Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents

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/UF00015459/00028
 Material Information
Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Alternate Title: Annual report - the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands to the Secretary of the Interior
Annual report, Virgin Islands
Physical Description: v. : tab. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Virgin Islands of the United States -- Governor
Publisher: for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
Place of Publication: Washington
Publication Date: 1952-1953
Frequency: annual
Subject: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Virgin Islands of the United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States Virgin Islands
Numbering Peculiarities: Report covers fiscal year.
General Note: Title varies slightly.
General Note: Vols. for 1925/26 issued as Senate document 170, U.S. 69th Congress, 2d session.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00015459
Volume ID: VID00028
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA5018
oclc - 01235215
lccn - 26027791
issn - 0363-3438

Table of Contents
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Full Text



Governor of
the Virgin Islands



Douglas McKay, Secretary


Morris F. de Castro, Governor


For salc by the Superintendent ol Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C. Price 20 cents




AGRICULTURE ..... .......

EDUCATION . . . . . . .
PUBLIC SAFETY . . . . . .
PUBLIC WORKS ...........

TOURISM . . . . . . .
CIVIL DEFENSE ...........

LEGISLATION . . . . . . . .


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Morris F. de Castro, Governor

During the fiscal year July 1, 1952, to June 30, 1953, the Virgin
Islands were quite fortunate to receive considerable attention from
top-ranking officials of the new national administration. In March
1953, Hon. Douglas McKay, Secretary of the Interior, accompanied
by Mrs. McKay, Hon. Ezra T. Benson, Secretary of Agriculture, and
Mr. Harry McDonald, Administrator of the Reconstruction Finance
Corporation, visited the Virgin Islands. They came to the islands to
attend a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Virgin Islands
Corporation. However, their visit had much greater significance,
especially because two new cabinet officers visited the islands within 2
months of the inauguration of the new administration.
The Virgin Islands was the first Territory to be visited by the
Secretary of the Interior who has general supervision of all Territories
and possessions of the United States. It also enabled the Secretary
to obtain a realistic view at first hand of the conditions and the
problems of the islands. In a radio broadcast from Government
House in Charlotte Amalie the Secretary pledged to do his utmost to
assist in developing the prosperity and well-being of the islands. He
also stressed the fact that the progress of the islands must be based
more and more upon the islanders' own resources and ingenuity.
A few months later, in May, the Virgin Islands were host to Hon.
Orme Lewis, Assistant Secretary of the Interior, and Mrs. Lewis.
They visited the islands to attend the ground-breaking ceremonies
for the Charlotte Amalie High School in St. Thomas and the Chris-
tiansted High School in St. Croix, and to witness the official opening
of the new Frederiksted Clinic and Public Health Facility. In June,
1953, the new Director of Territories, William C. Strand, and the new
Chief Counsel A. M. Edwards, also visited the Virgin Islands. There-
fore, in the short span of the first 6 months of the new administration


a number of influential officials of the Department of the Interior
had visited the Virgin Islands and had become familiar with their
problems at firsthand. This significant concentration of official
attention on the Virgin Islands will surely result in the sympathetic
interest and assistance of the Department of the Interior in the future
development of the islands.
An activity of international significance was the presentation on
August 4, 1952, by His Excellency Henrik Kauffmann, the Danish
Ambassador to the United States, of a gift from the Danish Govern-
ment of exact replicas of the original furniture of the ballroom of the
Government House at St. Croix. This gift, which is highly appre-
ciated by the people of the Virgin Islands, is a symbol of the reservoir
of goodwill which exists between the people of the two sovereign
nations. Donated in commemoration of 150 years of uninterrupted
diplomatic relations between the United States and Denmark, the
furnishings were installed in complete restoration of the beauty and
antiquity of the old Danish ballroom.
Another outstanding achievement of the year was the initial grant
of $77,200 made available by the fund for the advancement of educa-
tion, Ford Foundation, to the Virgin Islands, through Hampton
Institute, Hampton, Va., to initiate a teacher-training program to
improve the quality of teaching in the Virgin Islands. This program,
which will consist of year-round inservice training to be conducted in
the Virgin Islands and special scholarships to Hampton Institute, will
begin with the next school year and will possibly continue for 5 years.
Other highlights of the year were the substantial completion of new
and modern hospital structures in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas;
Christiansted and Frederiksted, St. Croix; and Cruz Bay, St. John;
the letting of contracts for a new high school in St. Thomas and one
in St. Croix; the transfer of the electric light and power facilities of
the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John to the Virgin Islands
Corporation, which had obtained ample funds from Congress for re-
habilitation and expansion of the system; the commencement of con-
struction of a low-rent-housing project in St. Croix, the second such
project in the Virgin Islands; and the establishment of an agricul-
tural research and extension program under the United States De-
partment of Agriculture.

During the last fiscal year a Revised Organic Act for the Virgin
Islands was passed by the House of Representatives, but it was not
taken up by the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.
Upon the recommendation of the Department of Interior another
bill, H. R. 5181, to revise the Organic Act of the Virgin Islands, was


introduced in the House of Representatives. Hearings on this bill
were held by a Subcommittee of the Committee on Interior and
Insular Affairs headed by Hon. John P. Saylor of Pennsylvania. At
the hearings delegates from the Legislative Assembly of the Virgin
Islands and from the St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce testified
together with the Governor.
A bill sponsored by the St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce and one
sponsored by the legislative assembly were also introduced and num-
bered H. R. 5608 and H. R. 5835, respectively. These three bills are
similar on the basic provisions for a unicameral legislature, a Resident
Commissioner, and the return to the islands of internal revenue taxes
on products of the islands shipped to the United States. The sub-
committee did not report on any of these bills before the end of the
fiscal year.

During the past few years there has been a gradual and clearly
noticeable development in the economy of the Virgin Islands. The
tourist trade has been expanding, which has resulted in the establish-
ment of new hotels, guest houses, and many new restaurants and
retail businesses. A few small industries have also made a contribu-
tion to the progressing economy. Employment has been provided
for practically all employables in these new enterprises.
Savings deposits comprise a definite index of the economy of an
area. According to published statements of the Virgin Islands
National Bank, savings deposits have increased nearly $1,100,000
in the past 2Y years. On December 31, 1950, savings deposits of the
Bank amounted to $2,007,443.95. By June 30, 1953, savings deposits
had risen to $3,096,954.66. Demand deposits or checking accounts
in the Bank likewise increased by $1,100,000 during the same period.
On December 31, 1950, total deposits in the Bank were $4,279,666.25.
On June 30, 1953, 2% years later, total deposits were $6,475,669.49,
an increase of $2,200,000, or over 50 percent. It is likewise interest-
ing to note that during the 6-months period, January 1 to June 30,
1953, savings deposits increased half-a-million dollars and demand
deposits increased by $600,000.
An examination of postal savings accounts has indicated a similar
picture of increased savings. On June 30, 1950, postal savings in the
Virgin Islands amounted to $340,951. By June 30, 1952, postal
savings had increased to $389,351, an increase of $49,000. The
published documents show that in 1952 there were 89 depositors per
1,000 population, which is higher statistically than in all the States
of the Union and in all other Territories and possessions of the United
States. At the close of this fiscal year, postal savings in Charlotte
Amalie alone had increased another $33,000 since June 30, 1952.


In 1952 the value of total imports of the Virgin Islands from the
United States increased by $2,000,000 over the value of imports in
1951. In 1951 total imports were $9,132,054. This was increased to
$11,162,888 in 1952. A recent expert study of workmen's compen-
sation insurance coverage on the island of St. Thomas indicated that,
using an employment index of 100 percent in 1942 as a base, employ-
ment had been increased to 254.7 percent in 1952, or an advance in
the employment index of 150 percent in 10 years. Of still greater
significance is the information obtained as a result of this study that
employment in private business and industry in St. Thomas increased
from 1,000 persons in 1942 to 3,000 in 1952. Similarly, the payroll
index of 100 percent in 1942, used as the base year, had advanced to
431.2 percent in 10 years.
Income taxes collected in St. Thomas in 1941 were $138,000.
Income taxes collected in St. Thomas in the fiscal year 1953 amounted
to over $552,000. On the Island of St. Croix, income tax collections
jumped from $11,000 in 1941 to $168,000 in the fiscal year 1953.

During the fiscal year construction work began on the second large
low-cost housing project in the Virgin Islands under the Public
Housing Administration. This project, the D. Hamilton Jackson
Terrace, consists of 110 dwelling units at Christiansted, with a
total development cost of $1,202,000. In St. Thomas work continued
on the Paul M. Pearson Gardens, a 240-unit housing project. How-
ever, progress has been slow, and it is anticipated that the project
will not be completed as scheduled in the contract.
In the meantime, the Virgin Islands Housing and Redevelopment
Authority has prepared and submitted a development program cover-
ing 70 units of low-cost housing under the rural-nonfarm program of
the Public Housing Administration. If approved, this project will
develop a site adjacent to the town of Frederiksted, St. Croix, and it
is estimated to cost approximately $892,000.
Initial work in connection with the planning of the first slum
clearance and urban redevelopment project was begun early in 1952.
This project envisioned a development in the Savan area of Charlotte
Amalie, including 150 units of low-rent housing at an estimated cost of
$1,500,000. This project is held in abeyance pending congressional
The principal activity of the Virgin Islands Planning Board was in
connection with the development of master plans for the city of
Charlotte Amalie and the Island of St. Thomas. This project was
made possible by an appropriation passed by the Municipal Council
of St. Thomas and St. John. It is hoped that funds would be made


available by the Municipal Council of St. Croix for planning purposes
during the next fiscal year. Work on these plans began in April
1953, when a member of the staff of the Puerto Rico Planning Board
accepted a 3-month contract as planning consultant. A number of
maps of Charlotte Amalie and the Island of St. Thomas have been
prepared dealing with such subjects as housing, population, public
utilities, waterfront development, traffic patterns, etc. It is expected
that the master plans will be completed during the next fiscal year.
There is great need for a revised planning law in order to correct
certain defects in the present legislation. Another attempt will be
made to have improved legislation passed by the legislative assembly
of the Virgin Islands at its next session.
Despite repeated efforts on the part of the administration, the
Municipal Council of St. Thomas and St. John has continued to refuse
to pass legislation designating an historic zone in Charlotte Amalie,
in order to preserve the architectural monuments of the most im-
portant sections of the old city. However, there has recently been a
wave of public support of this proposal, and it is hoped that the
legislation would be passed during the next fiscal year.

For the first time since the existing real property tax law for the
Virgin Islands authorized by Congress in 1936, and the regulations
provided for therein were promulgated by the President of the United
States, the statute was questioned in a court of law by citizens in
St. Thomas. The District Court of the Virgin Islands held that the
law as enacted provided for the assessment of taxes during one calendar
year for the previous year. As regards the legality of the assessments,
the court found no evidence to substantiate the various claims of
illegality in the procedure adopted. While the decision of the court
established the validity of the statute, it also established the respon-
sibility of the government agency to maintain adequate records on
which assessments for real property tax purposes are based. In view
of this fact, a definite effort will be made during the next fiscal year
to improve the record procedures for real property tax purposes.
Real property assessments in the municipality of St. Thomas and
St. John became fairly stable during the past year. Following a
general reassessment program for the year 1951, there was further
effort to realize complete uniformity and equalization of property
values. As a result there were only eight appeals to the Board of
Review, as compared with 274 appeals the year before. Further work
in this area should soon assure equity in assessments throughout the

2,80625-54--- 2


There was a slight increase in total assessments for 1952, the
valuation being $8,761,695.20 with corresponding assessed taxes of
$114,346.17, including sanitation service charges, compared with as-
sessed valuation of $8,751,872.00 for 1951 and assessed taxes in the
amount of $109,398.49.
Speculation in land continued during the year with 201 property
transfers certified as to taxes paid thereon during the calendar year
1952, valued at $720,380.75. It is interesting to note that in the
10-year period from 1942 to 1952 the assessed valuations and taxes
therefrom practically doubled, the totals being $4,345,215.75 for 1942
and $8,761,695.20 for 1952 with taxes of $54,071.31 and $114,346.17
In the municipality of St. Croix real property assessments for the
calendar year 1952 totaled $6,796,779.69, an increase of $194,034.99
over that of the preceding year, yielding assessed taxes in the amount
of $84,958.52. Again this increase, as during the year 1951, was
obtained principally from new construction with little evidence of
speculative sales. Contemplated for the next year is a general reas-
sessment of all property values in St. Croix.

The new pay plan which went into effect on July 1, 1952, has con-
tributed greatly to the improvement of the efficiency and morale of
the municipal government employees. Under the new pay plan
many positions which were vacant for some time have been filled.
In addition, there has been an increase in the availability of trained
nurses, and a lower rate of turnover in the teaching personnel. How-
ever, there are certain areas that still need further study and adjust-
ment in order to achieve better morale and to improve recruitment.
Of the 1,123 classified employees in the service of the local govern-
ment 670 were assigned to departments and agencies in the munici-
pality of St. Thomas and St. John and 453 in the municipality of St.
Croix. Although the Virgin Islands are only 132 square miles in
area and have a population of 26,000, the government services to be
rendered on behalf of the people are as numerous and complex as the
public services of a much larger community. In order to administer
these services, a minimum government structure is required, with a
certain minimum personnel. Naturally in a small community the
percentage of that minimum core in regard to total employment
would be much higher than in a larger community with numerous
industries and business activities as outlets for employment. The
problem of maintaining and administering the public services needed
by the people of the Virgin Islands and at the same time keeping
personnel at a minimum compatible with efficiency and economy, is
a continuing dilemma.


Another effort will be made during the next general session of the
legislative assembly to have the necessary legislation passed to enable
all municipal employees to enjoy the benefits of the old-age and sur-
vivors insurance provisions of the Federal social-security system.
These benefits are in a general way more liberal than those provided
under local law. A local law passed in 1951 limits coverage under
Federal social security of employees who are not covered by local
retirement laws. If an agreement is executed with the Social Secu-
rity Administration under this law, all other municipal employees
would be forever barred from being covered under Federal social
security. To avoid such a situation, the administration has delayed
entering into an agreement with the Social Security Administration
to cover only certain insular and municipal employees, and has en-
deavored to have the necessary legislation to provide for general cov-
erage enacted by the legislative assembly. If no action is taken by
the next assembly, the limited number of government employees now
authorized will be covered under social security, and the other em-
ployees will be barred from coverage unless the Federal enabling law
should change.

At the end of the fiscal year, the total revenues collected from local
sources in the Virgin Islands continued to reflect the upward trend of
the economic progress of the area. Possibly, the most important
factor contributing to the upsurge of the economic condition is the
tourist business. Another very important factor which aided in the
financial picture of these islands was the selection of this area for
liberty of large numbers of Navy men during Caribbean maneuvers
which lasted for several months.
The greater part of the expenditures of the government is reflected
in the operation of the educational, health, and public works services
of the islands. The government still continues to explore every
possible area to reduce, or limit, expenditures for the essential public
services. Even with the help of the Federal grant, the total obligations
of the government exceeded the total receipts by approximately
$18,000. In order to meet this deficit, the government is anticipating
making loans from certain of its trust funds.
A total of $1,355,602 raised from local sources in the municipality
of St. Thomas and St. John, with $240,200 of the United States con-
tribution, made a total of $1,595,802 available to meet the total esti-
mated expenditures of the same amount. The total revenues collected
for the fiscal year 1953 represent an increase over the $1,081,143
raised for the fiscal year 1952. This increase was due chiefly to the
larger collections from income taxes, real property tax, trade tax, and
a general increase in most of the other smaller revenue tax sources.


The increase in revenues from the three major sources indicated above
resulted from the improved economic conditions, and the continued
rigorous enforcement of collection procedures. For example, this
year $117,488 of real property tax was collected, as against $90,225
in 1952; an amount of $552,315 was collected this year from income
tax, as against $493,019 in 1952; an amount of $359,715 of trade tax
was collected this year as against $213,236 in 1952.
In the municipality of St. Croix, a total of $591,676 was collected
from local sources as compared with $487,400 collected in the fiscal
year 1952; an amount of $504,800 of the contribution by the United
States Government has been made available to the municipality of
St. Croix, making a total of $1,096,476 available to meet the total
estimated expenditures of $1,114,832. There is approximately a
reduction of $10,000 due to savings within the budgeted expenditures
of $1,124,832. St. Croix, therefore, faces a further deficit of approxi-
mately $18,000 which is to be met through a loan from local trust funds.
At the beginning of this fiscal year, the Municipal Council of St.
Thomas and St. John increased the gross receipts taxes from three-
fourths of 1 percent to 1 percent; lowered the taxes on cigarettes from
2 cents per package to 5 percent, which was calculated to yield more
revenue because of the position taken by the trade that they would
absorb this lower tax on exports; and increased the trade tax on all
goods other than foodstuffs and those taxed at a higher rate from
2 percent to 3 percent. The council likewise increased the gasoline
tax from 5 cents to 6 cents per gallon; and instituted a fee of $1 for
temporary automobile drivers' permits. A tax of 2 percent was also
imposed on the total billed charges of all paying guests at hotels, but
was later repealed due to its adverse effect on the tourist trade.
The Municipal Council of St. Thomas and St. John also doubled
the very low inheritance tax rates to 2 percent on inheritances from
husbands and wives, parent and child; 8 percent on inheritances from
brothers and sisters; and 14 percent on inheritances from all other
persons. The former tax had been in effect for the past 76 years.
The Municipal Council of St. Croix in early July increased the
internal revenue tax on passenger-carrying vehicles from 5 percent
to 10 percent; increased the internal revenue taxes on all commodities,
excluding sugar, foodstuffs, and charcoal, from 2 percent to 5 percent;
and increased the gasoline tax from 5 cents to 6 cents per gallon; and
instituted a tax on silverware, perfumes, and jewelry of 10 percent of
the selling price. This council likewise doubled the inheritance tax
rates as in St. Thomas.
Although the economic picture is encouraging, it is evident that
the Islands have not attained an economic level necessary to produce
sufficient revenues to support the minimum cost of operating essential
public services on a standard necessary for maintaining the proper


development of the educational, health, and welfare requirements of
American citizens. As has been stated in the past, in order to avoid
making annual requests for a Federal contribution to balance the
budget of the Virgin Islands, it is necessary to return to the Virgin
Islands the internal revenues on articles exported from the islands to
continental United States. It is hoped that the keen interest evinced
by Congress this year will result in the passage of a revised Organic
Act including this vital provision.
Upon the recommendation of the Governor, the United States
General Accounting Office commenced on-the-site audits of the ac-
counts of the government of the Virgin Islands as well as operating
surveys of the various departments leading to management reports
for improvement of operating techniques. These audits and surveys
will be continued on an annual basis. With the cooperation of the
General Accounting Office and the Department of the Interior, pre-
liminary studies are being made looking towards the installation of a
modern municipal system of accounting, the installation of which
will be commenced during the coming fiscal year. It is expected that
the installation of the new system will take at least a year as it will
cover not only Federal funds, but all municipal and local public and
trust funds including the modernization of the functions of payrolling,
procurement, accounting, disbursement, and related functions.

On July 1, 1952, the United States Department of Agriculture began
the administration of the agricultural program of the Virgin Islands in
accordance with an act of Congress. From 1932 to 1952 the agri-
cultural program, which consisted chiefly of extension work, was
administered in the Islands by the United States Department of
Interior. The program is set up under the Division of Tropical
Agriculture of the Office of Experiment Stations and is limited by
law to agricultural research and extension.
Actual work on the ground could not be begun until September
1952, when a portion of Estate Bethlehem New Works, St. Croix,
was leased from the Virgin Islands Corporation, and the staff began to
assemble. At the close of the fiscal year the technical staff consisted
of six persons: an agriculturist-in-charge, a horticulturist, an agrono-
mist, an extension agent, and assistant to the horticulturist, and an
assistant to the agronomist. The time of beginning operations, and
the severe drought that followed immediately, slowed down work in
the field, but experiments were begun in the following, though final
results were, of course, not obtained in any before the close of the
fiscal year: Pasture improvement; chemical control of brushy weeds
in pastures; chemical control of weeds in sugarcane; improved
varieties of papayas and mangoes; and possible new economic crops.


Cooperative work with the Virgin Islands Corporation and other
public agencies was begun on the rehabilitation and improvement of
the Bethlehem New Works village. 4-H Clubs were reestablished
with 130 of the children in four of the rural schools. Thirteen
weekly articles on various phases of local agriculture have been
submitted to newspapers in St. Croix and St. Thomas.
With the closing of the St. Thomas agricultural substation, farmers
on the island of St. Thomas suffered the loss of the numerous ex-
tension services which were previously rendered. In order to com-
pensate for this loss, the municipal government has continued certain
limited operations under the agricultural development fund. A
competent horticulturist has been placed in charge of this program
with activities still centered at Estate Dorothea. In a limited way
the farmers of St. Thomas and of St. John have been assisted under
this program through the sale of seeds, seedlings, ornamentals,
insecticides, fertilizers, eggs, and chickens; also through the dis-
tribution of water. Since the Department of Agriculture is con-
centrating on research work in the field of agriculture in St. Croix,
a further study is believed to be necessary in order to determine a
sound policy in regard to farming in the municipality of St. Thomas
and St. John.

The close of the fiscal year 1953 marked the fourth anniversary of
the Virgin Islands Corporation under its 10-year charter granted by
The Corporation continued to improve and develop the production
of sugarcane for the manufacture of raw sugar and molasses and, even
though the sugar crop was still in progress on June 30, production had
already exceeded the Virgin Islands quota of 12,000 short tons, thus
setting a high mark in this field of operations for the island of St.
Croix during this century.
The overall sugar operation, while showing an appreciable improve-
ment over past years, was still greatly handicapped by an extreme
and protracted drought for over 6 months, as well as for the lack of
certain main items of new and improved factory machinery which
resulted in yields less than could otherwise have been achieved. The
mechanical improvements are scheduled for accomplishment during
the coming fall season, to be in shape for next year's crop. Unit
costs of various operations in both field and factory were reduced
even in the face of substantial wage increases required under USDA
production and marketing regulations.
The Corporation has now completed its first year of operation of
the generation, distribution, and sale of electric power for the entire


island of St. Croix, with a substantial increase in the volume produced
as well as the number of consumers served. This operation is show-
ing a nominal profit. This was done in the face of reduced rates to
consumers. A new diesel generating unit has been installed in the
St. Croix power plant thereby increasing its capacity by 70 percent
with a present total capacity of 1,861 kilowatts.
On December 1, 1952, the Corporation purchased the distribution
system of the St. Thomas Power Authority, at the request of the
municipality of St. Thomas and St. John, and is now responsible for
the production, distribution, and sale of electricity for the island of
St. Thomas. Substantial additional generating and distribution
capacity has been and is being installed in St. Thomas and the pro-
duction and sales have been increased. Power facilities in St.
Thomas were overtaxed and the operation was in a precarious condi-
tion. The Corporation is bending every effort, with marked success,
to achieve a firm and adequate power supply for St. Thomas. This
division is also paying its way and is showing a profit. It is expected
that reduction in rates to consumers should soon be made. A plan
to extend the power operations to St. John is being studied.
Last September the Corporation provided existing buildings and
about 50 acres of land, all under lease to the Department of Agri-
culture, for the establishment of the new Agricultural Experiment
Station in St. Croix. Under the terms of a cooperative working
agreement with the Department of Agriculture, several field experi-
ments in fertilizing, weed and brush controls, grass varieties, and
livestock breeding and upgrading, are under way.
During the year the Corporation continued its experimental activ-
ities in vegetable short crops with results varying from failure to
moderate successes. As a result of the experience and information
gained, it is contemplated that a commercial scale plot of 100 acres
of beans will be produced during the coming winter months, endeav-
oring to prove conclusively whether or not beans can be used to
diversify and augment the present one-crop sugar economy.
Under the program for grants, the Corporation has continued and
expanded its land and water conservation program, particularly with
the building of over 20 large earthen dams for the impounding of
water, and clearing of several hundred acres of pasture land for
improved cattle production on St. Croix. Plans have been made for
the extension of most of the program to the island of St. Thomas,
scheduled to commence during July 1953 and to be operated as
topography and sound economic development permit and require.
The Corporation continued to use its grant funds for tourist devel-
opment through the Virgin Islands Tourist Development Board mainly
in the form of a variety of advertising to attract tourists to the Virgin
Islands. This assistance has played an important part in the increase


in tourism which has, conservatively, increased fivefold in as many


There was a slight decrease in the number of merchant ships calling
at the port of St. Thomas during the fiscal year as compared with
1952. A total of 322 merchant ships with a gross tonnage of 1,864,592
called at St. Thomas as compared with 338 ships with a gross tonnage
of 1,920,735 in 1952. However, 193 United States vessels called at
St. Thomas as compared with 75 during the previous year.
Considerable difficulties were experienced for extended periods in
the transportation of freight to the islands from continental United
States. After a lapse of many years, the Bull Lines placed a ship,
the S. S. Puerto Rico, on a biweekly schedule between New York,
San Juan, and St. Thomas. This ship transported both passengers
and freight, and relieved the local situation to a large extent. How-
ever, this service did not prove profitable to the steamship company,
and was discontinued after a 4-month period. Ships of the Alcoa
Steamship Co. and small interisland vessels now fill this gap. The
Delta Line vessels and the French Line banana ships continued their
regular bunkering calls during the year. A total of 20 visits were
made by cruise ships, as compared with 12 visits the previous year.
The waterfront project in St. Thomas progressed to the point
where a portion of the bulkhead could be used by small boats. It is
expected that the project should be completed early next fiscal year.
Transportation of freight by air has become an important factor in
the local commerce activities. About 800,000 pounds of cargo and
over 80,000 passengers were transported by air in and out of the
Virgin Islands. However, the commercial possibilities of the St.
Thomas airport are limited due to the size of the runway, which is
only 4,200 feet, and the topography of the surrounding area. The
possibility of extending the runway, or of relocating the airport must
be studied in the near future, in order to plan for the continued
improvement of the local economy, especially through the expansion
of the tourist trade.
St. Croix was served by only one direct steamship line, the Alcoa
Line, calling once a month. However, the great bulk of freight
service was performed by schooners and barges. The need for better
docking facilities in St. Croix is becoming more and more evident.
Over 30,000 passengers were transported by air in and out of St.
Croix during the fiscal year. The possibilities are excellent in St.
Croix for the economical expansion and development of the airport.
The potentials there are excellent for the development at St. Croix
of an important air terminal in the Caribbean.



During the fiscal year the health and sanitation services in the
Virgin Islands were administered under the leadership of Dr. Roy A.
Anduze, a native of the Virgin Islands, who succeeded Dr. John S.
Moorhead, another Virgin Islander, as Commissioner of Health.
The Knud Hansen Memorial Hospital in St. Thomas, a modern 116
bed institution, is completed, and plans have been made for the
official opening during the month of July. The Charles Harwood
Memorial Hospital, a 60-bed modern hospital, at Christiansted,
St. Croix, is also completed, and will be officially opened early in the
next fiscal year. The Frederiksted Public Health Facility, a 12-bed
unit, and the Morris F. de Castro Clinic at Cruz Bay, St. John, a
4-bed unit, were opened during the fiscal year and are now in operation.
An eminent hospital consultant of the United States Children's
Bureau was loaned to the department of health for 2 months to carry
out an extensive survey of administration problems incident to the
reorganization to be undertaken with the transfer of the hospitals to
new and modern quarters. This service was invaluable in determin-
ing areas of responsibilities and in outlining chains of command.
Maintenance engineers were appointed to insure adequate mainte-
nance of the new hospital structures and servicing of their compli-
cated and expensive machinery. Laboratory work was greatly
improved by the addition to the staff of adequately trained personnel
and by additional training outside the islands of one of the locally
trained technicians. Training was commenced for kitchen and
laundry supervisors to manage the modern equipment which has been
installed in the new hospitals.
With the dedication of the Knud Hansen Memorial Hospital and the
Charles Harwood Memorial Hospital, the people of the Virgin Islands,
through the generosity of the United States Government, will have the
benefit of adequate modern health and medical care facilities. Rec-
ognizing the need for additional revenues to operate properly these
facilities, both Municipal Councils passed legislation providing for the
establishment of new schedules of fees for medical and dental services,
and also for a medical care plan to assist patients who are medically
indigent. The new schedule of medical care fees has been approved
by the Municipal Council of St. Thomas and St. John, and it is
expected that similar action will soon be taken by the Municipal
Council of St. Croix.
There were 862 births in the Virgin Islands during the calendar
year 1952 with a birth rate of 30.9 per 1,000, as compared with 953
births in 1951 with a birth rate of 34.9. A slight decrease was
realized in the death rate. In 1952 there were 346 deaths with a rate
of 12.2 per 1,000, as compared with 375 deaths in 1951 with a rate of



13.7. The leading cause of death continued to be heart disease,
accounting for 32.1 percent of all the deaths. This indicates that the
trend in the Virgin Islands is following the general pattern of the
continental United States where heart disease is responsible for 37.1
percent of all deaths. There were 46 infant deaths with a rate of 53.4
per 1,000 live births. This is the lowest figure ever recorded in the
Virgin Islands. However, despite this decline in infant mortality,
the Virgin Islands infant mortality rate is still far higher than the
infant mortality rate of 28.6 reported for the United States for 1952.
During the year 423 surgical operations were performed in St.
Thomas and 350 surgical operations performed in St. Croix. There
were 13,277 dispensary treatments in St. Thomas and St. John, and
17,495 in St. Croix. Sick days in hospital were 32,106 in St. Thomas
and 32,009 in St. Croix. The cost per patient per day was $6.24 in
St. Thomas, $6.32 in Christiansted, and $9.19 in Frederiksted, while
the average daily ration costs at the same places were $1.37, $0.55
and $0.72. These costs are all far below actual needs and at the same
time they are ridiculously low when compared with similar costs in the
United States.
A total of $944,502 was expended for medical care and public health
services in the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year. Of this amount
$681,849 was appropriated from local revenues, $246,333 allocated
from Federal grant-in-aid funds, and $16,320 from Interior Depart-
ment funds. The Federal grant-in-aid funds were expended for the
following services: Crippled children, maternal and child health,
tuberculosis control, venereal disease control, general health and
mental health, heart disease control, and water pollution control.
The second annual working conference on mental health was held
in St. Thomas, April 20 to 24, 1953. The topic was "The Virgin
Islands Child." Attendance at this conference indicated a continued
interest in this health project. One of the recommendations of the
conference emphasized the need for continued efforts to be made to
establish institutes and workshops as a definite part of the annual
inservice training programs of the mental health division.
Under the crippled children's program major therapeutic surgery
was performed in St. Thomas on 6 children and 7 adults. Twelve
children were sent to Puerto Rico for care not available in the Virgin
Islands, 8 for plastic surgery and 2 for neurosurgical consultations.
One child from St. Croix was sent to continental United States for
extensive plastic surgery. In St. Thomas and St. John alone approx-
imately 5,200 cases of school children and indigents were given dental
health services. A topical fluoride program is an additional dental
health service which is being conducted. The possibility of fluorida-
tion of the water system at the Paul M. Pearson Gardens housing
project is now being investigated. It is interesting to note that over


70 percent of the live births in the Virgin Islands during the fiscal
year occurred in the hospitals. This is the result of the maternal
and child health program, which has been conducting well attended
prenatal clinics.
Under the public health program 2,864 children received physical
examinations during the year. Over 500 parents were present at the
time of the examinations. This response was obtained through the
cooperation of the health education division. A total of 5,370 small-
pox vaccinations were done among the school population. The Island
was subject to a severe outbreak of Bright's disease in school children
as a complication of impetigo. As a result practically all other activ-
ities of the public health division in St. Croix were suspended to con-
duct an intensive program in the entire school population, both in
schools and homes to combat it successfully.
Certain limited achievements were attained in the field of sanita-
tion during the fiscal year. An inadequate sewerage act was passed
by the legislative assembly of the Virgin Islands, requiring manda-
tory connection of private homes to the sewer systems in Charlotte
Amalie, Christiansted and Frederiksted. Rules and regulations
under this act have been approved for the municipality of St. Thomas
and St. John. The sanitary code was finally approved for the munici-
pality of St. Croix after many years of effort by the administration.
A vigorous program of enforcement of the provisions of the sanitary
code was carried out in Charlotte Amalie with the cooperation of the
police court. A program of outdoor DDT fogging has helped to re-
duce the mosquito population. Through the process of chlorination
the percentage of contamination of water in cisterns has been greatly
reduced. A frontal attack on the disgraceful nightsoil removal sys-
tem is being planned for the next fiscal year.
Again this year a number of doctors, nurses, a municipal dentist,
and the sanitary engineer director were able to obtain training in con-
tinental United States in specialized fields and to attend important
health conferences. This program of inservice training was financed
chiefly by Federal grant-in-aid funds. A number of visiting physi-
cians and surgeons of professional rank gave freely of their time and
talents in lectures and conferences.
With the establishment of modern health facilities in the Virgin
Islands, it is timely to carefully reexamine the entire concept and
structure for the delivery of medical care and community health
services. The pattern of medical care now in operation was devel-
oped over 30 years ago. During that period of time it has served
its purpose well. However, new forces have emerged in the total
social fabric. Marked changes have occurred in the physical en-
vironment. The general standard of living has improved. New
scientific bases are available for prevention, diagnosis and treatment


of illness. There is a wider public understanding of personal and
community health problems. Fully aware of these factors, it is the
determination of the government to study these problems, and grad-
ually to adapt the traditional pattern of the past quarter of a century
to meet current and future demands for improved health services.

Significant progress was made in the school building program under
provisions of Public Law 510. Specifications were completed and
advertisement made for bids in construction of a high school in St.
Thomas, for repairs and improvements to three rural schools, con-
struction of a high school and an elementary school in Christiansted,
and one rural school in St. Croix. It developed, however, that the
lowest bids submitted exceeded funds available for this phase of the
program, whereupon determination was made to proceed in construc-
tion of the two high schools only. Contract was awarded to Republic
Construction Co. and Fluor Western, Inc., and construction begun
on both schools in May. Impressive ground-breaking ceremonies
were held on the new schoolsites in St. Thomas on May 25, and in
Christiansted, St. Croix, on May 26, with Hon. Orme Lewis, Assistant
Secretary of the Department of Interior, participating as the principal
speaker on both occasions. The significance of this event in the his-
tory of education in the Virgin Islands can be sensed only by those
aware of the fact that at present with the exception of a few smaller
school units, schools are housed entirely in makeshift buildings never
intended for school use.
Certain developments in connection with vocational education
contributed to improvement of the program in this field. In this
respect the islands are indebted to the Vocational Division of the
Department of Education in Puerto Rico for splendid cooperation in
extending services in teacher training and in releasing personnel for
service here. The Insular Board for Vocational Education is likewise
deserving of special mention for the thoughtful and perceptive manner
in which members have treated the difficult problems claiming their
attention during the year in which among other actions affecting this
service, outstanding in significance was the determination to employ
a consulting director who was granted leave of absence from his
duties in Puerto Rico to allow him to enter our service.
Although it has not been possible to add many new courses, despite
apparent need in certain fields, major effort has been directed to
improving effectiveness of instruction in courses already established
and in surveying training needs in local industries. Much has been
accomplished also in improvement of administrative procedures.
Especially noteworthy events and activities of the year include


evening courses in home economics for adults, an evening course in
concrete block laying, two teacher training courses attended by all
teachers of vocational education, a workshop session for home eco-
nomics teachers in August, observation and training missions to
Puerto Rico, and establishment of the Virgin Islands chapter of the
American Vocational Association with 100 percent membership of
instructional staff.
In the field of teacher training, the most deficient aspect of our
school system, events during the year have been most gratifying in
the promise of financial support of a long Lange, comprehensive pro-
gram, especially adapted to our needs, as the result of the Governor's
appeal to the fund for advancement of education. In this connection
the Governor invited Dr. Alonzo Moron, president of Hampton Insti-
tute, to act as his representative to present the case of the Virgin
Islands at a meeting of directors of the Ford Foundation, at Pasadena
in January. Dr. Moron proposed a plan in which Hampton Institute
would participate in a three-phase program involving teacher-training
scholarships for graduate and undergraduate study, inservice courses for
teachers in the Virgin Islands, and leadership in carrying out the study
of education in the Virgin Islands as proposed by the committee of
consultants from the United States Office of Education in 1950.
One immediate result of this approach was the granting of two all-
expense fellowships for high school teachers by the fund for advance-
ment of education. By the year's end there was assurance that the
fund would make an initial grant in support of the comprehensive
program for the ensuing year.
Total enrollment in public schools was 5,384, slightly below that of
the preceding year. Of this number, 950 were enrolled in junior and
senior high school grades in St. Thomas, and 520 in St. Croix. Enroll-
ment in parochial and private schools amounted to 2,270, of which
976 were in St. Thomas and 1,294 in St. Croix. Total enrollment in
all schools was 7,650, a decrease of 37 below enrollment in the pre-
ceding year.
The total cost of public education and services administered by the
educational system was $682,504.86, including the school lunch serv-
ice, and in St. Thomas, operation of the public library, Teachers
Institute, and public recreation facilities. Of this amount $81,995.90
was made available by the Federal Government, chiefly in support
of vocational education and the school lunch service.
An average of 2,565 children participated daily in the school lunch
program in St. Thomas and St. John. In St. Croix, average daily
participation was 1,780. Average expenditures for education, not
including the school lunch service, was $95.92 in St. Thomas and St.
John, and $95.98 in St. Croix, as compared with $90.60 and $90.06
last year. These costs are admittedly very low.


The inservice training program for members of the police forces in
the Virgin Islands was continued. An increase in the number of
motor vehicles contributed to the grave problem of traffic control and
regulation in St. Thomas. At the end of the fiscal year there were
1,137 motor vehicles registered, 1,072 permanent drivers' licenses and
1,794 temporary drivers' licenses issued. A total of 438 taxicabs
operating daily through the narrow streets of Charlotte Amalie ag-
gravated the traffic problem. Under these conditions it is fortunate
that only 378 motor vehicle accidents occurred during the year in
which only 75 persons were injured. The traffic bureau of the police
department has been active, with the cooperation of the police court,
to safeguard property and life under these conditions.
In St. Thomas 1,050 criminal complaints were handled as compared
with 1,175 during the previous fiscal year. Disorderly conduct con-
tinued to be the major offense. Over 200 cases were handled by the
Bureau of Identification and Investigation, of which 85.11 percent
resulted in arrests and convictions. At the end of the year there were
32 complaints pending. The Juvenile Aid Bureau and the Police
Athletic League continued the task of coping with the problems of
juvenile delinquency. School safety patrols were organized during
the year.
In St. Croix, under an intensified program of law enforcement, 1,091
complaints were received as compared with 690 for the previous year.
The follow-up on all complaints resulted in a high percentage of arrests
and convictions. A total of 1,352 automobiles, trucks, motorcycles,
and bicycles were registered, compared with 1,222 for the previous
year. There were 102 accidents for the year with 20 injuries, but no
fatalities. The most serious problem encountered during the year
was a series of cane field fires with a clear indication of incendiary
origin in several instances. These fires occurred during the prolonged
The small police departments do a commendable job when it is
considered that, as a. tourist center, more than 100,000 people visit
the islands, with several thousands of armed service personnel sta-
tioned here for many months of the year.
The relationship between local departments and the Federal Bu-
reau of Investigation is good. In addition to furnishing technical
and professional advice and assistance, this agency of the Department
of Justice has been of constant assistance in the processing of com-
plaints involving violations of Federal laws.
A source of growing satisfaction has been the steady improvement
in the relationships with the officers and personnel of the Armed
Forces who periodically visit the island on maneuvers, for training,
and for recreational purposes. Outstanding among the activities in


this sphere during the year was the excellent relationships developed
with units of the Navy's underwater demolition team, and submarine
squadrons, which were stationed here for prolonged periods of training.
Letters of commendation and plaques were received from the com-
manding officers of these units, attesting to their appreciation of the
cooperation extended and the excellent personnel relationships

After repeated attempts of the administration, legislation was
enacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Virgin Islands, making it
mandatory to connect properties to the new sewerage systems in-
stalled in Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, and Frederiksted by the
United States Government. While the legislation is not sufficiently
strong to expedite the program of connections to the sewerage sys-
tem, it is a step in the right direction. Administrative enforcement
of the law has begun, and will be accelerated during the next fiscal
Over 100 connections have been made to the potable water supply
system in St. Thomas. The system has been of real service to the
community, but it could not withstand the extended drought which
affected the islands during the latter part of the fiscal year. Through
the splendid cooperation of the United States Navy, operation
"Waterlift" was instituted, and over 3,000,000 gallons of water trans-
ported from Puerto Rico by barge. Sixty-eight sanitary installation
permits were issued as compared with 43 in 1952, along with 136
electrical permits. A total of 168 building permits were issued for
private construction work estimated at $601,819. While four more
permits were issued this year over last year, the value of the con-
struction work was approximately $40,000 less. The department
carried on its routine services which include street cleaning and
garbage removal, gutter flushing, operation of the salt water pumping
stations, repairs to roads and highways in St. Thomas and St. John,
repairs to public buildings, and operation of the potable water supply
Upon the recommendation of the administration, an ordinance was
passed by the Municipal Council of St. Thomas and St. John estab-
lishing a municipal fire service with a full-time paid fire chief in
charge. Three volunteer firefighting units have been organized com-
prised of public-spirited citizens from all walks of life. These volun-
teers assist the small force of paid firemen. Since organization of the
municipal fire service in April 1953, there has been a marked increase
in efficiency. The administration has made repeated unsuccessful
efforts to have similar legislation enacted by the Municipal Council
of St. Croix.


There were 53 fires in St. Thomas, 23 of which were grass fires
which occurred mostly during the extended drought period. The
Blackbeard Castle fire was the largest fire in St. Thomas in many
years. A single large, historic, and valuable property was completely
destroyed but the fire was checked without spreading to other nearby
A total of 70 connections have been made to the potable water
supply system in St. Croix; 43 were made during the fiscal year.
Forty-one building permits were issued covering private construction
work valued at $293,360. Due to limited funds no new roads were
constructed. Only general maintenance work was carried on.
An appropriation of $58,750 has been approved by Congress for
major repairs to Government House and Administration Building in
St. Thomas and to Government House in St. Croix. Repair work
will begin during the next fiscal year.

The Virgin Islands Employment Service, operated with funds fur-
nished by the United States Labor Department, carried a full program
of employment services, including placement, counseling, special serv-
ices for veterans, and labor market information. Placement service
increased approximately 29 percent, chiefly in the service trades due
to expansion of the tourist industry. There were 1,400 new applicants
with a placement record of 1,308. Over 2,500 selection interviews
were held, and 264 employer visits were made. Many employers con-
templating the establishment of businesses in the islands obtained
labor market information from the employment service.
The acute shortage of farm labor in the Virgin Islands continued
to constitute a major employment problem. In the case of sugarcane
harvesting in St. Croix, it became necessary to bring in 300 workers
from the British island of Antigua. These workers were returned to
Antigua at the close of the harvesting period. The United States
Department of Labor and the Immigration and Naturalization Service
authorized the temporary admission of 50 farm workers and 19 fish-
ermen to relieve serious shortages in these work fields.
A total of 165 reports of injuries were filed under the local workmen
compensation laws in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John,
including one fatal case, resulting in awards aggregating $9,324.14.
In St. Croix 122 injury reports were filed and awards totaling
$7,426.41 were made. During the previous year 89 cases were
handled in St. Thomas and 43 cases in St. Croix. The sharp increase
in the number of injuries and claims was probably due to many
construction activities in process during the year, including new
hospitals, low rent housing projects, and the waterfront project.


In the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John the compensation
commission revised downward the premiums paid by private em-
ployers insured with the municipal insurance fund. In this connec-
tion a statistical study was completed within the fiscal year by a
statistician made available by the Federal Employees Compensation
Commission. There is a general indication that the premium rates
will be revised downward during the next fiscal year.
Twenty-seven wage complaints were filed with the wage commis-
sioner in St. Thomas and all were settled. Many minor complaints
were settled by visits to business establishments. Employers con-
tinued to show a willingness to comply with the local wage and hour
law. A wage appeal board was created by amendment to the wage
and hour law. One appeal was made from a decision of the wage
'commissioner. His decision was upheld by the Board.
A survey conducted in St. Thomas during the latter part of the
fiscal year showed that approximately 1,723 persons were employed
by private concerns, not including self-employed persons. Some 449
persons were employed by hotels and guest houses.
In St. Croix 77 employees were found receiving less than the
minimum wage rate established by local law. These discrepancies
were corrected by order of the wage commissioner. The minimum
hourly wage rates are now uniform for the Virgin Islands as follows:
Utility Worker------------------ $0. 30
Sales or Service------------------------------------ .35
Unskilled Labor-------------------------------------- ,40
Semi-Skilled Labor------------------------------------ 50
Skilled Labor----------------------------------------- 65
A new type of wage law is needed in the Virgin Islands establishing
minimum wages on the industry basis rather than by the present
system of labor categories. Such legislation is now being studied by
the Municipal Council of St. Thomas and St. John.
A study of the municipal labor relations ordinance of the munici-
pality of St. Thomas and St. John in connection with the National
Labor Relations Board indicated that the Federal agency had juris-
diction over labor disputes arising in the Virgin Islands, except in
dealing with alien labor. There were no labor disputes of conse-
quence during the year.

There has been continued progress in the integration of welfare
programs on a insular basis, although the differing resources of the two
municipalities present a serious difficulty in maintaining the matching
programs on common standards for both municipalities, which is a
Federal requirement and is also manifestly desirable from a local


In public assistance, the gains made at the outset of the Federal
program-in the rates of assistance, in the equalization of aid in the
two municipalities, and in the modernization of the administration of
the program--were fully maintained. As the fiscal year opened, it
seemed impossible that this could be done. The initial municipal
appropriations were only a little more than the preceding year. In
this comparatively new program, rising out of the old inadequate
municipal programs, it was to be expected that considerable expanse on
would be necessary for some time to bring under coverage all people in
need. In St. Thomas-St. John, there was no reason to fear a serious
caseload growth. But in St. Croix the number of applications from
persons clearly in need indicated that the caseload was due for a
considerable rise. This posed an acute problem since, in St. Croix,
as a result of poorer economic conditions, there were more people in
need but less governmental revenues available.
The dilemma was solved by a combination of efforts. Late in the
fiscal year, St. Croix added $11,000 to its appropriation, making the
total of municipal contributions to the public assistance fund for the
year $150,483 ($84,083 St. Croix, $66,400 St. Thomas) as compared
with $133,529 for 1951-52. The rest of the problem was met by
caseload adjustments of a nature which caused the least possible
hardship to clients. The department worked out with the Federal
Bureau of Public Assistance a program which resulted in the transfer of
38 cases from the general assistance category (cost borne entirely
from local funds) to the Federal category of aid to the permanently
and totally disabled (cost shared by Federal funds). The Health
Department gave valuable cooperation in this undertaking. In-
creased efforts were made to rehabilitate clients and channel them
into some gainful occupation (part time or full time, home work or
regular employment), to search out family and community resources,
etc. There was a determined and uniform application of policies
and procedures.
The following comparative table of assistance statistics indicates
that the caseload growth, which reached its peak in the middle of the
fiscal year, was reversed so that the year closed with assistance
caseloads and monthly expenditures hi both municipalities lower
than they were at the opening of the year (the figures below exclude
aid from the local trust funds):
1951-52 1952-53
All Virgin Islands: (June 1959) (Jan. 1953) (Jane 1958)
Number of persons aided............ ......---------------- 1,740 1,765 1, 586
Total assistance during month ------------------------- $1,317.31 $14,792.92 $13,591.39
Total Virgin Islands appropriations for year ---------. $133,529.00 ----------- $150,483.00
Total Federal contributions for year... . ...--------- $92,078.34 ..._---------. $101,040.29
St. Thomas-St. John:
Number of persons aided ..-...------------------------ 681 672 698
Total assistance during month ...........------- $5, 398. 68 $5,431.75 $4, 988.28
St. Croix:
Number of persons aided..........- -----.............---- 1,059 1,093 988
Total assistance during month ...---- ..........------- $8, 918. 63 $9, 361.17 $8,603.11


The public assistance program is now soundly organized and ad-
ministration is improving steadily. A staff development program,
including an orientation plan for new workers, regular staff meetings,
monthly training institutes, and university scholarships for social
work study (the first scholarship awarded for school year 1953-54),
is under way. The challenging problem facing our government and
people is to provide additional funds for the program in order to
change the present distressing inadequacy of the assistance grants.
We must not be complacent about grants averaging, in June 1953,
$10.98 per month for an aged client and $5.06 per month for a child,
to provide food, clothing, rent, and all other living costs. There is
need for more adequate municipal appropriations, for an equalization
fund established by joint municipal contributions on a formula based
on their respective financial abilities, and for a more favorable match-
ing formula for Federal contributions.
The work of the Division of Child Welfare showed desirable growth
in several areas. In the foster home program, the caseload practically
doubled-at the close of the fiscal year 48 children (29 in St. Thomas,
19 in St. Croix) were receiving care in family foster homes supervised
by the division, as compared with 25 when the year began. This
increased activity is the result principally of the intensive home-
finding campaign conducted by the division during the 2 years past,
including weekly radio programs for much of this period.
The casework program of the division rendered service to 615
children during the year (299 in St. Croix and 316 in St. Thomas).
Services have been rendered directly to children, to parents and
relatives, the police, the courts, the Division of Mental Health, and
the schools. Referrals are accepted freely from any community
source. Group therapy projects, conducted by the division both in
St. Thomas and St. Croix, helped many youngsters.
Detention care was furnished for 55 children (41 in St. Thomas and
14 in St. Croix) in the limited facilities developed at the forts in the
three towns, with the cooperation of the police departments. A home
for girls with behavior problems is still a serious need.
Much emphasis continues in improvement of the training and
qualifications of the staff. One worker, helped through college and
awarded a scholarship for professional training, returned this year to
work in the division. Four other workers are now receiving profes-
sional training (two in Canadian universities on United Nations
scholarships, two in United States universities through scholarships
arranged by the division). United States Children's Bureau per-
sonnel conducted in St. Thomas an inspiring 3-day institute on services
to children in their own homes, attended by all caseworkers of both
In December 1952, on the call of the Governor, citizens groups and
representatives of health, welfare, education, and law enforcement


agencies of the government, assembled in the Governor's Conference
on Juvenile Delinquency, which met for several days each in the gov-
ernment houses in St. Croix and in St. Thomas. Sponsored by the
Child Welfare Division, and with the guidance of resource personnel
from the United States Children's Bureau, the conference developed
many far-reaching recommendations which form a valuable basis for
future efforts in many fields, including needed legislation, to furnish
protection and services for children in these islands. The proceedings
of this conference were compiled and published in March 1953.
The overall record of help furnished by the Mandahl School for
Boys is good despite grave operating difficulties and despite a few
boys who have failed to benefit from placement at the school. A
careful study of discharged cases covering the entire life of the school
has revealed some encouraging facts. Of 103 boys discharged, no
report was available on 19 who are off the island. Of the remain-
ing 84 boys, 67 have made a good adjustment and only 7 have failed.
One boy died, and the other nine made fair and poor adjustments in
about equal numbers. Of the 67 who made good adjustments, 63
were employed or attending regular schools and only 4 were unem-
ployed. This result is even more encouraging when it is remembered
that 53 of the 103 boys discharged were admitted because of delinquent
behavior or mental illness.
With an average enrollment of 40, there were 38 boys in the school
at the close of the year (10 from St. Croix, 28 from St. Thomas).
Sixteen boys were admitted and 22 discharged during the year.
The Queen Louise Home for the Aged, St. Thomas, provided total
care for sick or very feeble clients, with a resident list varying between
15 and 20 beds, the latter being total capacity. The Corneiro Home
in St. Thomas (23 rooms) and the Aldershvile Home in St. Croix (32
rooms) continued to provide shelter for aged clients, with public as-
sistance providing the funds for the nominal rent they pay (82 per
month) and other necessities of life. In St. Croix, the Department
certified 37 indigents for admission to the King's Hill Home for the
Aged there.
Work projects provided employment for 12 handicapped men in
St. Thomas and 24 women in St. John. Federal surplus commodities,
dried milk and honey, were distributed to babies through the baby
clinics in all three islands. The Community Chest in St. Thomas
continued the home service for the aged and contributions to the
cancer program, with both municipalities also providing funds for the
latter program.
The main activity this year of the health and welfare interagency
committee was the development of a plan for determining financial
ability of patients or their immediate family to pay for hospital care
furnished. The good results of this first large cooperative undertaking


encourage hope for success in the many other items that can profitably
be considered by this coordinating agency.
In general, social welfare activities in the islands have expanded
and improved in a healthy, constructive manner, largely as a result
of Federal aid through the Federal social security program. But the
program is still operating on standards so low that less than half the
true minimum needs of destitute people are being met. This is due
chiefly to the fact that the old dollar for dollar formula with which
public assistance began in the continent many years ago is still being
applied to the Virgin Islands, instead of the formula providing four
Federal dollars to one State dollar now current in the continent. It
is hoped that Congress may soon act to improve this situation and
thus enable the islands to provide adequately for their needy.
At the end of calendar year 1952 there were 65 persons in the Virgin
Islands receiving monthly payments under the Federal old-age and
survivors insurance. Payments totaled 13,000, an increase of 18.1
percent over 1951. The average amount of old-age insurance pay-
ment to retired workers was $38.36, as compared with an average of
$49.25 for the nation as a whole.


As at the close of the fiscal year audit of accounts and settlement of
claims were made of all transactions in both municipalities up to
December 1952. A desk post audit depends on the current filing and
reporting of the offices which work is audited. Nautrally, any devi-
ation from the filing and reporting schedule of such offices must result
in a delay in the auditing procedure. The new accounting system
which will be installed in the next year will adequately permit a
change to a local site audit procedure with necessary internal auditing.
More than 90 percent of the departments and agencies have filed
inventories based on the modern property control and accounting
system instituted by the Virgin Islands auditor. With the comple-
tion of the filing of inventories of nonexpendable property which
should be completed during the next fiscal year, it is planned to take
up the recording and filing of all real property owned by the munici-
palities as the final phase in brining the property control and account-
ing records up to date.


The modern telephone facilities in St. Thomas and St. Croix, in-
stalled under the Virgin Islands public works program, were placed
in operation during the fiscal year. The system in St. Thomas has
facilities to serve 900 subscribers. However, due to the rapid growth


of the community, on the opening date there were over 100 applica-
tions pending in excess of the full capacity of the switchboard. The
volume of traffic is high, with as many as 7,000 calls being handled in
24 hours. Arrangements are now being made to add facilities to the
switchboard to serve another 200 subscribers.
In St. Croix the switchboard at Christiansted can serve 420 sub-
scribers, and the one at Frederiksted has capacity for 414. At the
close of the fiscal year there were 412 subscribers, and 458 telephones,
including extensions, in use. The telephone service throughout the
Virgin Islands has been greatly improved.
The installation of the VHF radiotelephone communication with
Puerto Rico and continental Un ted States by All America Cables
and Radio, Inc., will be completed early in the next fiscal year. This
service, which will include St. Croix, will operate on a 24-hour basis,
thus greatly facilitating business and personal activities through
better communication with areas outside the Virgin Islands.
The St. Thomas Power Authority and the St. Croix Power Authority
were abolished by law, and the power facilities in St. Thomas and
St. Croix were sold to the Virgin Islands Corporation.

Tourism is of prime importance to the economy of the Virgin
Islands. Tourist promotion and development is handled through the
Virgin Islands Tourist Development Board and this agency is active
in publicizing the Virgin Islands, particularly for the purpose of
encouraging year-round vacation travel. Throughout the past years
the work of this board has been limited because sufficient funds have
not been made available for its work. Thirty thousand dollars was
made available by the Virgin Islands Corporation for tourist promo-
tion work and the local government provided $12,273 for the operation
of the program. These funds are not considered adequate and to
avoid a loss of the gains already made there must be increased funds
made available to the agency.
Statistics compiled by the Tourist Development Board reflect that
tourism resulted in close to $6,000,000 of tourist expenditures in the
islands as compared with $4,500,000 expenditures during the fiscal
year 1951-52 and $3,000,000 in the fiscal year of 1950-51. Tourist
expenditures are divided into three major categories: Purchases in
shops and restaurants, hotel fees, and sightseeing and taxicab fees.
The bed capacity in the hotels and guest houses in St. Thomas has
increased to 1,095 and in St. Croix the bed capacity has increased to
241. The figures for the preceding year were 952 for St. Thomas and
238 for St. Croix. Twenty large cruise ships visited St. Thomas in
1953 as against 12 in 1952 and 7 in 1951. In addition, the Delta


Line ships made 11 visits to St. Thomas and the S. S. Puerto Rico
made 12 visits. The arrival of all of these ships resulted in over
15,000 passengers coming ashore at St. Thomas. Airline passenger
travel reached a new level during the fiscal year and the number of
flights in the peak season was increased to the point where additional
flights were not necessary because there was not additional bed
Promotional activities of the Tourist Board included representation
of the islands at meetings of the Caribbean Interim Tourism Com-
mittee as well as other organizations and groups engaged in the
development of tourism. The board had a special display at the
annual convention of the American Society of Travel Agents in
Miami, Fla., and hundreds of visitors were drawn to the Virgin
Islands display and meeting rooms. A number of travel editors and
visitors visited the Virgin Islands and many articles have been pub-
lished about the islands during the fiscal year. The distribution of
tourist literature and travel agents' handbooks has been continued
by the board and the handbooks and literature are sent to travel
agencies, airlines, and steamship companies in the United States,
Canada, and Europe. Also, special advertising and promotional pro-
grams were conducted through local newspapers and through travel
magazines, and programs were broadcast over radio station WSTA
in St. Thomas and radio station WIVI in St. Croix.
Competing areas in the Caribbean have been increasing their pro-
motional expenditures, which, in almost every instance, exceed
$100,000 or more for the particular island or group of islands, and
competition for the Virgin Islands is growing excessively strong. In
order to strengthen and develop the economy of the Virgin Islands,
promotional efforts in the field of tourism must be increased to the
point where the Virgin Islands not only can continue the competitive
position with other areas in the Caribbean, but can also promote and
encourage the development of additional facilities for tourists in the

This year was not favorable for the Virgin Islands Cooperative.
There was a decline in the total sales of almost 10 percent. Sales
dropped from $53,315.81 in 1952 to $48,136.78 in 1953. This natur-
ally resulted in a decrease in the number of workers from 400 to 320,
and a decrease in the total amount of wages earned from $30,229.09
in 1952 to $21,203.49 in 1953. It is believed that the increasing com-
petition from the sale of foreign handicrafts both locally and by mail
order was one of the major causes for the decline in business. Sales
by mail order have declined from a high of $9,500 in 1950 to a low of


$3,000 in 1953. In order to stimulate this business, a small, illus-
trated catalog is being prepared for distribution early in the next
fiscal year. Another reason for the decline in sales is the fact that
selling prices had to be increased in order to offset higher costs result-
ing from new wage orders issued by the Federal Wage and Hour
If the Cooperative is to stay in business there must be worked out
some adjustment in order to compete favorably with handicrafts
from other areas. Any such adjustment must result in reducing
costs and in turn the selling prices, and at the same time allow the
workers to derive just compensation for their work. A complete
survey along these lines will be made during the next fiscal year.

Six credit unions were organized during the year as a result of the
amendment of the Federal Credit Union Act to include the Virgin
Islands. In St. Thomas a credit union has been organized among
the government employees, both Federal and municipal, and one by
the taxicab association. In St. Croix there is a credit union estab-
lished for government employees, Federal and municipal, one for the
employees of the Virgin Islands Corporation, and one for the residents
of Frederiksted. The establishment of a credit union in Frederiksted
is especially important since there are no banking facilities in this
town. A credit union has also been established for the residents of
the island of St. John. These credit unions were all established with
the assistance of officials of the Federal Bureau of Credit Unions.
The Virgin Islands Banking Board considered an application made
to establish a new bank to be known as the West Indies Bank and
Trust Co. The Board recommended that a certificate be issued
authorizing the establishment of the bank. It is anticipated that
this new bank will be opened during the next fiscal year with head-
quarters in Charlotte Amalie and branch offices in Christiansted and

For many years the need for a centerline road connecting Cruz Bay
and Coral Bay in St. John was recognized. With the gradual develop-
ment of that island the need for such a road able to take vehicular
traffic became more and more urgent. Work on this road was begun
during the year with funds made available through the Virgin Islands
Public Works Program financed by the Federal Government. Al-
though this road is only now under construction, vehicular traffic on
the island over the old road, which was temporarily improved, has


increased considerably. There are now 14 jeeps (an increase of 8
within the past 6 months), 2 trucks and 4 tractors on the island.
With the completion of the road a greater increase is anticipated.
Care must be taken however to make sure that the increased vehicular
traffic in St. John does not adversely affect the tourist trade of this
island, since the area is now increasing in visitors and permanent
residents who prefer its peace, quiet and natural beauty. At the
proper time the administration will sponsor legislation to limit the
number and kind of motor vehicles to be used in St. John.
A new health center, constructed under the Virgin Islands Public
Works Program, is now in use. This is an outstanding improvement
over the old inadequate facilities. Under the same program a catch-
ment area and reservoir were constructed in Cruz Bay, making it
possible for the residents of that district to be supplied with water
during the last severe drought. It is hoped that funds could be made
available at some later date for the contemplated water supply facility
at Bordeaux. A similar facility is also needed in the Coral Bay
With the increase in tourist accommodations on the island there is
a greater demand for electrical energy. A limited extension was made
in the power distribution system at Cruz Bay. However, because
of the present as well as prospective demands upon which the island's
economy depends, it is necessary to give serious attention to the
further expansion and improvement of the electrical power system.
In this connection the Virgin Islands Corporation has authorized a
survey to be made to determine what plans should be developed.
More attention needs to be given to the development of the agri-
cultural possibilities of St. John, with emphasis on the raising and
improving of livestock as a major activity.


A deer census by air was attempted in St. Thomas and St. Croix.
However, due to the high altitude and speed at which the airplane
had to fly, the results were not very encouraging. Studies in mongoose
control and extermination continued during the year, with activities
concentrated on St. Croix. The wildlife conservation program is
conducted in the Virgin Islands with funds made available under the
Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Program.
The Dingell-Johnson project got underway in the Virgin Islands
early this fiscal year when a fish biologist was appointed to conduct
the necessary studies. Considerable attention has been given to
surveying the sportfishing potentialities of the water surrounding the
Islands of St. Thomas and St. John. A systematic investigation is
being conducted both with respect to fishing areas and methods.
In order to stimulate local interest in sportfishing, the biologist has


initiated the publishing of a weekly column in the newspapers dis-
seminating information obtained as the investigation progresses. A
checldist of marine game fishes common in these waters has been
prepared. In the final analysis the sum total of all observations with
attendant advice and recommendations will be incorporated ina
report which will be a rather comprehensive review of sport-fishing
resources and fishing techniques. Limited experimentation has been
carried on in stocking fresh water ponds in St. Croix with bass.


A total of 212 males were registered during the fiscal year, bringing
the total registration to 2,544 for the Virgin Islands, including 52
aliens. These were classified IV-C indicating that proper clearing
through the Immigration and Naturalization Service had not been
Meeting at least once a month the local boards completed a total of
2,456 separate classifications. It is the present policy to classify no
registrant until he reaches 18 years and 6 months, unless he volunteers
for immediate induction. Reclassification of men with wives only and
the reprocessing of many service rejectees were continued. Defer-
ments were kept at an absolute minimum in order to utilize to the
fullest the steadily declining manpower pool.
While the quota for the Virgin Islands for induction during the
year was 229, actually 243 men were inducted. The registrants were
all inducted into the Army, due to heavy enlistments in the other
Armed Forces. Once again the Virgin Islands more than filled its
calls. This year Virgin Islanders continued to go to continental
United States in order to enlist in the regular service. There were 105
such enlistments, ranging from 81 in the Air Force to 2 in the Coast
Guard. Last year 50 enlistments were made. Delinquency was
kept to the minimum through the splendid cooperation of the
Department of Justice.

This year efforts were directed mainly toward consolidating the
gains made in civil defense during the preceding year. While there
was no increase in the number of volunteers, those now in the service
have continued to manifest active interest. However, it must be
noted that induction into the Armed Forces has taken away some of
the more active volunteers.
By law, the organization is charged with functioning in all disasters,
peacetime as well as wartime, and in this connection two plans have
been set up. In peacetime disasters, this organization functions as


auxiliary to the Red Cross and in war-caused disasters the Red Cross
functions as auxiliary to this organization.
There has been splendid cooperation from the Federal Civil Defense
Administration. An officer of that Administration, stationed in
Washington, D. C., has been designated as Regional Director for this
area and during the year made two observation visits to the Virgin
Islands. During both of these visits civil defense exercises were held
in order to test the awareness of the inhabitants to danger, as well as
the willingness of the public to cooperate, and to give volunteers an
opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in performing their
individual duties. Results have been gratifying and have resulted
in favorable comments from the press and public. The second of
these exercises was held in Charlotte Amalie on June 5, 1953, and was
witnessed by a team of Army officers from the Antilles Division of the
U. S. Army Forces, Puerto Rico, which was sent to the island for the
purpose. Observing the exercises also was Frank S. Carroll of the
Federal Civil Defense Administration.
A first-aid training class for civil defense volunteers was completed
here on August 19, 1952. Of a class of 22, 11 satisfactorily completed
the course and were given Red Cross and civil-defense badges, and
took their places in the organization. A deputy civil defense director
from St. Croix and a government official from St. Thomas were sent
to Puerto Rico where they attended a Red Cross seminar on disaster
policies and methods.
A resident citizen presented to the municipality of St. Thomas and
St. John a jeep fire engine complete with equipment, which engine was
turned over on December 6, 1952, to a volunteer fire company.
Volunteer firefighters have now banded themselves into an integrated
corps of enthusiastic workers.
Legislation has been prepared to cover all civil defense workers,
when actually in training or on duty, under local workmen compensa-
tion insurance. Through the efforts of the local civil defense author-
ities all public schools, and most public buildings, have installed fire
extinguishers. Hotels and guest houses are also cooperating in this
The program of public information is continuing. During the year
the Federal Civil Defense contributed several 16 millimeter sound
films to the local film library which were used at the training sessions.
Other instructional films were borrowed from the Army film library
in Puerto Rico and used by civil defense personnel.


General elections for membership in the two municipal councils
were held in November 1952. There are 7 members in the Municipal


Council of St. Thomas and St. John elected from 3 districts. The
9 members of the Municipal Council of St. Croix are elected from 4
districts. Of the 6,348 voters registered, 4,451 voted in the elections.
This gives a voting record of approximately 70 percent, which com-
pares favorably with many States in the Union.
On the other hand, only about 25 percent of the population is
registered to vote, as compared with 40 percent, 50 percent and over
in many of the states. However, there are some states with only
20 percent to 30 percent of the population registered to vote.
During the next fiscal year, legislation will be considered by the
legislative assembly to provide for improving the methods and pro-
cedures for registration as voters and for voting in elections. The
chief aim will be to provide more places for registering and for voting,
thus making it easier for more people to register and to vote in the
Aside from the introduction of three bills to provide for a revised
Organic Act of the Virgin Islands, no bills of significance to the Virgin
Islands were considered by Congress during the year.
Among the bills passed by the legislative assembly during the year
were the following: (1) an act to regulate sewage disposal and con-
nections with the public sewerage system; (2) an act to regulate
contracts of workmen or employees whose services are to be used in
any State or Territory of the United States, or in any foreign country;
(3) a medical-practice act; (4) a nursing-practice act; (5) an act to
regulate the practice of dentistry; (6) an act to provide for a refer-
endum on certain amendments to the Organic Act of the Virgin
Islands; and (7) an act to provide for reorganization of the account-
ing system and related procedures of the government of the Virgin
Both municipal councils passed the enabling legislation for the
establishment of medical fees in connection with the operation of the
new hospitals. Both councils also passed legislation making the
legal minimum wage rates uniform as follows: utility workers, 30
cents per hour; sales and service clerks, 35 cents per hour; unskilled
labor, 40 cents per hour; semiskilled labor, 50 cents per hour; and
skilled labor, 65 cents per hour.
The Municipal Council of St. Thomas and St. John, among other
bills, passed (1) an ordinance establishing a municipal fire service,
(2) an ordinance to regulate the business of insurance, providing for
the organization of domestic insurance companies, and the admission
of foreign insurance companies, (3) an ordinance authorizing the
Governor to award posthumous medals to Virgin Islanders who have
died in the armed services in battle, and (4) several tax bills increasing


certain trade taxes, doubling the inheritance taxes, establishing signal
fees, and increasing the gasoline tax.
In St. Croix, the Municipal Council also passed certain important
bills, including tax bills increasing excise and gasoline taxes; a revised
court fees ordinance; amendments to the workmen compensation
ordinance increasing the benefits to workers; and an ordinance
authorizing study leave for employees for advanced training outside
the Virgin Islands.
Three bills passed by the legislative assembly, 7 bills passed by the
Municipal Council of St. Thomas and St. John, and 4 bills passed by
the Municipal Council of St. Croix, were vetoed. One bill passed
over the Governor's veto by the legislative assembly, to create the
position of contact representative in the Nation's Capital, was sent
to the President of the United States, who supported the veto.


Since 1942 the local government has been conducting a land dis-
tribution and home financing program in the municipality of St.
Thomas and St. John. The basic purpose of this program, of course,
is to provide greater security through land and home ownership
which, in the long run, must contribute to the improvement of the
local economy and to the social uplift of the islanders.
Estate Hospital ground, owned by the municipality and consisting
of 147 acres, has been divided into 146 building lots and 41 home-
steading parcels. All of these lots and parcels have been allocated.
The purchase prices of all the lots have been paid for in full and deeds
issued. Of the 41 parcels, 25 have been paid for in full and deeds
issued. The others are being paid for on the installment plan.
Twenty-nine house lots have been allocated at Estate Staabiland, 13
of which have been paid for in full. The balance is being paid under
installments. Estate Nadir, 158 acres more or less, was acquired by
the municipality in 1950. At the close of the fiscal year, 30 parcels
ranging in size from 1 to 6 acres each were subdivided. All the par-
cels have been allocated; four have been paid for in-full and deeds
issued; and the remainder is being paid for in installments. There is
still an unsurveyed portion of the estate which will be subdivided in
the near future.
Estate Hope, also on the Island of St. Thomas, and consisting of
approximately 226 acres, was acquired in 1948. However, 5 years
ago this estate was turned over for military use. On June 30, 1950,
it was returned to the municipality. Progress has been slow in sub-
dividing this estate, although many applications have been filed for
parcels of land in this area.


On the island of St. John, 191 house lots were allocated at estates
Contant and Enighed, 152 of which have been paid for in full, and
36 are being paid for by installments. At estates Calabash Boom
and Lampricht de Koning, 22 house lots ranging from one-third acre
to one-half acre, and three parcels of approximately 12 acres each,
have been made available. Of these 25 lots and parcels, 17 have
been allocated, 5 of which have been paid for in full, and 12 are being
paid for by installments. There were eight lots available at the close
of the year.
Since the establishment of the home loan fund in 1945, 43 persons
have received loans totaling $67,900 for home construction. Accord-
ing to the law, every applicant must establish that (1) he is the head
of a family and is responsible for its housing; (2) he owns no home or
family homestead to which he has a fee simple title; (3) he owns in fee
a plot of land on which to construct a home. Loans may not exceed
$2,000 and must be paid in full within 10 years at 4 percent interest
per annum. All loans are covered by mortgages on the property.
At the close of the fiscal year, $21,034.05 had been paid, representing
principal and interest.
In 1945 a native industries and small business loan fund was created
for the purpose of encouraging and assisting in the establishment of
small businesses and native industrial activities. The maximum loan
allowed under the law was $3,000, to be repaid within 5 years at 4
percent interest per annum. Loans are secured by (1) first or second
priority mortgage on real property, (2) chattel mortgage on equip-
ment when purchased, and (3) good and reliable endorsers. A total
of 16 loans have been made aggregating $21,910. This program has
not been successful due to many factors. Efforts will be made
shortly to liquidate the activity.
Legislation is now being considered to establish a wider program
of land distribution and home financing to be administered by a
municipal land authority with corporate powers.
The most important single piece of property acquired by the mu-
nicipality of St. Thomas and St. John from the Department of the
Navy and operated by the St. Thomas Development Authority is the
airplane runway and adjacent facilities. In the period under this
report this facility yielded revenues totalling $19,002.38, representing
income from landing fees, concessions, and other rentals in the ter-
minal building and hangars, including parking fees. Operation and
maintenance charges incurred amounted to $29,424.46. While it is
a well established and generally accepted doctrine of accounting to
match costs with revenues, strict application of this principle to air-
port operations has the effect of distorting the true nature of the re-
sult of operations during this period. The deficit of $10,422.08,
though real, is meaningless, s'nce revenues are limited to landing fees


and rentals. The greater benefit, however, accrues to the municipality
as a whole.
The airport has become the gateway to the Virgin Islands, as well
as the lifeline of this municipality. The economic importance of this
facility far outweighs the results of any analysis based upon the doc-
trine of matching costs with revenues. Certainly the 777,401 pounds
of air express, mail, perishables, liquor, cigarettes, and other items
which landed here during this period, together with the tourist traffic
and mil tary arrivals and departures which amounted to 83,412 and
5,659 respectively (activities which feed new money into the economy,
and which are not reflected in the income statement herein) wiped
out the deficit and paid for airport operations many times over.
Operation of the piers and docks in the submarine base area was
profitable. Wharfage fees totaled $6,383.49, as against expenses of
$5,011.27 incurred for operation and maintenance. The economic
importance of this facility to the community, again, far outweighs
the results of analysis based on the cost-revenue relationship. The
Development Authority's interest with regard to operation of the
piers is restricted to amounts and sizes of pieces of cargo landed and
not the value thereof. Statistics with respect to these are therefore
not available here. An example of economic importance may be
gleaned, however, from the 1,048,611 gallons of gasoline, 91,215 gal-
lons of diesel oil, and 265,636 gallons of kerosene oil discharged at
the piers during this period. The location and nearness of the piers
to the city make them ideally suited to the operation of small vessels
bringing perishables, groceries, building materials, and other com-
modities. Submarines, submarine tenders, and other naval ships
also use the piers during maneuvers.
The low-cost housing establishment and the former noncommis-
sioned officers' quarters at the Bourne Field area comprise the housing
facilities operated and maintained by this Authority. These two
areas yielded income of $29,616.95 and $13,549, as against expenses
of $17,463.29 and $4,556.98 respectively. Operations therefore were
entirely profitable. More than 70 families are benefited by these
operations. The economic and social contribution to the community
is not adequately measured by the profits accruing from operations.
More important is the utility of these dwelling units in terms of
alleviating an increasingly worsening housing shortage in the com-
munity. The results of operations seem to justify entirely the rental
rates now in effect.
These are some of the governmental activities which have contrib-
uted to the improved economy of the islands referred to earlier in
this report. Through the tax-exemption and industrial-subsidy pro-
gram conducted in both municipalities, a few small industries and
businesses have been encouraged to establish in the Virgin Islands.


The past year has seen considerable progress in many areas of
public and private endeavor in the Virgin Islands. Particularly
encouraging has been a marked and easily discernible public interest
in the affairs of government. To stimulate and to maintain such
interest and watchfulness the Governor has, during the entire year,
spoken directly to the people of the islands in personal, weekly broad-
casts bringing to them a r6sum6 of governmental operations and
stating the opinions of the administration in all public issues.
Cooperation between the executive branch of the government of
the Virgin Islands and the United States Department of the Interior
has been at an all-time high. It is the position of the present Gov-
ernor that such coordination is not only implicit in the Organic Act,
which provides that the Secretary of the Interior shall exercise general
supervision over the executive branch of the government of the islands,
but is also necessary to ensure the continued progress of the islands.
Unfortunately, the executive and the legislative branches of the
government of the Virgin Islands have not seen vis-a-vis on many
public issues of transcendent importance. This is clearly demon-
strated by the number of bills of the two municipal councils which
the Governor has had to veto, or permit to become law without
executive approval, because of basic disagreement on policies. This
situation can be improved only after strong political parties are
organized in the islands, assuring the executive of a voice in the
legislature, which does not now exist. Yet, after all is said and done,
there has been an effective rapprochement between the present Gov-
ernor and the legislative leaders of the islands, notwithstanding such
disagreements on issues. Surely, the concepts of the American way
of life are firmly entrenched in the fabric and machinery of these
No real progress in the political affairs of the Virgin Islands can
be achieved until a new Organic Act is enacted by the Congress.
Many, if not most, of the frustrations experienced by the present
governor and by his predecessors in office can be traced to inadequate
constitutional legislation. The Governor, therefore, closes this An-
nual Report with the strong and oft-repeated recommendation that
a new Organic Act be adopted by Congress providing essentially for
(1) a unicameral legislature; (2) a single treasury; (3) annual legis-
lative sessions of 60 days and special sessions of not to exceed 30
days; (4) return of all internal revenue taxes; (5) a resident commis-
sioner; (6) legislative confirmation of policy-making officers only; and
(7) an appointive governor until 1956, an elective governor thereafter.


Rainfall Data

Rainfall in Inches, 1952 53

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

July 1952 ...- 5.04 5.51 February ......---- 0.18 0.47
August 3.76 5.19 March......------- 1.92 1.06
September --..------. 8.42 10.58 April --- .64 .81
October 4.18 5.36 May-.. ----- 3.82 2.31
November-......-.. 3.72 5.93 June ...--------- -4. 52 5.84
December.----------- 1.70 1.17
January 1953 .....- 1.44 1.61 Total ........ 39.34 45. 84

1952-53 average for Virgin Islands, 42.59

Ten-year Rainfall Record

Year Inches Year Inches

1944 ------------- ------ 46.42 1949 -- ------------------- 42.11
1945 --- ---- 36.40 1950 -....---.-------------------- 60.83
1946 ..... -- 35.52 1951 .......-.-----------. ---------------- 33.91
1947 ... --...... ... ...... 33.71 1952 --.................------ ----------------- 44.50
1948 --.-----.---------------- 41.62 1953------------.-------------- 42.59

Distribution of Local Government Employees According to Occupation-1952-53

St. Thomas Virgin
and St. St. Croix Islands

Clerical .----------- ------------------------------ 115 66 181
Administrative...---------. -------------------------------------- 26 7 33
Supeivisory ------.-------------------------- 12 8 20
Professional...--------- 160 108 268
Subprofessional. ..-.------------------------------.------- 44 34 78
Public safety ..------------------- 49 34 83
Inspectional _.... -------------------------- 6 4 10
Equipment operators .--------------------...-------- 30 20 50
Trades and labor ------------ ----------------------- 127 68 195
Housekeeping.....-------------- 55 75 130
Food service.. ------------------------------------ 52 28 80
Engineering ..------ -------------------------- 22 1 23
Total .........----------------------------------- 698 453 1,151


Education Statistics, 1952-53

St. Thomas St. Croix Virgin

Number of schools:
Public (including kindergartens)..------------------._....
Private...............------------------------- ......
Total ----------------------...--- -- ..

School enrollment:
Public ------------
Parochial. ---------------.. -----...---
Private ---------------.-----------.


Enrollment in public schools:
Grades I through 6....... --. -----. ----__...
Grades 7 through 9----. -------
Grades 10 through 12..... ...................
Total .---.-----------------....... .....

Number of pupils per classroom teacher:
Rural elementary----------------------------- --.....
Urban elementary------------------.---------------
High school --------------------------------------------
Average salary of teachers in public schools:
Elementary--.. ... ..... ..-------- --------- .. --..
High school (academic) --. ..... ------------
Teachers' training-
College trained -.....- ----- -----.-------- --.....
Normal equivalent -..--------------- ------..
High school ------------ ------------------------- ---....
Other-- ------ ---------------------------....-

Total cost of education:
Municipal appropriations-.------. _---------
Federal appropriations-.......-- ----------..
Federal for vocational education.. - ------
Other--__- ------ -----------------

Cost of education per pupil in public schools..-----.----_----
Aid to college students -----------------------------------

22 9 31
2 5 7
4 .....-..--- 4

28 14 42

3,395 1,985 5,380
689 1.294 1,983
287 ..------- 287

4,371 3,279 7,650

284 ------ 284
2,161 1,465 3,626
659 383 1,042
291 137 428
3,395 1,985 5,380

28.3 36 ----
37.6 39
30.6 35

$1,802.04 $1,511.35
$2,447.16 $2,343.00 ----------

32 16 48
12 5 17
55 38 93
12 11 23

111 70 181

$414,941.66 $185,113.00 $600,054.66
24, 973.95 22, 031.00 47, 004. 95
---------....... 34,990.95
454.30 ---------- 454.30

440,369.91 207,144.00 682,504.86

$95.92 $95.98 --------
$6,936.17 $1,000.00 $7,936.17

NOTE.-Total expenditures for St. Thomas include amounts for scholarships, Teachers' Institute, Recrea-
tion Division, Public Library, and school lunch service, not included however in computation of average
cost per pupil in public schools.


Institutional Statistics, Department of Health, 1952-53

Christian- Frederik- Hansen's Charlotte
sted sted disease home Amalie

Beds. ----_- --------- 73 46 92 116
Bassinets--_ __------------_ ---- 12 10 2--------- 20
Average occupancy------------------------ 54 31 12 90
Peak occupancy----------------- 76 49 15 101
Minimum occupancy ..._.-------------------- 36 13 10 87
Number of physicians__----------- 4 2 (1) 7
Number of graduate nurses ..-..------------- 13 11 1 20
Average salary. ------ $2, 220. 00 $2, 007. 27 -- -------- $2, 320. 00
Number of student nurses------------- 5 3 0
Average salary of student nurses -------------- $864. 00 $960.00 ..-- -----
Number of student nurses graduated .....----- 1 1 --------------
Other employees .. -----. 39 28 11 83
Total salaries -.. -------- $85, 123.90 $76, 691.98 $13, 350. 00 $160, 156. 35
Equipment .- $40. 00 $800.00 $3,389.00
Subsistence....---.....---- $23,600.00 $20,000.00 $4,391.95 $29, 255.00
Maintenance -... ---.... $16,550.00 $12,000.00 $4,733.05 $38,545.00
Total budget (municipal) -.. ------ $125, 673.90 $111,392. 97 $22, 475. 00 $252, 972. 00
Cost per patient per day.. -. -------- $6.32 $9. 188 $5. 585 $6. 24
Average ration rate per day ...--------------- $0.55 $0.719 $0.48 $1.37
Services billed.-------------------------------- ----- -------------- ------
Total collected (fees).-- ------------ $4, 686. 96 $2, 582. 80 ---.-------- $13, 269. 00
Births in hospital ---------_... -------- 175 125 341
Births out of hospital------- ------- 53 41 ----- 124
Deaths --------------------------------- 87 50 153
Admissions to hospital --------- 1,598 1,303 3 1,996
Sick days in hospital ..--------.--------- 19, 886 12, 123 4, 024 32, 106
Admissions to clinic--------------- 4, 328 746 8, 309
Dispensary treatments -. ------ -- 8, 721 8, 774 --------13, 277

I Part time.

Police Department Statistics

1950-51 1951-52 1952-53

Assault ------ ............. .....-------------------- -----------------
Assault and battery ----------------------------
Aggravated assault and battery. --_-----------------------------
Assault with intent to kill _.._...---
Assault with intent to rape -... -------- -----
Arson ....,-arsn--------------------------------------
Attempted arson ------------- ------------------------
Attempted rape ....--------------------
Burglary -- --- ---------
Carrying of concealed weapon__ -.. _..---........ . ---
Disorderly conduct _..... . . .
Disturbance of the peace ..------------------------
Emtubezlmncofth ----------------------------------------------------------
Embezzlement -----------.-- --- ---------
Extortion ---------------------------------
Exhibiting deadly weapon .._.. ----------------
Gambling ----.----------------------------------
Grand larceny.... ----
Infamous crime against nature -.-.....----------------- ---------
Lewd and lascivious conduct-.... --------------------------------.
Manslaughter, involuntary...... -----------------------
Murder, first degree -------------------------------------------------
Petit larceny.. ------------------
Possession of property unlawfully obtained -- .--.-------- ---------------
Possession of unlicensed guns.... --------------
Rape ------------------------------ -----------------------------
Robbery-...---------- -----------------------------------------
Slander ---------------------------------------
Statutory rape ------------------------------------------------
Trespass ----------------------------------------------------------------
Vagrancy --------------------------
Violation of automobile ordinance... -------- --------- ------
Violation of firearm ordinance .----- --------------------
Violation of firework ordinance ------------------------------------
Violation of liquor ordinance ------- -------------------
Violation of police regulations -..-------------
Violation of prostitution ordinance -----.. ------------------ ----
Violation of sanitary regulations ------- --- ------
Violation of venereal disease ordinance .--------. -------------------
All others. ---------------------------------------------------------------
Total ---------.---. -------------------------------

1, 529


Real Property Statistics

Assessed value Taxes

1942 1952 1942 1952

Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John .------ $4, 345, 215 $8, 761, 695 $54, 315 $114, 346
Municipality of St. Croix -..-----------------.......-. 4,296,664 6,796,779 53,503 84,958
Total. Virgin Islands--..--------------------------- 8,641, 879 15,558, 474 107, 818 199, 304

Comparative Statement of Revenues of the Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John

Revenues 1952 1953

Direct taxes:
Real property tax ------------.. ------....._......... .... $90,224.72 $117,488.01
Income tax---_-.. -----------------------___ 493, 019.16 552, 314.57
Gasoline tax------------- ------ ------ ------- -----_ 3 01, 460. 66 44, 246.83
Automobile license fees --------.--. --------------- ---. 23, 889. 54 29, 756. 00
Indirect taxes:
Net revenues from customs --.------------------. 25,000. 00 52, 736. 28
Taxes on inheritance-.---...-. ....--- __ .....--- 8,491.66 7, 849. 72
Court fees, etc --.-... -- -----.------------------.. 21, 717. 59 23, 537. 55
Stamp dues.....--.. ----------------.-----------------....-. 11,978.14 12,960.46
Fees from steamer tickets-.---... -----------................ 19,145.00 23, 155.25
Licenses and license fees ---...----------.. --...._............. 30, 482.78 33, 708. 50
Pilotage fees.------.-- -_-.. -----------... ... 31,446.00 24,505.50
Trade tax ---------------..... ------------.... ....... 213,235.82 359,715.40
Sundry revenues:
Pay patients, municipal hospital ... ...-- _._..____... ...__..__ 8, 599. 00 13, 269. 08
Corporation license fees_ ----..... ------------........... -... 7,334.98 6, 233.81
Miscellaneous ----.------ ----- -----------------... 30,173.91 34,699.95
Contribution from St. Thomas lottery -----------.....-------------- 18.400.00
Amusement and entertainment tax- ------__. __-.._....__...__..... 4,043.96 5,230.31
Repayment by power authority. ---------.-------.._...__ ...._ 12, 500. 00 12, 000. 00
Miscellaneous nonrevenue receipts .---------- ----------. --___-______ 194. 86
Loans from St. Thomas lottery --------....... ------ --.. -----.--.... 2,000. 00
Total ..-. _._-------------- ------ ..... ... _.___ 1, 081,142. 92 1, 355, 602.08

Comparative Statement of Revenues of the Municipality of St. Croix

Revenues 1952 1953

Direct taxes:
Real property tax.-----------..-............. ..... ... -- $77,570.97 $88, 936. 28
Income tax..--.-...-- ------._--.-..........- ...- ........-- 152,434.48 167,999.79
Automobile tax--..--.--- ------------------------------ 19,196. 89 22,992. 55
Gasoline tax-- ----------- --------.--- 31,409. 82 36, 652. 87
Indirect taxes:
Import duty--. ---------_-__.._ -_. --------. 4, 263.32 2 515. 54
Export duty-..-- -- ---- ----... .--_ 4 644.44 768. 22
Ships' dues..--- ..-....--------------------------- 1,871.70 1,204.12
Wharfage.--...-- ----------------------... ....... 2,891.11 1,884. 86
Stamp dues ---------------------------- --- .....5, 6712.05 5,207.39
Inheritance tax ----- -------- 1,623. 54 474. 48
Fees from court and police.. ..-------------------------------.... 7 922. 98 10, 107. 09
Fees from business licenses. --...______.------------..-._ _____...... 7,833. 94 7,766. 00
Excise duty ..------------------------41,462.57 43,680.19
Internal revenue .------- ---..... .-.. .... 89, 088.31 142, 931. 58
Sundry revenues:
Fines and confiscations -------------------------- 1, 197. 99 3, 369. 10
From municipality of St. Thomas and St. John:
Toward support of Hansen's Home ---------------- 871.31 3, 555.05
Toward support of Richmond Penitenitary- ----------_-__. 3, 206.74 8, 325.29
Returns from sanitary work ...------.--------__ -...--- 5, 281. 52 5, 960.70
Corporation fees-----.. --. ------------. ------............ 1,959.70 1,927.29
Fees from customhouse..--- --- ------------------ 525.65 723.99
Medical service fees --------------------------------- 10,642. 76 10,988. 95
Municipal rentals-------------------------- 2,052. 00 2, 169. 83
Miscellaneous ---.. -- 5, 274.99 3, 507.01
St. Croix telephone service -----------------------------_....___.... 12,461.70 17.828.74
Miscellaneous nonrevenue receipts ..------.---------- 198. 79
Total --- ---....-... --------------------..- .... 487,400.48 591,675.70


Selective Service Statistics

1952 1953

Total living registrants-all ages..---------------------------------------------------------
Total living registrants-under 18 years...-------...-----------------------
Total classified registrants-all ages...----------------------------------------------------
Total I-A and I-A-O examined and acceptable-available for service... --------
I-A and I-A-O not examined-available for service -....----------------
I-A and I-A-O induction postponed --.....-------------------
I-C (inducted) ..----------------------------------------------
I-C (enlisted or commissioned) ------------------------
I-C (discharged) -----------------------------------------------------------------------
I-C (reserve)_ ----------------------------------------------
I-D-Member reserve or student in ROTC............----------------------- ---------
I-S (statutory deferment-college) .------------------------------------
I-S (statutory deferment-high school) .------------------------------
II-A-Civilian employment except agriculture deferment-----------------------------
II-C-Agricultural deferment ...-------- -------------------------------
II-S-Student deferment ---...--------- ---------------
III-A-Family dependency -.. ---------------------------------------
IV-A-Veterans with prior service ------------------------------------------
IV-C-Aliens, not available for service...-.-----------------
IV-D-Ministers, or students for _.._---------- -
IV-F-Physically, mentally, morally unfit ...--- .-----------------------------------
V-A-Over age of liability for service .------------------------------

2, 332


2, 544
2, 456

Voting Statistics


1936 1948 1950 1952

St. Thomas:
Town -------------------------- ------------- 525 2, 377 2, 422 2, 495
Country ---..----.------------. 165 523 565 712
St. John.. ...-------------------------------- 35 278 283 270
St. Croix:
Christiansted town--......- ------------------- 263 1,042 1, 215 1, 252
Christiansted country... ------------------------- 110 465 572 576
Frederiksted town-....--.- ----------------- 213 475 560 581
Frederiksted country-------- ... -------------- 178 349 449 462

Total..-------- ------------------------------ 1,489 5,509 6,066 6,348


1936 1948 1950 1952

St. Thomas:
Town 295-.. - - -.. ....-- 291 1,483 1,054 1,672
Country .....------ -------------- 66 370 351 497
St. John ..--. -------- -------------------29 207 123 179
St. Croix:
Christiansted town --.------ ---------------- 226 638 941 851
Christiansted country.-------------------------------- 98 253 415 394
Frederiksted town .---._.--------- --------- 182 348 492 470
Frederiksted country-------------------------------- 158 284 396 388
Total.... ...--------------- -------------- 1,050 3,583 3,772 4,451


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