporation license fees, and increased automobile license fees. In-
creased license fees were also proposed for the municipality of St.
Croix. It is the objective of the administration to obtain as much
revenue as possible to provide necessary funds for efficient operation
of administrative departments and public institutions. In this con-
nection, efforts will be made to obtain Congressional support for an
expert survey of the local tax structure and a study of the local govern-
ment by an impartial agency.
During the year, the local government received substantial contri-
butions from the Congress in the amount of $745,000 in order to meet
the expenditures of government. The total budgeted expenditures
of the municipal governments of the Virgin Islands amounted to
$2,055,988. To meet these expenditures, a total of $1,241,190 was
raised from local taxation and $745,000 appropriated by Congress.
Transfers and contributions from other funds and loans made up the
Budgeted expenditures of the municipality of St. Thomas and St.
John amounted to $1,230,888. A total of $886,071 was raised through
local taxation, and $279,200 allocated from the Federal deficit appro-
priation. Transfers and contributions from other funds, and tempo-


rary loans, made up the difference. The municipality ended the fiscal
year with a deficit of approximately $40,000 due chiefly to a substan-
tial reduction in yield from trade taxes, customs dues, and fees from
steamer tickets, as against the estimated income from these sources.
It is interesting to note that in 1940 the actual revenue collections in
the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John amounted to $227,798,
while in 1950 a total of $886,071 was collected, an increase of 288.97
percent in the 10-year period. However, during the same period
public expenditures increased 309.30 percent.
In the municipality of St. Croix, a total of $355,118 was raised from
local taxes. The allocation of $465,800 from the Federal deficit
appropriation enabled the municipality to meet its total budgeted ex-
penditures of $825,100. The actual revenue collections of the munici-
pality of St. Croix in 1940 amounted to $175,944, while for 1950 the
collections were $355,118, or an increase of 101.84 percent for the
10-year period. Public expenditures increased 178.15 percent during
the same period.
The appropriation for the expenses of the central government of
the islands.was $227,069, and for the agricultural station $50,000.
Federal grant-in-aid allotments were $75,559 for public health, $120,-
259 for crippled children, maternal and child health, and child welfare
programs; and $91,791 for airports.
A modern system of post-audit of governmental accounts was insti-
tuted during the year by the recently established office of the public
auditor for the Virgin Islands. In the preliminary work, a great
deal of revision in accounting and reporting procedure was required.
A complete study of the administration of public finances in the Virgin
Islands is anticipated during the next fiscal year. Among the ob-
jectives to be pursued are centralization of procurement procedures
and accounting and financial reporting, revision of the accounting
system, and utilization of mechanical accounting equipment in the
Department of Finance.

During the last quarter of a century there has been a tremendous
increase in the value of land, particularly in the island of St. Thomas,
furnishing conclusive evidence of unprecedented community growth.
On this island alone, the assessed value of real property has increased
over $4,000,000 during the past 25 years. This upward trend in the
value of land has been brought about chiefly by the demand for choice
building sites on the hilltops overlooking the city. In the municipal-
ity of St. Croix, where the economy is chiefly of an agricultural nature,
land values have also spiraled upwards, but not at the same rate. For
the calendar year 1949, the total assessed value of real property in the


Virgin Islands was $12,948,694.21 as compared with $8,054,513.68 ten
years ago. Because of the great demand for sites for residential
construction, it may be stated in a general way that land is often sold
for three times its assessed valuation for tax purposes. Assessments,
however, are being revised to accord with this trend and a complete
reassessment has been planned for 1951 in all islands. During the
year 293 transfer documents covering real property valued at $420,665
were recorded.
With the spectacular increase in the value of land there has been a
gradual concentration of ownership in a small percentage of the total
population. Approximately 5 percent of the population owns over
80 percent of the land, and the balance is widely distributed among
homesteaders and small land owners. Most of the idle land is con-
centrated in the 5 percent group who for the most part acquired title
by inheritance and either lack the means to develop or prefer to see
the land remain idle. In St. John, 65 percent of the land is owned
by absentee landlords and is undeveloped.
The question of greater distribution and utilization of land for
productive purposes has been long a matter of grave concern to the
local government. Realizing the importance and urgency of this
problem, discussions have been initiated with community leaders. By
the close of the year a committee had been selected to study the problem
and submit a report with recommendations. It is evident that in order
to attain the goal of greater self-support and self-dependence, con-
sideration must be given to tax measures which will hasten the devel-
opment of unused but potentially usable land for community growth
and increased revenues.
Considerable preliminary work in connection with the anticipated
large-scale housing program in the Virgin Islands was initiated by the
Virgin Islands Housing Authority created by insular law. The Au-
thority applied to the Public Housing Administration for and re-
ceived a program reservation for 350 units of low-rent housing. This
reservation covers the first 2 years of a 6-year program to construct
a total of 1,050 units of low-rent urban housing at a total cost of ap-
proximately $3,150,000. The program reservation was approved by
the Public Housing Administration along with a preliminary loan of
$115,000 for planning. A planning consultant was employed to pre-
pare master plans for the cities of Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted,
and Frederiksted, with the aim of guiding the future growth of these
cities, and integrating the housing program with a well-considered
general development of the communities.
An application was also made to the Public Housing Administra-
tion for an initial capital grant of $400,000 for planning a program


of urban redevelopment and slum clearance, the over-all cost of which
will amount to $2,475,000 in loans and $910,000 in grants. A program
reservation of capital grant monies for preliminary planning was
approved in the sum of $266,350. An application was also prepared
for 725 units of rural nonfarm public housing and for a preliminary
loan of $95,000 to cover planning costs. In order to expedite this
housing and redevelopment program, the Congress was requested to
enact legislation authorizing the Virgin Islands Housing Authority
to issue 40-year bonds and to accept municipal utilities constructed
with federal aid as sponsorship for redevelopment projects.

Under a merit system law of the Legislative Assembly, a pay plan
for all employees of the local government whose positions are in the
classified service went into effect on July 1, 1949. This added strength
and meaning to the classification plan which was adopted a year
earlier. The pay plan was adopted to bring about an objective and
systematic determination of pay for municipal employees based on
equitable principles. A minimum salary for local government em-
ployees of $600 per annum was established.
Throughout the fiscal year there were 1,139 classified and 1,077
unclassified and emergency employees-the latter group comprised of
casual and unskilled labor-in the insular government service. Of
the total number of classified employees, 343 render services in
medical, public health, and sanitation activities, 287 in public educa-
tion, and 188 in public works. Due to layoffs to be instituted early
in the next fiscal year, the number of classified employees will be
reduced, particularly in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John.
Some 614 persons sat for competitive examinations during the year,
with 578 passing. The examinations were based upon analyses of job
The director of 'personnel was assigned to assist officials of the
Virgin Islands Corporation in formulating the preliminary studies
incidental to the establishment of a personnel policy for appointed
employees of that agency. The director of personnel attended the
annual conference on Public Personnel Administration sponsored by
the Civil Service Assembly of the United States and Canada. The
deputy director of personnel pursued a course of study during the
academic year 1949-50 at Syracuse University on a scholarship
awarded by the Foresight Foundation. His services will be devoted
to investigating the results of existing personnel policies, procedures,
and methods of operation with the objective of formulating improved


The future outlook for improved and expanded agricultural activi-
ties in the Virgin Islands is encouraging. Upon the recommendation
of the Department of the Interior, with the concurrence of the Depart-
ment of Agriculture, Senate bill 2809 and House bill 8357 were intro-
duced in the Senate and House of Representatives providing for the
transfer of all agricultural functions in the islands to the Department
of Agriculture. By the end of the fiscal year the Senate Agriculture
Committee had reported Senate bill 2809 favorably, and it is expected
that this legislation will be passed by Congress during the next fiscal
year. This transfer would enable the agricultural program in the
Virgin Islands to be supervised by agricultural experts, expanded in
a rounded program, comparable to that normally carried on by the
Department of Agriculture in continental United States.
Due chiefly to the recruitment of a full staff, the agricultural ex-
tension service in St. Croix was improved. The staff now consists of
two extension agents, a veterinarian, and a home demonstration agent.
The outstanding accomplishment of the year was the initiation of a
4-H club movement. There are now 9 clubs with a total enrollment
of 421 boys and girls. Over 100 club meetings were held, and a great
deal of interest in projects has been demonstrated by the rural youth.
The climax of 4-H activities for the year was the completion of plans
for two youth delegates from the island of St. Croix to attend the
1950 Regional 4-H Camp.
The extension program in St. Croix was directed toward educating
the farmer to diversify his crops with emphasis on feed crops for
livestock and food for home use. Sugar cane cultivation based on
modern methods and practices which tend to increase the yield were
also stressed. Some 34,000 vegetable plants were distributed at cost
to farmers. Much interest in beautifying home surroundings resulted
in the distribution of over 4,000 assorted ornamentals. Attention was
also given to agricultural economics, including educational work on
farm recordkeeping, individual farm planning, and extension program
planning based on economic needs.
In St. Thomas and St. John six 4-H clubs were organized with a
total membership of 182 boys and girls. The services of the public
health nurse were extended to the rural families through the coopera-
tion of the extension agent. Farmers were supplied with seeds, slips,
insecticides, baby chicks, hatching eggs, and different types of serv-
ices through the special revolving fund for agricultural development.
Under local law the extension agent served as plant quarantine in-
spector and made a total of 859 inspections covering approximately
800,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables imported from the British
Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In addition, the extension agent


made over 700 visits to farms during the year and attended 62 meetings
relating to agricultural activities.
Due to the topography of the island of St. Thomas, and its suscepti-
bility to the dangers of erosion, the crop farmers are being encouraged
to promote better land use by placing emphasis on fruit and fiber
production. This system would offer better land use because the
trees will control erosion, can withstand the effects of drought, and
can be cultivated without expensive terracing. The fruit trees rec-
ommended are improved banana, plantain, mango, avocado, papaya,
and citrus. The fiber plant that should be raised is bull tyre (Sabal
Blackburnia) because of its demand for the making of hats, bags, and
other items of handcraft. To reduce the dependence on vegetable
production, and to provide a well-balanced agricultural economy,
plans include the raising of livestock. Existing pastures should be
improved and additional grazing areas provided through clearing
bush land in order to support dairy cattle and produce the cattle, goats,
and sheep imported annually from neighboring islands as the chief
source of meat for local consumption.
Through the Soil Conservation Service, farmers in the Virgin Is-
lands received technical assistance for the establishment of soil and
water conservation plans. This service is made available by the
United States Department of Agriculture. The extension agents
cooperate with this program by encouraging the farmers to adopt
the recommended practices. The local supervisors of the soil con-
servation district were furnished a bulldozer which is being used suc-
cessfully for clearing of farm lands and roads. Another agency of
the Department of Agriculture, the Production and Marketing Ad-
ministration assists by paying cash dividends to farmers who success-
fully adopt soil and water conservation methods. The Farmers Home
Administration makes available short and long-term loans at low
interest rates so that soil conservation and other farm plans may be
put into practice by farmers whose progress might be handicapped
by inadequate finance. With all agricultural functions being trans-
ferred to the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agri-
culture, a more integrated program for expansion of the agricultural
phase of the local economy is envisioned.

Although the value of goods imported into the Virgin Islands dur-
ing the calendar year 1949, $9,967,225, was a slight increase over the
value of imports in 1948, $9,465,562, there was a marked increase in
the value of exports in 1949, $2,501,056, as compared with $1,698,037
for 1948. It is significant to note that machinery and vehicles ac-
counted for $1,093,221 of the total imports.


A total of 99,482 tons of sugar cane, as compared with 45,252 tons
last year, was harvested by the Virgin Islands Corporation. This
was the largest crop of sugar cane ever produced by the Virgin Islands
Corporation. Some 10,752 tons of sugar was produced, as compared
with 4,579 tons in 1949. Through improved processing the sugar yield
in 1950 was 10.86 as compared with 10.12 the preceding year. In
addition, 548,087 gallons of molasses were produced, as against 287,066
gallons in 1949. Due to the fact that the Federal law chartering the
Virgin Islands Corporation prohibits it from manufacturing or selling
rum, arrangements were made during the year to dispose of the corpo-
ration's rum and molasses stocks, and for the leasing of the distillery to
private enterprise. A total of 634,000 proof gallons of alcoholic
beverages was exported from St. Thomas as compared with 386,915
proof gallons in 1949. In St. Croix 27,943 proof gallons of alcoholic
beverages were exported as against 57,333 proof gallons in the pre-
ceding year.
While the number of heads of livestock exported from the Virgin
Islands remained at approximately 1,200, the amount of dried hides
exported increased from approximately 75,000 pounds in 1949 to
92,788 pounds in 1950. Shipments were made chiefly from the island
of St. Croix to the island of Puerto Rico. Efforts are being made to
reopen the Puerto Rican market for chilled dressed meat from St.
Croix, which will make possible the activation of the modern abattoir
in St. Croix which has been lying idle for many years.
During the fiscal year 1950, a total of 335 commercial ships with a
gross tonnage of 1,794,697 entered the port of St. Thomas, as com-
pared with 298 ships and a gross tonnage of 1,603,374 in 1949. Two
ships of the Furness West Indies Line resumed calling regularly at
St. Thomas during the year. This steamship service had been dis-
continued during World War II. The Delta Line ships have discon-
tinued calling at St. Thomas primarily because of favorable bunker
fuel prices at New Orleans. Unfortunately, the bauxite trade which
used to account for about 10 percent of the island's shipping was also
temporarily discontinued. The last ship was loaded at St. Thomas in
November 1949. Despite these reverses, there was a slight increase in
shipping as compared with 1949.
Another effort was made to have funds appropriated by Congress for
the much-needed project of dredging the harbor of St. Thomas author-
ized since 1937. As the year closed, it appeared fairly certain that
a million dollars would be appropriated for this project before Con-
gress adjourned. This harbor improvement is vitally necessary.
Seven of the fifteen cruise ships that called at St. Thomas during the
winter season with tourist passengers had to anchor outside the
harbor. This necessitated bringing the passengers to shore and


returning them to the ship in small motor launches, a long and
tedious procedure which does not help in encouraging the tourist
trade. The Rivers and Harbors Bill of 1937 authorized this im-
provement of St. Thomas Harbor to provide an entrance channel 36
feet deep and generally 600 feet wide including removal of Scorpion
Rock to that depth, an anchorage area of 33 feet depth, and a break.
water. The Rivers and Harbors Bill for 1950 included authorization
for harbor improvements for St. Croix consisting of an approach
channel 25 feet deep and 300 feet wide, a turning basin of the same
depth, 600 feet wide, and 900 feet long, provided the Interior Depart-
ment constructs an adequate deep water terminal.

In November 1949 a subcommittee of the House Education and
Labor Committee visited the Virgin Islands and held hearings on
various matters including public education facilities, teacher training,
and the need for vocational training. These hearings provided valu-
able information which assisted in the passage by Congress of a bill
extending the provisions of the Vocational Education Act of 1946 to
the Virgin Islands. Under this Federal program for vocational
education, the Virgin Islands are now eligible for a maximum grant
of $40,000 per annum on a 50 percent matching of municipal funds.
For several years the local government has been making persistent
efforts to impress the Congress with the need of these islands to obtain
Federal funds to assist in the program of vocational education. It
is expected that the new program will become effective early in the
next fiscal year.
Enrollment in the public schools of the Virgin Islands totaled 4,604
as compared with 4,401 in 1949. Of this number, 2,030 students were
enrolled in the elementary schools and 889 in high school in St.
Thomas. In St. Croix, 1,241 were enrolled in the elementary schools
and 444 in high school. Expenditures for public education in the
Virgin Islands totaled $535,590, of which $114,147 were made avail-
able by the Federal Government primarily in support of the veterans'
education program. Approximately 300 veterans availed themselves
of the opportunity for educational advancement through the veterans'
education program.
The public kindergartens, which are the outgrowth of the nursery
schools, were effectively administered during the year. In St. Thomas
there was an enrollment of 306 children of preschool age. A success-
ful program of in-service training conducted by a specially trained
supervisor resulted in a faculty of better trained teachers.
A total of 11 students were assisted by scholarship loans to enter
college in continental United States. Because the highest education


available in the Virgin Islands is on the high school level, local stu-
dents are forced to leave home for further educational advancement.
Aside from the costliness of this procedure, the students also encounter
the difficulties of strangers in a new environment. Efforts should be
made to make at least 2 years of post-high school training available
in the Virgin Islands. The possibilities of establishing a junior
college in the islands will be investigated.
A summer session was held under the direction of the Polytechnic
Institute of Puerto Rico from July 7 to August 10, 1949. Courses
were given in biological science and the teaching of science. This
summer session was sponsored by the teachers' institute of St. Thomas.
At the end of the fiscal year, plans were under way for the New York
University to conduct a workshop in anthropology in the islands.
Sixty students from all over the United States are expected to come
to the islands to attend this workshop. The courses will be available
to local students also. In addition to the intellectual advancement
to be obtained from this workshop, achievements in human relationship
are also anticipated.
Nearly 2,500 children participated daily in the school lunch pro-
gram in St. Thomas. Approximately 500,000 meals were served at
an average cash cost of 19 cents. Substantial contributions of food
items were made by the United States Department of Agriculture.
Agriculture was added to the curriculum of the high school in St.
Croix. It is anticipated that this course will be expanded and im-
proved when funds are made available under the Vocational Edu-
cation Act of 1946. For the first time in the school history of the
Virgin Islands, the college entrance examination board set up an
examination center. The center was established in St. Croix at the
request of the "Hands Across the Sea Scholarship Award Committee"
of St. Croix, a group of public-spirited citizens who have voluntarily
contributed the funds for a scholarship. Eleven students were granted
scholarship loans from municipal funds. The results of the exami-
nation were gratifying. The parent-teacher associations in St. Croix
were active during the year. The Frederiksted association became
affiliated with the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. With
funds made available by the Virgin Islands Corporation, nurseries
were operated by the Department of Education. Attendance in the
public schools averaged 92.75 percent. Approximately 1,500 children
participated in the school lunch program. The sum of $3,529.97 was
contributed by the children themselves toward the program.
Up to 1936 the medium level of education of all teachers in service
in the Virgin Islands was the equivalent of completion of the ninth
grade. In 1950 the level is completion of high school. Several
teachers in the service are college graduates and some have had 1 or 2


years of post-high school training. The next objective in this respect
is to raise the minimum qualification to 2 years of post-high school
training. Overcrowded classrooms and inadequate physical facilities
continue to be among the chief problems of administering public edu-
cation in the Virgin Islands. It is hoped that during the next fiscal
year effective advancement will be made towards relieving this situa-
tion. It is commendable to note that despite these handicaps all
children of school age in the Virgin Islands are receiving formal edu-
cational instruction, and the percentage of illiteracy in the population
of 26,654 is less than 10 percent.
Activities of the St. Thomas public library, as well as the public
libraries in Christiansted and Frederiksted, were carried on efficiently,
but without any notable improvements to record, the chief needs still
being more ample funds to augment their services and for training
of librarians. Many valuable items were added to the Virgin 'Islands
collection. A summer story hour was again conducted in St. Thomas.

Each municipality of the Virgin Islands comprises a public health-
medical care unit. There are five full-time doctors in St. Croix.
There are six doctors in St. Thomas, who also attend to St. John
through bi-weekly visits. Inability to secure replacements reduced
that number to four during the year. Provision is made in the budget
for a pediatrician to cover both municipalities, but this position was
unfilled during this year. These doctors render nearly all the service
in the islands, there being only one doctor more in each municipality
who conducts a part-time private office. All doctors are general
practitioners. Some render specialized services in general surgery,
gynecology, and obstetrics as well. A psychiatrist alternates weekly
visits to each municipality. An orthopedic surgeon makes weekly
visits for 3 weeks in each month to St. Thomas which is the designated
hospital for all orthopedic surgery. Once every 2 months he visits
St. Croix to hold a clinic. Plastic surgery is done by contract in
Puerto Rico. 'Besides the hospital, ancillary services are provided
through public health nursing, nutrition, health education, medical
and psychiatric social work, mental health, sanitary engineering, and
dental divisions. Although the disposal of nightsoil, like garbage
collection, is not a function of a health department, this is included
in the sanitary services of the department.
During the calendar year 1949 there were 888 births in the Virgin
Islands, an increase of 6.6 percent over 1948, when there were 829.
The birth rate for 1949 was 35.7 against 33.3 in 1948. An outstanding
achievement is the fact that 64 percent of all births occurred in the
hospitals. The chief causes of death during 1949 were diseases of


the heart (26.7 percent), general arteriosclerosis (8.8 percent) and
the pneumonias (7.4 percent). It is interesting to note that 41 per-
cent of all deaths occurred in the age group 65-75, and 25 percent in
the age group 75 and over. There were 363 deaths during the calendar
year 1949 with a death rate of 14.6 representing an increase of 5.5
percent over 342 deaths with a death rate of 13.7 occurring in 1948.
Like the general mortality rate, the infant mortality rate for 1949
was higher than that for 1948, there being 83 deaths in 1949 with a
rate of 93.4 compared with 74 deaths in 1948 and a rate of 89.2. Pre-
maturity accounted for 22.9 percent of infant deaths, diarrhea and
enteritis for 19.3 percent, and the pneumonias for 15.7 percent. Still-
births were reduced from 25 with a rate of 30.1 in 1948 to 20 with a
rate of 22.5 in 1949. However, the maternal mortality rate for 1949
was 3.4 as against 2.4 in 1948.
A fairly widespread inoculation program was carried on in the
well-baby clinics. As a result of such inoculations an outbreak of
whooping cough in St. Thomas was effectively controlled. All in-
fants of 2 months and over who attend the well-baby clinics are offered
diphtheria and tetanus immunization along with inoculation against
whooping cough. Nearly all mothers agree to this inoculation pro-
gram. It is obligatory by law that all children of school age be
vaccinated against smallpox. Dry skimmed milk was made avail-
able through all well-baby clinics as a means of counteracting wide-
spread malnutrition.
There is evidence which indicates that the incidence of tuberculosis
in the Virgin Islands has been greatly reduced. This has been sup-
ported by mass X-ray surveys throughout the islands. All known
open cases of tuberculosis are hospitalized. A BCG program has
been planned for the next fiscal year under the direction of the
United States Public Health Service. Through the venereal disease
control program, the incidence of syphilis has been decreased to about
5 percent. Typhoid fever has not been present except in an occasional
imported case. A cancer control program is augmented through the
active assistance of the School of Tropical Medicine in Puerto Rico.
Indigent cancer patients are sent to the Cancer League Hospital in
Puerto Rico for treatment.
During the year efforts were made to obtain additional training and
experience for nurses. Three nurse-midwives received 12 months of
orientation training in obstetrics in continental United States. A
public health nurse attended a 16-week observation program at the
Detroit Public Health Department. An X-ray technician of St.
Thomas is now pursuing a 1-year course in Rochester, N. Y. Mem-
bers of the medical and public health staff attended regional and
national meetings and conferences. The establishment of a statistics


division will be given further impetus as a result of a year's training
in public health statistics now being undertaken by the statistician
in the United States.
Services were rendered in public health education, nutrition, mental
hygiene, and medical social work, all important phases of public
health activities. These are relatively new services which should
improve and expand in the future.
The Sanitary Code, passed by the Legislative Assembly of the Vir-
gin Islands early in 1949, has been implemented by the Municipal
Council of St. Thomas and St. John through the approval of neces-
sary rules and regulations. These regulations will go into effect on
July 1, 1950. The Municipal Council of St. Croix had not approved
the necessary regulations up to the end of the fiscal year.
Although the installation of salt water and sewer systems has been
substantially completed, there is grave concern that unless the legis-
lative authority compels by law the connection of homes to the mains
they will for a long time represent useless capital investments. The
utilization of these facilities will mean the difference between a back-
ward undeveloped area with all the indices of poor sanitation and a
progressive developed area comparable in living standards to similar
regions on the mainland of the United States.
While the general health of the Virgin Islands community is good,
there are several phases of public health which should be improved.
There are two modern abattoirs in the islands, one in St. Croix and
the other in St. Thomas. The one in St. Thomas has been leased by
private enterprise and will go into operation in July 1950. The ulti-
mate objective is to have all meats used in the islands slaughtered and
processed at these modern plants. Milk sanitation remains primi-
tive, although at the end of the year a modern pasteurizing plant was
nearing completion on St. Croix. The mosquito-control program in
St. Croix, inaugurated with Federal funds, was continued during
the year with municipal funds. It has resulted in the elimination of
the aedes aegypti mosquitoes. These are the mosquitoes responsible
for the transmission of yellow fever and filariasis. A less inteni)iv'
spraying program has been in operation in St. Thomas and St. Joh .
With an increasing demand for medical services, the need for mod-
ern hospital facilities is greatly emphasized. It is hoped that at least
preliminary planning for new hospitals under the Virgin Islands
Public Works Program could be initiated during the next fiscal year.

The Virgin Islands were fortunate to be included in the provisions
for public assistance and old age and survivors insurance of the new
Social Security Act. These welfare programs will bring tremendous


benefits to the people of the islands, and are greatly appreciated. A
better understanding of the welfare problems and needs of the islands
was obtained when a subcommittee ofi the House Ways and Means
Committee visited the islands and held hearings on the local applica-
tion of the Social Security Act.
Over $55,000 of local funds were provided for public assistance
expenditures in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John during
the fiscal year. The public assistance case-load increased from 584
persons in the previous year to 622 in 1950. The average monthly
grants was $6.47, about the same as in 1949. The Queen Louise Home
for the Aged, under the supervision of the social welfare department,
functioned during the year with an average of 16 inmates. The
Corneiro Home, which was bequeathed to the municipality under a
trusteeship, was fully occupied to its capacity of 25 rooms, one for
each tenant. The enrollment at the Mandahl School for Boys dropped
from 44 to 35. This reduction was due to strong efforts to return
the boys to normal homes and community environment as soon as
they proved themselves prepared for such transfer. A complete set
of orchestra instruments, a piano, and a Victrola were obtained by
the School through generous contributions made by public-spirited
citizens in New York City. An orchestra is now being organized.
Six girls were taken care of at a subsidized foster home.
In St. Croix a total of 500 needy persons received monthly cash
grants averaging $6.95 as compared with 460 cases in 1949 receiving
monthly assistance in the amount of $6.70. The Kingshill Home for
the Aged in St. Croix had an average occupancy of 137 inmates.
The Virgin Islands Commission on Children and Youth, established
under a recently enacted Legislative Assembly act, was particularly
active during the year studying the problems of children in the Virgin
Islands community. A Virgin Islands Committee for the Presi-
dent's White House Conference on the problems of youth, integrated
with the above Commission, has also been functioning. It is ex-
pected that the islands will be well represented at the White House
Conference scheduled for December 1950.

A great deal of emphasis was placed on traffic control and pedes-
trian safety. The police directors and police judges in the Virgin
Islands made a brief survey of traffic control and enforcement of
motor-vehicle regulations in the island of Puerto Rico, in order to
determine effective methods and procedures that could be practically
applied to the problem in the islands.
During the calendar year 1949, a total of 1,454 cars and trucks and
17 busses were registered in the Virgin Islands. Some 2,221 drivers


were licensed during the year. The development of the tourist trade
is considered one of the chief reasons for the large number of motor
vehicles in the islands. At present there are 219 taxicabs. The num-
ber of motor vehicles is increasing every year, and tends to complicate
the regulation and control of traffic, especially on the narrow streets
of Charlotte Amalie.
In St. Thomas a total of 324 complaints of traffic violations were
filed in the courts and conviction secured in 265 cases. There were
279 vehicular highway accidents during the year, as compared with
242 in 1949. Seventy persons were injured, and three killed. At the
same time the number of motor vehicles registered increased to 833
from 769 registered in the previous year. Of 89 cases assigned to
the local bureau of identification and investigation, 77 resulted in
arrests and 12 were pending at the close of the fiscal year. Last year
90 cases were handled by the bureau. In all, 974 criminal cases were
filed in the courts, as compared with 969 in 1949. Of these, 300 were
for violations of motor vehicle regulations and 200 for disorderly
conduct. Convictions were secured in 720 cases. The juvenile aid
bureau, with a policewoman in charge, handled 153 cases of individ-
uals under 21 years of age, who were referred or apprehended because
of behavior difficulties or anti-social acts. Of these, 95 were adjusted
by the bureau, 37 referred to the courts, 9 transferred to the Social
Welfare Department, and 12 were pending at the end of the year.
Activities of the police athletic league included opening of a youth
center, an amateur boxing tournament, and sponsorship of Christmas
parties for underprivileged children in the three islands, made pos-
sible by substantial contributions of The Virgin Islanders of New
York City, a group of public-spirited continental American citizens
residing in New York.
During the fiscal year 1950, a total of 349 arrests were made by the
police in St. Croix, as compared with 130 in the previous year. Of
these, 112 were for disturbance of the peace, 85 for juvenile delin-
quency, and 63 for violation of motor-vehicle regulations. At the
close of the fiscal year there were 36 prisoners at the central Richmond
Penitentiary, as compared with 17 in 1949. Twenty of these were
from St. Thomas and 16 from St. Croix.
The personnel of the police departments received the benefit of a
refresher course in police science under the able instruction of special
agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Instruction in the
use of explosives and nontoxic gases was also given by experts of the
Chemical Warfare Unit, United States Army, stationed at St. Thomas.

With the appointment of a full-time director, the activities of the
St. Thomas Tourist Development Board were considerably intensified


and expanded. One of the first activities was to urge the calling at
St. Thomas of transatlantic liners on West Indian cruises during
the 1949-50 winter season. The port of St. Thomas was included in
15 of the 22 West Indian cruises operated during the season. These
cruise ships brought 7,692 passengers and 9,859 crew members. Sta-
tistics gathered for St. Thomas only indicate that approximately
36,000 persons came to the island during the fiscal year, contributing
an estimated $1,797,566 in tourist revenue.
In an effort to publicize the Virgin Islands as an all-year round
vacation spot, 25,000 copies of a tourist folder were printed and dis-
tributed in the United States to important travel agents, steamship,
and airline offices in principal cities. In addition, 1,000 copies of a
travel agents' handbook on the Virgin Islands were printed, covering
general description, hotel and guest house data, and other pertinent
information on the islands. This handbook has proven to be an ac-
curate and up-to-date source of information for people interested in
visiting the islands. Several excellent articles on the islands appeared
in various magazines and in the travel sections of some of the larger
The activities of the Tourist Development Board also included the
sponsorship of a chauffeur-guide school and efforts to establish a hotel
training school.
As a member of the Caribbean Tourist Interim Committee a repre-
sentative of the Virgin Islands attended the inaugural meeting of the
Committee held at Trinidad, B. W. I.
1In St. Croix, expansion of the tourist trade was also indicated. By
the end of the year, efforts were being made to extend the activities
of the St. Thomas Tourist Develepment Board to the island of St.
Croix. The chambers of commerce in both municipalities are
extremely active in tourist as well as industrial promotion.

The administration of the 10-million dollar Virgin Islands Public
Works Program was transferred to the jurisdiction of the United
States Department of the Interior and assigned to the Office of Terri-
tories. This brings the local government closer to the immediate im-
plementation of this program. During the next fiscal year, efforts
will be made to have the street and highway projects assigned to the
local public works departments.
The operation of the new salt water sewer and fire protection system
has been assigned to the public works departments.
With the addition of two new trucks for garbage disposal and the
enforcement of the new sanitary regulations, it is expected that the
public works department will be more successful in removing garbage


from the city of Charlotte Amalie during the next fiscal year. During
periods of drought the department was called upon to haul and deliver
over 600 tons of potable water to private individuals. In addition,
the hospital, public schools, and other public institutions were supplied
with water from the public reservoirs. Standpipes from the public
reservoirs were opened three times weekly for the purpose of making
water available to the general public. When the new potable water
supply system is completed, its operation will be assigned to the public
works department in both municipalities.
A total of 106 building permits were issued in St. Thomas for nearly
$500,000 worth of private construction. Other permits were issued
for electrical, sanitary, and water installations. A total of 108 per-
mits for sanitary installations and sewer connections were issued, an
increase of approximately 50 percent over the number issued during
the previous fiscal year.
Other routine work of maintenance and repairs of public buildings,
surveys, etc., were carried on by the department. There were 23 fires,
none serious, in St. Thomas during the year, resulting in property loss
estimated at only $2,000.
In St. Croix public buildings were repaired by the public works
department; some dredging was done at the water front in Christian-
sted and roads and streets repaved. There were eight grass fires in
the rural areas in St. Croix, and two fires in Christiansted which
resulted in approximately $1,000 worth of property damage. Fifty-
eight building permits were issued for construction, approximating
$175,000 worth of private construction, and nine permits for sanitary
installations and sewer connections.

During the year the conversion of the electrical system on the island
of St. Thomas from direct current to alternating current was com-
pleted. Efforts to secure six power units from Army surplus in the
Caribbean Area did not culminate successfully. An application is
under preparation for a substantial loan from the Reconstruction
Finance Corporation in order to extend the system to cover several
rural districts and to provide additional power units. With the San
Jose project, a chemical warfare unit of the United States Army,
abandoning the facilities of the former naval submarine base, plans
were being made by the end of the year for the St. Thomas Power
Authority to take over the operation and maintenance'of the power
In February 1950 a referendum was held in the municipality of St.
Thomas and St. John to determine by a plebiscite what were the
sentiments of the people in regard to municipal ownership and opera-


tion of the electric light and power system. The results indicated that
a majority of the people were in favor of municipal ownership and
In St. Croix conversion from direct current to alternating current
was substantially completed in both towns by the end of the year.
Contracts were awarded for the installation of modern telephone
facilities in St. Thomas and St. Croix. Federal funds for this much-
needed improvement have been made available under the 10-million-
dollar Virgin Islands public-works program.

Despite the fact that a department of labor has not been created in
the Virgin Islands, considerable attention is given by the local wage
and hour divisions and the workmen compensation commissions to
the activities and problems of labor. During the fiscal year, the first
local wage and hour law was enacted for the municipality of St. Croix,
providing the following minimum wages: utility worker, 15 cents
per hour; sales and service clerk, 20 cents per hour; unskilled labor,
30 cents per hour; semi-skilled labor, 40 cents per hour; and skilled
labor, 50 cents per hour. There has been a local wage and hour law
in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John since 1941. Here,
too, the minimum wage rates were increased during the year as fol-
lows: utility worker, 20 cents per hour; sales and service clerks, 30
cents per hour; unskilled labor, 40 cents per hour; semi-skilled labor,
50 cents per hour; and skilled labor, 65 cents per hour. Overtime
wages computed at one and one-half times the regular rate are paid
after a work-day of 8 hours or a work-week of 44 hours.
In the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John 116 cases under
the local workmen's compensation law were handled, resulting in
awards aggregating $12,777.70, as compared with 194 cases handled
in 1949 with awards aggregating $6,446.33.
In the municipality of St. Croix 38 cases were handled by the Com-
pensation Commission and a total of $2,001.66 was awarded, as
compared with 29 cases handled in 1949 and $808.38 awarded.
During the fiscal year a Labor Relations Act was enacted for the
municipality of St. Thomas and St. John. This law provides that the
workmen's compensation commission shall serve as a labor relations
board. It is considered a progressive step in ameliorating unwhole-
some conditions arising out of industrial disputes and establishes a
sound basis' for better human relationship between labor and
New minimum wage rates were established under the Federal Fair
Labor Standards Act from a low of 15 cents for hand-sewing and
hand-weaving operations to a high of 40 cents for numerous operations


including banking, real estate, bay rum manufacturing, construction,
public utilities, and shipping and transportation.

The Virgin Islands handcraft cooperative in St. Thomas continued
to operate as an economic asset of the community. During the year
nearly 400 persons earned over $27,000 producing straw-work and
needle-work for the cooperative. As a result of the increased tourist
traffic to the island during the winter season, sales to visitors were
almost quadrupled in comparison with such sales during the previous
winter season. Sales including mail orders for the fiscal year totaled
over $47,000.
The production and sale of native handcraft could be greatly ex-
panded in the islands. Demands for quantity orders are increasing.
However, there has been a lag in production to meet such demands
due to the fact that the tyre palm, the basic material for straw work,
is not grown extensively in the Virgin Islands and has to be imported
from the neighboring French West Indian islands. In order to ex-
pand the activities of the cooperative, it is imperative that arrange-
ments be made to cultivate the tyre palm in the Virgin Islands, and
that additional instruction and guidance be given to new workers
in handcraft.
The Virgin Islands were fortunate to have the Eighty-second Con-
gress consider favorably several bills of insular importance. The
Vocational Education Act of 1946 was extended to include the Virgin
Islands. The benefits of the Nation-wide slum clearance and rede-
velopment program were also extended to the Virgin Islands. In ad-
dition, the Federal Airport Act and the new Social Security Act were
made applicable to the Virgin Islands. Although introduced near
the close of the fiscal year, there are good indications that the appro-
priation for harbor improvements will be passed. A bill to transfer
the agricultural activities in the Virgin Islands from the Department
of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture, and a bill to extend
the National Guard to the Virgin Islands are under consideration.
Unfortunately, favorable consideration was not given to the pro-
posal to return to the local treasury the internal revenue taxes collected
on products exported from the Virgin Islands to the continental
United States. This single measure would contribute more than any
other to the program of self-support and self-dependence, initiated
by the present Administration. The move to provide Guam and
Samoa with organic acts seems to have raised considerable question
in regard to territorial representation in the Congress. Thus the


possibility of legislation being enacted to provide a resident com-
missioner for the Virgin Islands seems remote. Nevertheless, the local
government will make every effort to have this favorably considered
during the next year.
No session of the Legislative Assembly of the Virgin Islands was
held during the early part of the 1950 calendar year due to the fact
that a new Governor was appointed and inaugurated just about the
time the session should have convened. However, in accordance with
the Organic Act a session of the assembly was called to convene during
the month of August.
The municipal council of St. Thomas and St. John passed 162 bills
and resolutions during the fiscal year, 7 of which were vetoed. One
bill repassed over the Governor's veto was submitted to the President
of the United States, in accordance with procedure set forth in the
Organic Act. The President supported the Governor's veto. Out-
standing among the bills passed were the municipal labor relations
act, and an amendment to the local wage and hour act increasing the
minimum wage rates. Several resolutions were passed naming public
parks, recreation areas, and highways after outstanding local citizens
and prominent officials. Among them was a resolution naming the
airport at St. Thomas the "Harry S. Truman Airport," and another
resolution naming the "Charles Harwood Highway" in honor of a
former Governor of the Virgin Islands.
In St. Croix the municipal council passed 83 bills, 4 of which were
vetoed by the Governor. Outstanding among them was an ordinance
to defray transportation expenses of veterans to travel to continental
United States for vocational or academic training, and the first local
minimum wage and maximum hour act for this municipality. A
resolution was passed naming the "David Hamilton Jackson Park"
in Christiansted in honor of the outstanding legislator, labor leader,
and judge, now deceased.

Since the enactment of the Organic Act of the Virgin Islands in 1936,
the people of the islands have been progressing rapidly toward poli-
tical maturity. Before the passage of the Organic Act the people
were stifled from expressing their opinions on public affairs and in
selecting their legislative representatives due to income and property
qualifications for voting. The chief contribution of the Organic Act
to political progress in the islands has been through the establishment
of universal suffrage. Since 1938 the islanders are eligible to vote
on being able to read and write the English language. Virgin Island-
ers are citizens of the United States. They have a Bill of Rights which
includes the basic provisions of the Bill of Rights of the United States


Constitution. They have legislatures which are vested with broad
legislative powers. They do not yet elect their own governor, nor
do they have the privilege of voting for the President and Vice
President of the United States.
In 1936 there were only 1,489 voters in the Virgin Islands. With
the first general election held under the liberal provisions of the Or-
ganic Act in 1938 the number of voters was considerably increased.
In 1948 there were 5,509 registered voters in the islands, and every
election year the number is increasing.
Realizing the need for further advancement in self-government, the
Legislative Assembly of the Virgin Islands in 1944 created by resolu-
tion a committee to study the Organic Act and recommend revisions.
This committee worked vigorously on the assignment for several years,
holding public hearings in the three islands and studying every phase
of the act in the light of current local conditions and political aspira-
tions. Included among the recommendations were provisions for a
single legislature for the Virgin Islands in place of the three legisla-
tures created in the Organic Act, a single treasury, a Resident Com-
missioner to represent the islands in the Congress, and the return to
the local treasury of the internal revenue taxes on articles produced
in the Virgin Islands and exported to the United States.
The work of the Organic Act Reform Committee was followed up
by a referendum on most of these basic questions which was held in
1948. The question of popular election of the Governor was also
included in the referendum. Unfortunately, the referendum was held
at the same time as the general elections for members to the municipal
councils. It is believed that the activities of the political campaign
conflicted with and subordinated the issues of the referendum and
resulted in less than 60 percent of the voters who took part in the gen-
eral elections casting ballots in the referendum. Thus the returns of
the referendum indicated a majority of the voters opposed to all the
basic issues of revision, except the provision for Resident Commis-
sioner. It is proposed to hold another referendum on these important
issues next year.
Considerable progress, nevertheless, has been made in the field of
political advancement.. In 1950 the first Virgin Islander was ap-
pointed Governor by the President of the United States. This is
construed as a significant step in recognizing the ability of the people
of the Virgin Islands to govern themselves. For several years most
of the important positions in the government have been held by
qualified Virgin Islanders, and the trend is toward greater local
One of the chief objectives of the present administration is the
attainment of a practical and effective approach to the goal of greater


self-support and self-dependence for the Virgin Islands community.
Historically, the Virgin Islands have drifted along with a very un-
favorable trade balance and on deficit financing. Under such condi-
tions it has been virtually impossible for the islands to establish a
sound economy which is essential for further advancements in self-
government. The present administration is committed to a program
of reducing and eventually eliminating deficit financing, and encourag-
ing the establishment of new industries and commercial activities
which will improve the local economy.
The following quotation from the inaugural address of the first
Virgin Islander as Governor, depicts the present economic outlook
for the islands and the approach of the local government to these
I cannot emphasize too strongly the importance of self-support and self-
dependence. We must make every effort gradually to reduce our dependence
on the Federal Government. Our limited economic resources may make this a
truly difficult goal and one which may take some time to achieve. In the attain-
ment of this objective, we shall expect that the Federal Government will treat
us the same as our brothers on the mainland and in Puerto Rico by making us
eligible to receive all social security, educational, health, and welfare grants on
the same basis as other American citizens. We shall ask Congress to grant us
the simple justice of returning to us the internal revenue taxes which Puerto
Rico has enjoyed over a period of many years.
But we must not ask for and expect these benefits without actively supporting
in these islands those measures which will bring us closer to the goal of self-
support. We need the tourist dollar. We need to cash in on increasing con-
tinental interest in business enterprises. We need small industries. We need to
produce more food and to import less. We need to provide more and better
local handcraft. Visitors to these islands want to take back home distinctive
local products. We need credit facilities. Our more prosperous citizens need
to have more faith and confidence in the future of these islands, and to express
that faith in active political as well as financial participation in local affairs
and enterprises.
Those objectives cannot be accomplished unless our people provide the same
degree of efficient and interested service as is offered in other American com-
munities, unless we provide training opportunities for our young people to raise
their own standards and those of the community, unless our communities can
offer the skills which are necessary for them and promote opportunities for
such skills to be used here rather than elsewhere.
With hard work and intelligent and painstaking efforts on the part
of the people of the Virgin Islands, with an understanding by the
legislatures and all local groups that every effort must be made by
Virgin Islanders to depend more on themselves and less on the boun-
ties of the United States; and with the sympathetic and active support
of the Congress, and the cooperation of the Department of the In-
terior, it is believed that considerable progress can be made in attain-


ing the goal of greater self-support and self-dependence for the Virgin
Islands of the United States. Such economic progress is possible (1)
through increased local food production, (2) establishment of an all-
year tourist program, (3) establishment of small industries, and (4)
economy of government.

Preliminary totals of the Virgin Islands for the Seventeenth Decennial Census, 1950

S Number of
Enumeration district Population rms dwelling

Christiansted city-- ------------------ --------------- 4,110 1, 497
Frederiksted city ------------- ----------------- - 1, 25 2 718
Christiansted country .---...--.. -- --.- ------------- 2, 343 233 654
Frederiksted country .---------------------------- ---- 3, 718 290 1, 157
Country district of St. Croix ---- ---------- ------ 6, 061 523 1, 811
Municipality of St. Croix ----- ---- 12, 096 525 4, 026
Charlotte Amalie city ---- ------------11, 463 7 3, 416
Country district of St. Thomas .------------------- --2, 348 197 641
St. Thomas Island -------------- ---------- ---------- 13, 811 204 4, 057
St. John Island ..-- ...---------------------------.. 747 108 264
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John --.----- ------ 14, 558 312 4, 321
Virgin Islands of the United States ----------------- 26, 654 837 8, 347

Rainfall in inches, 7949-50 1

St. Thomas St. Croix St. Thomas St. Croix

July 1949 -------------- 3.82 1.98 February --- ------ 4.64 9.48
August _----- ------ 3.69 3.73 March ------------ .60 2.35
September ..... 10.25 8.98 April ------- 2.66 3.62
October ..........--- 7.76 6.63 May _------------ .84 2.55
November..--.......... 2.28 5.72 June------ -------- 1.72 1.93
December ......... 2.10 6.70
January 1950........... 3.40 4.23 Total ----- 43. 76 57.90

1 1949-50 average for Virgin Islands, 50.83 inches.

10-year rainfall record

1941-- __--------
1943 -----
1944 -- ----
1945--------- ---

Inches Year-Continued Inches
34.60 1946--------------------- 32.52
47.81 1947------------------ 33.71
47.53 1948-------------------- 41.62
46.42 1949------------------ 42.11
36.40 1950------------------- 50.83


Police department statistics

Virgin Islands
Type of complaint
1947-48 1948-49 1949-50

Assault--........------...............-...--------.... 7 5 12
Assault and battery --___.....____.....------------- --------- 99 82 98
Aggravated assault and battery ._----.---------------------- 25 44 36
Assault with intent to kill --- ------ --------------- 1 1 4
Burglary ------___.__.................-----------. 7 4 13
Carrying of concealed weapon -- ----------------- 4 1 2
Disorderly conduct ----- ------------------ 258 221 202
Disturbance of the peace.. ------------- 110 66 112
Embezzlement...------------ -------------------------- 1 1 3
Forgery --------.................-------------------------------------------- 0 2 9
Gambling__............ ........--------------------------------------------------- 20 38 30
Grand larceny -------------------------------- ---3 5 2
Lewd and lascivious conduct--------------------------- 0 4 1
Malicious wounding of animal----------------------- .. 0 1 0
Manslaughter, involuntary-....----. ------------------------ 1 1 7
Murder, first degree... ---------- 0 4 0
Petit larceny ------_. -------------------------- 48 37 17
Possession of property unlawfully obtained -------------- 6 3 2
Possession of unlicensed guns------------------------ 3 0 12
Robbery --.0----------------------- 0 0 2
Slander-------- ------------------------------- 28 19 21
Statutory rape-------------------------------------- 4 3 6
Trespass- .._..---------------------- 35 30 18
Vagrancy ------------------------------.----------- 0 4 15
Violation of automobile ordinance-- ---- ------- 144 224 363
Violation of firearm ordinance ----------- --------------- 0 3
Violation of firework ordinance ---------------------------------- 0 0 18
Violation of game ordinance-------------------- .-------------- 2 0 0
Violation of liquor ordinance ------------------------------ 2 0 0
Violation of police regulations ------- 219 67 69
Violation of prostitution ordinance.--------------- 4 2 0
Violation of sanitary regulations------------------------- --49 69 49
Violation of school law--. --------- .. 8 5 0
Violation of venereal disease ordinance _. ......--------------------- 15 9 6
All others ------------------------96 147 191
Total -....- ...------------------ -- 1,199 1, 099 1,323

Institutional statistics, department of health, 1949-50

Christian- Frederik- Leper Kings Hill Charlotte
sted sted Asylum Home Amalie

Beds ----.......----------- ------- 73 61 92 150 111
Bassinets .-------------- 12 10 --- -------- 20
Average occupancy ------ ----------- 43 42 27 137 112
Peak occupancy -------- 70 42 30 147 130
Minimum occupancy ------ 23 26 24 138 101
Number of physicians ----------- 3 2 (1) () 6
Number of graduate nurses------- 14 14 1 5 15
Average salary -. --------- $1,478.50 $1,520.50 ..1_------- $1, 519.20 $1, 482.00
Average number of student nurses .----- 7 8 ------------------------ 2
Average salary of student nurses._-----. 687.42 663.00 ---------- 780.00
Number of student nurses graduated----- 1 1 0
Other employees----------- -- 26 24 11 24 83
Total salaries ......------ $45,418.00 $51,312.40 $7,420.00 $22,980.00 $106,228.33
Equipment------------ 7,200.00 1,400.00 800.00 700.00 4,000.00
Subsistence -.._-.- 15,200.00 13,600.03 10,000.00 23,000.00 32,500.00
Maintenance ..-_..-------------- 11,759.00 10, 511.50 5, 750.00 5,792.00 33,121.67
Average ration rate per day ---- .447 .71 .691 .371 .49
Total budget (municipal) - -- $79,577.00 $75,437.90 $23,940.00 52,472.00 $175,850.00
Cost per patient per day ------- ------ 4.746 6.20 2.376 1.028 3.60
Receipts (bills sent) --_.---------- --- 926. 70 809.00 --------........ --. 10,382.30
Actual cash receipts. ---- 2, 508. 61 1,143. 55 ----- -------- 12,951.40
Births in hospital ........_..---------- 118 122 ------- 360
Births out of hospital ------ 71 24 197
Deaths in hospital ....------ ------------- 58 71 2 23 122
Admissions to hospital ----------------- 1,355 1, 125 3 38 2,340
Sick days in hospital -_ ----- 16, 766 12, 382 10, 072 51, 020 40, 875
Admissions to clinic -- 1,005 689 --------- 8, 239
Dispensary treatments .-- --- --- 3,376 6,485 ------------ 31,442

1 Part time.


Distribution of local government employees according to occupation

Occupation aS Thomas St. Croix VirginIslands
Occupation and St. John

Clerical ------------------------------------------------- 111 48 159
Administrative -------- ----------------------- 15 8 23
Supervisory.---- --------------------------------------- 36 21 57
Professional--.....------------ ------------------ -- ------- 146 105 257
Subprofessional.--------------------------- ---- -- 56 28 84
Public safety .............................................. 50 29 79
Inspectional _-------------------------------- 4 1 5
Equipment operators --------------------------------- 59 27 86
Trades and labor ~_---_------_- ----------- 122 72 194
Housekeeping........................-------------------- 55 63 118
Food Service.---- ---.....-----.. --------- ----- ----50 31 81
Engineering------..................------.....---- ----... 1 1 2
Unclassified, casual labor..............................-------- 705 434 1,139
Grand total, Virgin Islands ............------- ------- -------------- 2,216

Real property statistics

Assessed value Taxes

1939 1949 1939 1949

Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John --.. $3,909, 513.82 $6.919,913.29 $48,886.70 $86,223.42
Municipality of St. Croix...................... 4,144, 999. 86 6,028,780.92 51,814.03 75, 359. 07
Total, Virgin Islands..---..--.. ----... --. 8,054, 513. 68 12,948.694.21 100,700.73 161,582.49

Import and export statistics

1947 1948 1949

Animals and animal products, edible..............-----------
Animals and animal products, inedible ----...............-
Vegetable food products and beverages --..._. _----_. --------
Vegetable products, inedible, except fiber and wood..---
Textile fibers and manufactures .....---------------------
Wood and paper ----_... __.- ----------- -..-----
Nonmetallic minerals ---.....- --. ------............
Metals and manufactures, except machinery and vehicles .--
Machinery and vehicles. .--- --------.............
Chemicals and related products ..... .....-------------------
Miscellaneous ...................... ......---
Total. ---------------.......-- -
Total imports from foreign countries-._-- ..--. _.------------
Grand total- ..........----..................
Cattle...._____ --_-_____--_______--
Other animals, edible ... ------------_
Beef, fresh, chilled, or frozen -----------------------------
Other animals, edible products.---- --- -------------
Hides and skins -..----------
Animals, inedible. -___--- --_..---
Coconuts in shell ......----------------
Cane sugar... .--.......... ....---- ----.----
Gin ..-.. ---..-------------------
Rum .-.._......._ _____ _
Whisky- ......--------
Cordials, liqueurs----- ....-
Wine -..----.... _.---- -----------
Wood and manufactures ---.----------
Charcoal, wood.......... .........--------- ...........
Perfumery and toilet waters, including bay rum ..--..-..---
Containers---_ _-------
Household and personal effects---.......--.....--
All other articles ------------------.------ --
Total exports to foreign countries .........................
Grand total.........--------------.................................---

$813, 763
106, 454
1, 694, 088
270, 024
869, 543
690, 134
768, 891
309, 415
779, 707

$787, 941
109, 326
1,821, 112
501, 887
197, 885
291, 090
765, 584
822, 495
1, 002, 920
1,142, 428

$759, 221
248, 239
664, 602
196, 652
360, 250
796, 830
918, 639
1, 093, 221
313, 616
2, 701, 374

7, 002, 249 7, 665, 939 8, 176, 045
2,029,494 1,799,623 1,791,180
9, 031, 743 9,465, 562 9, 967, 225

30,132 71,463 50,292
704 2, 210 2, 096
46,600 0 0
1,625 9,549 175
11, 405 5,177 6, 045
1, 612 1,637 2, 572
70,198 49,717 1,465
312,395 270,707 500,830
1,010 0 0
343,424 203,832 579.823
34,376 0 3,080
144,170 46,663 14,022
0 81,197 0
5, 377 1, 590 956
3.098 376 0
1,649 23, 738 18,412
304,446 319,135 390,097
1,641 7, 332 4, 700
17,473 43,840 162,959

1, 331, 365
2.183, 744-

1,138, 163
559, 874
1,698, 037

1, 734, 524
766, 532
2, 501,056


Comparative statement of revenues of the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John
for the fiscal years 1940, 1945, and 1950

Revenues 1940 1945 1950

Real Property tax__ .. -----------.. -... -. $46, 506.74 $63, 902. 63 $81,631.29
Income tax ------------ 99, 236. 21 941, 090.47 398,111.23
Gasoline tax ....--------------------- --- --..--- ...- 6,675.90 10,200. 6 27.490.31
Auto license fees ----------- 6, 713. 99 7, 602.81 13, 547. 56
Trade and lamp tax------------- -------
Net revenues from customs ------------- ------ 14,435.27 12, 900.00 17,400.00
Taxes on inheritance ...----. -----------. 436. 92 1, 941.87 656.87
Court fees, etc ......--------------- ---- 5,077.04 6,090.19 9,838.36
Stamp dues ----------- ----------- 3,050.94 2,895.04 4,731.90
Fees from steamer tickets .------ --------------- 1, 054.00 2,476.00 14, 948. 75
Burgher briefs, etc ----- 5,918.48 11,989, 30 15, 712.47
Pilotage fees ___....---------- ------------------ --------- 4,470.72 29,977.27
Internal revenue taxes ---------------------------------- 2, 998.85 -------------- -----------..
Trade tax ------- ----------------------.. 18,759.04 43,783.26 195,512.43
From pay patients, municipal hospital ------------------ 5.065. 64 5,143,10 12, 951,40
Fees collected by custom house----------------------------- 523.74 --- -
Passport fees -..-------_- -------- 97.00 136.00 ---- ----
Night soil removal service- 3,485.80 ..--------.- --------------.
Annual license fees --------------- ---. 2.027.85 2, 932. 66 5,993.85
Miscellaneous .... ------------------------- 5,735.16 19,107.36 57,561.58
Taxes on amusement and entertainment ------------------- -- .----------------------6.- 6. 52
Total --....------........----------------- ------- 227,798.57 1,136,661.97 886,071.79

Comparative statement of revenues of the municipality of St. Croix for the fiscal years
1940, 1945, and 1950

Revenues 1940 1945 1950

Real property tax ------ $53,487.94 $53,660.06 $71,431.71
Income tax ------------- -- 11,428.83 391,075. 63 73,212.75
Auto tax .._---------------.......------------- 6,887.90 7.352.64 12,130.92
Gasoline tax ._- ----- --- 8,497.08 9,434.15 19,452.63
Import duty --------------------------- 5,545.30 239. 13 3, 500.41
Export duty ----------.----------- 33,549.39 556.68 443.77
Ship dues -.._- ---- ----- -- ------ 3,358.51 172.86 1,461.90
Wharfage-------------------------------------------- 3,164.49 329.58 2,564.73
Stamp dues -------- ------------------------- 2, 439.16 1, 968.84 3, 426. 54
Vendue fees and percentages -------------------------------- 87.77 141.82 -----------
Taxes on inheritance _-----_ ---------------- 462. 54 3, 285.14 762. 20
Fees from court and police ---- ------.. 3, 485. 91 4, 452.84 5,850.07
Fees from burgher briefs ------------------ ---- 2,175. 00 8, 050. 07 7, 287.09
Excise duty ------------------- ------------- 8,615.88 11,666.50 36,184.08
Internal Revenues --- ------ 7, 030. 05 1,692.12 73, 916. 54
Fines and confiscations -------- ------------------ 1,361.00 1.225.10 1,138.50
Revenues from prison---- 677.55 ------------ -----------
Support of leper asylum ---------- ------------- 1,033. 38 813. 32 3, 954.61
Support of insane asylum -------------------------------- 2,177.51 --
Support of King's Hill Home ------.------------ 624.22 362.72 -.. ---
Support of Richmond Penitentiary ----------- 493.73 5, 576. 66 7, 326.78
Returns from sanitary work--------- ------------- 2,478.43 1,829. 56 5, 471.62
Corporation fees___ --------------- 747.19 747.19 1,171.50
Fees from customhouse .---- -----------------109. 85 6.01 461.14
Passport fees ---------------------------- 55.00 ..--------------------
Miscellaneous -------------- 10,436.86 4,224.27 12,267.16
Telephone service .. .......----------------- 55,534.12 6,520.39 11,702.25
Total...--. ... ..----------------- -------- 175,944.59 515,383.28 355,118.90

Statement of major departmental appropriations for fiscal year 1950 and
percentage of total budget

Municipality Percentage Munialit Percentage
Department of St. Thomas of total f St. rox of total
and St. John budget budget

Education .......-----.----------------. $279,450 23 $115,605 14
Health _______- 216,749 18 228,695 28
Police and prison___ ------ 81,644 .07 37,918 .05
Public works-------------- 236,978 19 123,453 15
Social welfare ---------------------------- 94,178 .08 61,700 .07


Table of revenues and expenditures on a per capital basis

Population Revenues Per capital Expenditures Per capital

1940 1950 1940 1950 1940 1950 1940 1950 1940 1950

St. Thomas and
St. John....... 11,967 14,558 $232,848 $886,072 $19.43 $60.86 $277,000 $1,230, 888 $23.10 $80.55
St. Croix ...... 12,902 12,096 176,013 355,118 13.64 21.01 270,239 825,100 20.95 68.21

Education statistics, 1949-50

St. Thomas St. Croix Virgin Islands

Number of schools:1
Public .. ---------------------------------
Private..-- ---------------------.
Total. ------------------------

School population:1
Public ......----------------..............----------------
Parochial-.... ..........----------------------
Private ..............----------- .................--------------
Total .............--------------.............................----------------..--
School enrollment:
Grades 1 through 6 -------- ----
Grades 7 through 9----.. -- ----- -
Grades 10 through 12--------------------.......--..
Total (public only) .....--- .............--
Number of pupils per classroom teacher:
Rural elementary --. _____-------------------
Urban elementary---- ---------------------_
Highschool. ----------
Average salary of teachers (public schools):
Elementary ------- ---------------
High school --------------
Teachers' training:
College trained-------------------------------------
High school .---------------------
Total number of teachers_ ................. ._
Total cost of education:
Municipal appropriations. ----- ---
Federal appropriations -------------------------
Other. ----------------
Total -------------------
Cost of education per pupil in public schools -----. ---
Aid to college students.---------------------
School lunches:
Number of schools participating_-------__-_-_____-
Number of employees --._-------------
Total salaries paid------- --------------
Total lunches served....---- -------
Average daily participation .-- --------------'---
Amount contributed by participating children ..------
Amount contributed by municipalities:
Cash contribution.-------------- ..--------
Other contributions (estimated) 2---- -
Federal contributions:
Cash-- ----------
Other (estimated) --------
Total contributions from Federal and municipal sources,
and children. .........-------------------

19 13 32

2, 919 1, 685 4, 604
563 1, 287 1, 850
213 0 213
3,695 2,972 , 6, 667

2,007 1, 241 3, 248
657 273 930
255 171 426
2, 919 1, 685 4, 604
30 27 ..--- .
32 32 ---
26 26
$1,265 $1,185 -.............
1,796 1, 89 .............

27 17 44
57 38 95
32 8 40
116 63 179

$291,346.83 $129,669.45 $421.016.28
91,003.47 23,144.59 114,148.06
426.44 .- 426.44

382, 776. 74
$74. 66
$33, 055.99
29,420. 65
$118,775. 93

152, 814.04
$69. 76
$9. 960. 55
1, 500
$3, 529.97
$17, 756. 00
24,713. 50
$60, 829.92

535, 590.78
$3. 857. 14
$43, 016. 54
3. 937
$3, 529. 97
$65, 349. 96
$44, 661.77
$179, 605.85

1 Exclusive of kindergartens, of which there were 8 in St. Thomas and St. John, with 10 teachers employed
and a total enrollment of 306 children.
2 Value of services and facilities contributed without charge by Department of Education and other local
3 "Free food." Estimated value of commodities contributed without charge by the United States De-
partment of Agriculture.


Voting statistics


1936 1948

St. Thomas:
Town_---- 25 2,377
Country ......------------------------------ 165 523
St. John-------------------------- 35 278
St. Croix:
Christiansted town __------------------------- 263 1,042
Christiansted country_.... --------------------- 110 465
Frederiksted town .------------ ---------------------213 475
Frederiksted country -------. ----------------------------- 178 349
Total ------------------------------------------- 1, 489 5,509


St. Thomas:
Town __------------------ -- 23-------- 291 1,483
Country --------------------------------------------66 370
St. John .-----------.................. -------------------------------. 29 207
St. Croix:
Christiansted town .--------..............----------------------.. 226 638
Christiansted country ....................-------------------------- 98 253
Frederiksted town ..................... .--------------------------. 182 348
Frederiksted country...................... -----------.............. 158 284
Total ------------------------------------------- -1, 050 3,583

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