• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Fincances
 Legislation
 Office of the governor
 Departments
 Agencies
 Federal agencies
 Statistics






Group Title: Annual report of the Governor of Puerto Rico
Title: Annual report of the Governor of Puerto Rico. 1944.
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 Material Information
Title: Annual report of the Governor of Puerto Rico. 1944.
Series Title: Annual report of the Governor of Puerto Rico
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Tugwell, Rexdord G.
Publisher: United States Government Printing Office
Publication Date: 1944
 Subjects
Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: Caribbean
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00054964
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01775911

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Fincances
        Page 3
    Legislation
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Office of the governor
        Page 6
        Bureau of the budget
            Page 6
        Executive secretary
            Page 6
        Insular procurement office
            Page 7
        Office of information
            Page 7
        Office of statistics
            Page 8
    Departments
        Page 9
        Department of agriculture and commerce
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
        Department of education
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
        Department of health
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
        Department of interior
            Page 18
            Page 19
        Department of justice
            Page 20
            Page 21
            Penal institutions
                Page 22
            Courts
                Page 23
        Department of labor
            Page 23
            Page 24
    Agencies
        Page 25
        Agricultural experiment station
            Page 25
            Page 26
        Board of elections
            Page 27
        Carnegie library of Puerto Rico
            Page 27
        Civil service commission
            Page 28
        Civilian defense
            Page 28
        Committee on design of public works
            Page 29
        Communications authority
            Page 30
        Development company
            Page 31
        Extension service
            Page 32
        Fire service
            Page 33
        General supplies administration
            Page 34
        Housing authority
            Page 35
        Industrial commission
            Page 36
        Institute of tropical agriculture
            Page 37
        Insurance
            Page 38
        Isabela irrigation service
            Page 39
        Land authority
            Page 39
        Minimum wage board
            Page 40
            Page 41
        Planning, urbanizing and zoning board
            Page 42
        Police
            Page 43
        Public amusement and sports commission
            Page 44
        Public service commission
            Page 45
        Public welfare board
            Page 46
        School of tropical medicine
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
        Sewerage school
            Page 49
        State guard
            Page 49
        State insurance fund
            Page 50
        Tax court
            Page 51
        Tobacco institute
            Page 51
        Transportation authority
            Page 52
        University of Puerto Rico
            Page 53
        War emergency program
            Page 54
        War resources authority
            Page 55
            Page 56
    Federal agencies
        Page 57
        Agricultural adjustment agency
            Page 57
        Agricultural experiment station
            Page 57
            Page 58
        Conciliation service
            Page 59
        Emergency crop and feed loan office
            Page 60
        Farm security administration
            Page 60
        Federal land bank of Baltimore
            Page 61
        Foreign funds control
            Page 62
        Forest service
            Page 62
            Page 63
        National labor relations board
            Page 64
        Office of defense transportation
            Page 64
            Page 65
        Office of distribution
            Page 66
        Office of price administration
            Page 67
        Puerto Rico reconstruction administration
            Page 68
            Page 69
        Soil conservation service
            Page 70
        United States employment service
            Page 70
        Wage and hour board
            Page 71
        War production board
            Page 72
        War shipping administration
            Page 73
            Page 74
    Statistics
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
Full Text




FORTY-FOURTH ANNUALREPORT
OF THE '

GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO,
HONORABLE

REXFORD G. TUGWELL











)( 1944
1J2.4
P%5
1943/4


__


















UNIVERSITY
OF FLORIDA
LIBRARIES








FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT
OF THE

GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO

HONORABLE


REXFORD


G. TUGWELL


A~W~


1944












I /-


























SAN JUAN, P. R.
OFICINA INSULAR DE COMPRAS
DIVISION DE IMPRENTA
1945

















TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
, INTRODUCTION ------------- ------------------------ ------------------

FINANCES-------------------------------------------- -----------------

LEGISLATION ..---- ------ ------------------ 4

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR:
Bureau of the Budget--------------- ------------------ 6
Executive Secretary---------------------------------------- 6
Insular Procurement Office------------------------------ 7
Office of Information------------------- ---- 7
Office of Statistics ------------------------------ 8

DEPARTMENTS :
Department of Agriculture and Commerce----------------------- 9
Department of Education ------ ----------------------------- 12
Department of Health ------------ -- ------------------ 15
Department of Interior ---------------- ---------------- 18
Department of Justice ------------------------------------ 20
Penal Institutions --------- -------------------------- 22
Courts ------------ ----------------- 23
Department of Labor ------------------- ------- 23

AGENCIES:
Agricultural Experiment Station-------- ------- ------_-- 25
Board of Elections-------------------------- 27
Carnegie Library of Puerto Rico------------------ --- .-- 27
Civil Service Commission------------------------------ 28
Civilian Defense-------------------------------- ------- 28
Committo on Design of Public Works--------- ---- ------ 29
Communications Authority---------------------- ---------- 30
Development Company ----------------------..--------- ----- 31
Extension Service ------------------------------- 32
Fire Service -------------------------------- 33
General Supplies Administration------------------------- 34
Housing Authority ------.--------------------_ ---- 35
Industrial Commission ------------------------------- ------- 36
Institute of Tropical Agriculture----------------------------- 37
Insurance---------------------------------------------- ----- 38
Isabela Irrigation Service----------.------- ---------------- -- 39
Land Authority ------ -----_------------ ------------------ 39
Minimum Wage Board------------------------------.-.. ---_ 40
Planning, Urbanizing and Zoning Board--------------------------- 42
II[










IV CONTENTS

AGENCIES-Continued.
Police--------------------------------- 43
Public Amusement and Sports Commission------------------------ 44
Public Service Commission--------- -------- ----------- 45
Public Welfare Board---------------- 46
School of Tropical Medicine---- ----------- 46
Sewerage Service---- -------------- -------- 49
State Guard ------------------- -- 49
State Insurance Fund -------------------------- 50
Tax Court -- ------ --------- --- 51
Tobacco Institute ----------- ---- 51
Transportation Authority ------------------------ 52
University of Puerto Rico--------- ------------------ -- 53
War Emergency Program---- -------------------------- 54
Water Resources Authority---------------------- -------- 55

FEDERAL AGENCIES;
Agricultural Adjustment Agency---------------------------------- 57
Agricultural Experiment Station------------------------------ 57
Conciliation Service------------------------------ -- 59
Emergency Crop and Feed Loan Office------------------------ 59
Farm Security Administration ----- ---------- ------ 60
Federal Land Bank of Baltimore------------------------------- 61
Foreign Funds Control ------------- ---------------- 62
Forest Service ----------------------------------------- 62
National Labor Relations Board------------------------------- 64
Office of Defense Transportation ------------ --------- 64
Office of Distribution-------------------------------- 66
Office of Price Administration----------------------- 67
Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration----------------------- 68
Soil Conservation Service------------------------------- --- 70
United States Employment Service---------------------- ------ 70
Wage and Hour Division------------------- -------- 71
War Production Board-- ------- ------------ ----------- 72
War Shipping Administration ------------------------- 73












FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE GOVERNOR
OF PUERTO RICO

THE HONORABLE
TIE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington 25, D. C.

SiR:
Pursuant to law, I have the honor to submit the following report
as Governor of Puerto Rico, for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1944.

INTRODUCTION

The year 1912:--!. was characterized by the existence of a War
emergency which affected every phase of life in Puerto Rico. I am
happy to report, however, that, during the past year, the Island re-
turned to as normal a life as any people at war can achieve. This
was due in large part, of course, to the action which the Federal
and Insular Governments had instituted in the previous year.
At no time during the twelve months were the basic food supplies
of the Island threatened. It is true, of course, that shortages devel-
oped occasionally, but they were due as often to the existences of
shortages on the Continent as to limitations upon or delays in ship-
ping. And in no case did a shortage affect basic food supplies.
Throughout the year adequate surpluses were maintained and local
food production, stepped up during the period of serious shipping
shortage in 1942-43, reduced very materially the demand for ship--
ping space.
The Office of Distribution, War Food Administration, continued'
to purchase, import and distribute basic foods, under the agreement
with the Department of the Interior. In part because of the subsidy
provided by the Department of the Interior on rice and beans, and in
part through the activities of the Office of Price Administration, prices
were held in check throughout the year. Of particular importance
in the field of price control, was the action of the Office of Price
Administration in setting maximum prices on locally produced foods.
In certain ways the year was unique. The Regular Session of
the Insular Legislature failed to adopt an Insular budget. The
previous year's budget therefore, is to remain in effect. This nat-
urally precluded any considerable extension of government activity..
1









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


It also raised the question of whether the appropriation of $16,000,000
made during the preceding year for the relief program administered
by the War Emergency Program, was also self-renewing under the
circumstances. Since the original appropriation was barely enough
to last out the year, a negative answer neant stopping relief. Pend-
ing action in the courts, it was decided that the appropriation could
be considered as renewed. The fact that 1944 is an election year also
has tended to slow up government activity in many ways.
In so far as -the program for the industrial development of the
Island is concerned, however, considerable progress was made. The
Puerto Rico Development Company began the construction of a fac-
tory in which it will manufacture corrugated paper for use in making
cartons for packing rum, and brought to virtual conclusion the con-
struction of its large glass container plant. The Puerto Rico Devel-
opment Bank went into actual operation, with an appropriation of
$5,000,000.
The most spectacular advancement in industrial activity, however,
was the great expansion in the manufacture of rum for shipment to
the United States. The quantity of rum manufactured and shipped
to the Continent, limited only by the amount of molasses made avail-
able for this purpose, increased many times over that in the previous
year.
In the field of public utilities, the year marked the transfer of
practically all power resources of the Island to the Water Resources
Authority when it took over from the Federal Works Administration
the properties of the Porto Rico Railway, Light and Power Company
and the M.iygtii.:z Light, Power and Ice Company.
The year was memorable, also, in that it saw the preparation of
and submission to the Insular Legislature of the first Six Year Fi-
nancial Plan authorized, under the law setting up the Planning,
Urbanizing and Zoning Board. This is particularly significant be-
cause it coincides with the piling up of reserve funds in the Insular
Treasury from the phenomenal increase in the revenue derived from
rum. As a result of this coincidence Puerto Rico has both a well
considered program of development and, in large part, the money
with which to finance it. Because of the legislative stalemate, the
Six Year Plan could not be used as fully as was intended under the
law.
FINANCES
Revenue for the fiscal year 1943-44 was the highest in the history
-.of Puerto Rico.









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


General Fund: Cash deposits in the General Fund during the
year amounted to $104,148,590.17. This, plus $24,402,077.17, repre-
senting the cash balance on June 30, 1943, brought the total of cash
available to $128,550,667.34. Net disbursements during the year
totaled $46,497,883.69, including $4,002,036.45 in net transfers from
the General Fund to Trust Funds, leaving a cash balance of
$82,052,783.65 at the close of the fiscal year. Total net appropria-
tion liabilities for the year came to $53,629,554.53 resulting in an
unobligated surplus of $74,921,112.81 on June 30, 1944.
During the year the Treasurer raised his estimate of revenue from
$30,075,000 to $92,700,000. Actually, revenue collections reached
$103,993,636.52, exceeding the revised figure for the previous year
by $62,514,657.06. A major part of the increase was accounted for
by income from the United States Internal Revenue Tax which rose
from $13,550,072.44 in the previous year to $63,884,357.89. Receipts
from excise, Victory and income taxes were also substantially higher,
as shown by the following tabulation:

1913-41 1942-43 Increase
Revenue
Incom e Tax................. ....................... $16,243,028.60 $11,319, 105.95 $4,923,922.65
Victory Tax. ....................................... 3,239,305.25 578, 870.30 2, 660, 434.95
Excise Tax ......................................... 12,300,060.75 8,380, 218.85 3,919,841.90


The condensed comparative statement which follows shows the
condition of the General Fund at the beginning.and end of the fiscal
year:
CONDITION AS _OF 'JULY 1, 1943


Cash balance, July 1, 1943__-------------- $24, 402, 007.17
Less: appropriation liabilities carried over from
previous year -------------------------- $17, 289, 281. 30

Condition on July 1, 1943, excess of resources over appropriation
liabilities ------ -----__--... --.--- _- ________


$7, 112. 795. 87


CONDITION AS OF JUNE 30, 1944
Cash balance, June 30, 1944 ---------------- $82, 052, 783.65
Less: appropriation liabilities carried forward
to fiscal year 1944-1945 ------_-- ________-- 7,131,670.84

Condition on June 30, 1944, excess of resources over appropria-
tion liabilities _------_ ---.-----------------.__..___- 74, 921, 112. 81

Gain during the year__-- _________-----------___- $67, 808, 316. 94









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


The gain in resources for the fiscal year 1943-1944 is explained
as follows:
Increase in cash balance-- ---------------------------- $57, 650,706. 48
Decrease in appropriation liabilities-------------------------- 10, 157, 610.46

$67, 808, 316.94

Trust Funds: The cash balance in Trust Funds at the end of
the fiscal year was $27,872,108.82, as compared with $25,846,621.25
on June 30, 1943. Transfers from the General Fund to Trust Fund
accounts amounted to $5,648,792.12, while transfers from Trust Fund
accounts to the General Fund totaled $1,646,755.67.

Bonded Indebtedness: During the year, the bonded indebtedness
of the People of Puerto Rico was reduced by $5,154,000-from
$16,398,000 on July 1, 1942 to $11,244,000 on June 30, 1944. Tho
reduction was effected as follows
Bonds retired----------------- --------------- $2, 127, 000
Bonds transferred to Water Resources Authority------------- 1, 957, 000
Bonds deposited with the Chemical Bond and Trust Co. as Fiscal
Agent of the Water Resources Authority----------------- 1,070, 000

Interest charges on bonded indebtedness for the year amounted
to $551,397.50, as compared with $994,293.33 paid during the pre-
ceding fiscal year.

LEGISLATION

The fourth and last regular session of the Fifteenth Legislature
convened on February 14, and adjourned on April 15, 1944.
The general appropriations bill for the expenses of the Insular
Government was not adopted. Consequently, in accordance with
Section 34 of the Organic Act, the 1943-44 budget will remain in
force until further action by the Legislature.
The Legislature enacted 202 bills, 109 of which were approved.
The most important of the bills which became law were those:

Appropriating $5,000,000 for the Development Bank;
Fixing a basic salary for public school teachers, determin-
ing increases over and above the basic salary in consideration
of academic preparation and of special service, and establish-
ing cumulative increases for years of service.
Appropriating $1,000,000 to provide for the services of
900 additional public school teachers;









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


Appropriating $3,200,000 for the preparation of plans and
specifications, and the purchase of land, for the development
of housing projects for low income families;
Appropriating $25,000 for appraising the Porto Rico Tele-
phone Company;
Extending the benefits of the Land Law to persons other
than residents of the rural zone;
Appropriating -$2,000,000 for the rehabilitation of the is-
lands of Vieques and Culebra-$1,500,000 for the Land Au-
thority for the acquisition of land, and $500,000 for the Puerto
Rico Development Company to finance a sugar mill and rum
distillery;
Appropriating $549,200 to reenact and supplement the
budget of the Office of the Auditor for the fiscal year 1943-44;
Creating the Cancer Institute, and appropriating $500,000
for this purpose;
Appropriating $2,000,000 for the support of school lunch
rooms;
Appropriating $150,000 for the. service of vocational orien-
tation in the public schools;
Providing for a Medical School in the University of Puerto
Rico, and appropriating $500,000 as an initial contribution
towards the expenses of this school;
Amending the Internal Revenue Act by allowing, in the
case of motor vehicles, six months after their introduction
into the Island for the payment of the tax, if they are not
sold before, and by adding three new sections to the law where-
by: (1) all machinery, apparatus or equipment essential for
the establishment and operation of industrial plants are exempt
from taxes; (2) articles and supplies which are returned by
the importer to the sender within 10 days after they are im-
ported into the Island, or which are damaged, spoiled, de-
stroyed, evaporated, or lost by breakage, are exempt from
taxes; and (3) antiseptics, disinfectants or germicides are
not considered as drugs or alcoholic medicines for the pur-
poses of the licenses prescribed by the Act;
Reducing from 15 per cent to 5 per cent the excise tax
on confectionery, chocolate bonbons, caramels, almonds, and
other sugar products;
Allowing the deduction of contributions or gifts in com-
puting the income tax;
Establishing centers for the quick treatment of cases of
venereal diseases in the contagious stage, and providing reha-
bilitation establishments;
Providing for the prevention and treatment of venereal
diseases and for the protection of public-health;









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Allowing compensation to municipalities for such property
taxes as they fail to receive by virtue of the acquisition of
properties by the Water Resources Authority;
Appropriating $300,000 for the purchase of tillable lands
for schools;
Appropriating $50,000 for student aid at the University
of Puerto Rico;
Extending to Vocational Education teachers the benefits
of the Permanency Act for teachers.

OFFICE OF TIIE GOVERNOR
BUREAU OF TIE BUDGET

In its second year of operation, the Bureau of the Budget was
confronted with exactly the reverse of the problem it met in the
first year of its existence. In 1942-43, the Bureau found it neces-
sary to conform its budgeting of contemplated expenditures to an
anticipated 15 per cent reduction in income, as the result of the
shipping crisis which threatened to curtail revenues from exported
rum. The war situation improved and shipping eased with conse-
quent gains for the Insular Treasury. The Bureau therefore, was
enabled to plan for an income approximately $65,000,000 greater
than the year before. The problem was to prepare a budget which
would distribute the increase to the best advantage.
A multitude of claims were made for a share in the available
money, and in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Planning, Urbaniz-
ing and Zoning Board, a system of allocations was devised. The
Legislature, because of political disagreement, failed to approve any
budget, but many of the decisions made as to proportionate division
of funds will be employed as bases for allocations in future budgets.
During the year 1943-44, the Bureau, working with the Civil
Service Commission, took the first steps toward preparing a uniform
salary compensation plan.

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

Corporations and Cooperative Associations: A total of 109 do-
mestic corporations were registered during the year, 54 more than
the previous year, while 219 were dissolved. Of these, 34 were dis-
solved following the usual legal procedure, and the remainder, by
legislative action. Six foreign corporations qualified for business in
the Island and two such corporations withdrew.
Seven cooperative associations of production and consumption
were organized, 28 less than in 1942-43. Four of these associations









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Allowing compensation to municipalities for such property
taxes as they fail to receive by virtue of the acquisition of
properties by the Water Resources Authority;
Appropriating $300,000 for the purchase of tillable lands
for schools;
Appropriating $50,000 for student aid at the University
of Puerto Rico;
Extending to Vocational Education teachers the benefits
of the Permanency Act for teachers.

OFFICE OF TIIE GOVERNOR
BUREAU OF TIE BUDGET

In its second year of operation, the Bureau of the Budget was
confronted with exactly the reverse of the problem it met in the
first year of its existence. In 1942-43, the Bureau found it neces-
sary to conform its budgeting of contemplated expenditures to an
anticipated 15 per cent reduction in income, as the result of the
shipping crisis which threatened to curtail revenues from exported
rum. The war situation improved and shipping eased with conse-
quent gains for the Insular Treasury. The Bureau therefore, was
enabled to plan for an income approximately $65,000,000 greater
than the year before. The problem was to prepare a budget which
would distribute the increase to the best advantage.
A multitude of claims were made for a share in the available
money, and in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Planning, Urbaniz-
ing and Zoning Board, a system of allocations was devised. The
Legislature, because of political disagreement, failed to approve any
budget, but many of the decisions made as to proportionate division
of funds will be employed as bases for allocations in future budgets.
During the year 1943-44, the Bureau, working with the Civil
Service Commission, took the first steps toward preparing a uniform
salary compensation plan.

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

Corporations and Cooperative Associations: A total of 109 do-
mestic corporations were registered during the year, 54 more than
the previous year, while 219 were dissolved. Of these, 34 were dis-
solved following the usual legal procedure, and the remainder, by
legislative action. Six foreign corporations qualified for business in
the Island and two such corporations withdrew.
Seven cooperative associations of production and consumption
were organized, 28 less than in 1942-43. Four of these associations









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Allowing compensation to municipalities for such property
taxes as they fail to receive by virtue of the acquisition of
properties by the Water Resources Authority;
Appropriating $300,000 for the purchase of tillable lands
for schools;
Appropriating $50,000 for student aid at the University
of Puerto Rico;
Extending to Vocational Education teachers the benefits
of the Permanency Act for teachers.

OFFICE OF TIIE GOVERNOR
BUREAU OF TIE BUDGET

In its second year of operation, the Bureau of the Budget was
confronted with exactly the reverse of the problem it met in the
first year of its existence. In 1942-43, the Bureau found it neces-
sary to conform its budgeting of contemplated expenditures to an
anticipated 15 per cent reduction in income, as the result of the
shipping crisis which threatened to curtail revenues from exported
rum. The war situation improved and shipping eased with conse-
quent gains for the Insular Treasury. The Bureau therefore, was
enabled to plan for an income approximately $65,000,000 greater
than the year before. The problem was to prepare a budget which
would distribute the increase to the best advantage.
A multitude of claims were made for a share in the available
money, and in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Planning, Urbaniz-
ing and Zoning Board, a system of allocations was devised. The
Legislature, because of political disagreement, failed to approve any
budget, but many of the decisions made as to proportionate division
of funds will be employed as bases for allocations in future budgets.
During the year 1943-44, the Bureau, working with the Civil
Service Commission, took the first steps toward preparing a uniform
salary compensation plan.

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY

Corporations and Cooperative Associations: A total of 109 do-
mestic corporations were registered during the year, 54 more than
the previous year, while 219 were dissolved. Of these, 34 were dis-
solved following the usual legal procedure, and the remainder, by
legislative action. Six foreign corporations qualified for business in
the Island and two such corporations withdrew.
Seven cooperative associations of production and consumption
were organized, 28 less than in 1942-43. Four of these associations









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


are mercantile, two are engaged in agriculture and commerce, and
one deals in handicraft. Three cooperative marketing associations
were formed, and only one was dissolved.
Seventy-two domestic, non-profit associations were registered, 20
more than in the previous year. Ten were dissolved in accordance
with law and six by legislative action.
Passports: The number of passports issued during the year
amounted to 2,332. This represented an increase of 174 per cent
over the previous year.
The Insular Police Force cooperated in'the investigation of birth
records of ,400 merchant seamen, claiming to have been born in
Puerto Rico, who had applied to the State Department for seamen's
passports. The Executive Secretary's office checked the findings
and prepared the reports to the State Department.

INSULAR PROCUREMENT OFFICE
This office, created by Act 194 of May 15, 1943, started operations
on August 14, 1943 when it took over the staff, services, and equip-
ment of the Bureau of Supplies, Printing and Transportation. Pur-
chases in Puerto Rico by the Purchase Division amounted, in net
value, to $2,527,491.77, while requisitions sent to the Continent
amounted to $448,090.43. A new procurement system which, in gen-
eral, embodies the principles of the Federal Procurement service
adapted to local conditions and Insular Government needs, was out-
lined in a Manual of Procedure.

OFFICE OF INFORMATION
Two publications were published and distributed by the Office
during the year. The Little Mud, a 7-page brochure of photographs
with brief descriptive text, issued in December, 1943, told the story
of Puerto Rico's housing problem. A Development Plan for Puerto
Rico, a technical paper prepared by the Puerto Rico Planning, Ur-
banizing and Zoning Board, was published by the Office of Informa-
tion in January, 1944. English and Spanish texts of a third booklet
-Puerto Rico in the War-went to press as the fiscal year was
ending.
The Department of the Interior in Washington was supplied with
newspaper clippings, news releases and special articles on Puerto
Rican affairs. The Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American
Affairs made wide distribution in North and South America of ar-
ticles, in Spanish and English, sent from the Office of Information.









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


are mercantile, two are engaged in agriculture and commerce, and
one deals in handicraft. Three cooperative marketing associations
were formed, and only one was dissolved.
Seventy-two domestic, non-profit associations were registered, 20
more than in the previous year. Ten were dissolved in accordance
with law and six by legislative action.
Passports: The number of passports issued during the year
amounted to 2,332. This represented an increase of 174 per cent
over the previous year.
The Insular Police Force cooperated in'the investigation of birth
records of ,400 merchant seamen, claiming to have been born in
Puerto Rico, who had applied to the State Department for seamen's
passports. The Executive Secretary's office checked the findings
and prepared the reports to the State Department.

INSULAR PROCUREMENT OFFICE
This office, created by Act 194 of May 15, 1943, started operations
on August 14, 1943 when it took over the staff, services, and equip-
ment of the Bureau of Supplies, Printing and Transportation. Pur-
chases in Puerto Rico by the Purchase Division amounted, in net
value, to $2,527,491.77, while requisitions sent to the Continent
amounted to $448,090.43. A new procurement system which, in gen-
eral, embodies the principles of the Federal Procurement service
adapted to local conditions and Insular Government needs, was out-
lined in a Manual of Procedure.

OFFICE OF INFORMATION
Two publications were published and distributed by the Office
during the year. The Little Mud, a 7-page brochure of photographs
with brief descriptive text, issued in December, 1943, told the story
of Puerto Rico's housing problem. A Development Plan for Puerto
Rico, a technical paper prepared by the Puerto Rico Planning, Ur-
banizing and Zoning Board, was published by the Office of Informa-
tion in January, 1944. English and Spanish texts of a third booklet
-Puerto Rico in the War-went to press as the fiscal year was
ending.
The Department of the Interior in Washington was supplied with
newspaper clippings, news releases and special articles on Puerto
Rican affairs. The Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American
Affairs made wide distribution in North and South America of ar-
ticles, in Spanish and English, sent from the Office of Information.










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Reclassification and amplification of the photographic files in-
herited from the Institute of Tourism were undertaken. A collec-
tion of 100 photographs of Puerto Rico subjects, donated by the
Farm Security Administration, was exhibited at the University of
Puerto Rico, under the title of "Puerto Rico-Life and Miracles".
The collection was later lent to the Special Service Office of the Army
at Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico.
When Mrs. Roosevelt stopped in Puerto Rico for three days during
her Caribbean tour in March, 1944, the Office of Information handled
press relations. Assistance was given to numerous visiting writers
from the Continent and various Puerto Rican journalists.
At the Barbados conference held under the auspices of the Anglo-
American Caribbean Commission in March, 1944, information officers
from Puerto Rico and the various British colonies agreed on a reg-
ular exchange of newsletters. Pursuant to this agreement, the Office
of Information inaugurated a Caribbean newsletter and periodic
releases to local papers summarizing the contents of newsletters re-
ceived from other places.
OFFICE OF STATISTICS

During the year the Office of Statistics lost most of its trained
personnel to the Armed Forces, including the head of the office. This
loss, combined with a limited budget, made it necessary to restrict
the scope of activity principally to analysis and dissemination of
statistics.
At such time as the budget is expanded and a trained technical
staff becomes available, the Office of Statistics will resume the im-
portant function of examining the present statistical reporting sys-
tems of the various Insular Departments with a view to devising and
recommending standard methods, forms and procedures.
Considerable progress was made in improving and building up
the distribution of a printed monthly statistical report. In addition
to Puerto Rico, this report now circulates to neighboring Caribbean
countries, South America, Central America, Canada, and continental
United States. It goes to colleges, libraries, governmental agencies,
S commercial institutions, and private individuals. Some Federal and
Insular government officials are also furnished with a special edition
containing trade information which, for security reasons during the
war emergency, may not be released to the public.
The printed monthly report has been gradually expanded to em-
brace most of the important phases of governmental activity related
to economic and social development in Puerto Rico. Plans have been









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


formulated for continued expansion to provide the public eventually
with a complete monthly statistical abstract.
The Office of Statistics has furnished considerable special statis-
tical data for the use of other members of the Governor's staff, and,
upon specific request by the Division of Territories and Island Pos-
sessions, to Federal officials.

DEPARTMENTS
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE

The Department of Agriculture and Commerce reorganized its
work in the previous fiscal year to meet the War emergency. The
program established in 1942-43, modified to meet changing condi-
tions, was continued. Emphasis was still upon increasing the yield
of native foods crops; upon the use of new land and the production
of new food crops; upon the continued production of raw materials
for munitions.
Towards the close of the year, following the prolonged drought,
the Department inaugurated a $400,000 project, under the War
Emergency Program, to distribute seeds and fertilizers to needy
farmers, as a means of increasing the food supply. As a result, food
crop production, which had fallen off because of the drought, was
greatly stimulated.
The drought, which began in October, 1943, was one of the most
intense in Puerto Rican history. The period of sub-normal rainfall
extended to May, 1944. This not only caused large crop losses, but
also reduced the acreage of new plantings, and affected adversely
other phases of agriculture, such as livestock and milk production.
Sugar: Because of inadequate allotment of fertilizers for sugar
cane, out-of-season deliveries, the prolonged period of drought, and
the scarcity of agricultural machinery and implements, only 5,602,437
tons of cane, with an average yield of 12.90 per cent, were ground,
netting 723,611 tons of sugar, which was 315,626 tons less than in
1942-43.
Puerto Rico produced 28,180,258 gallons of molasses during the
year. With the 17,400,000 gallons left from 1942-43, available molas-
ses totaled 45,580,258 gallons. Shipments from Puerto Rico amounted
to 9,889,757 gallons. Local allotments were: for rum 17,050,000 gal-
lons; for industrial alcohol, 5,500,000; for butyl alcohol, 3,194,000;
for livestock feed, approximately 3,000,000.
Tobacco: There was considerable increase in tobacco production
as the result of the timely arrival of fertilizers and. the high price









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


formulated for continued expansion to provide the public eventually
with a complete monthly statistical abstract.
The Office of Statistics has furnished considerable special statis-
tical data for the use of other members of the Governor's staff, and,
upon specific request by the Division of Territories and Island Pos-
sessions, to Federal officials.

DEPARTMENTS
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND COMMERCE

The Department of Agriculture and Commerce reorganized its
work in the previous fiscal year to meet the War emergency. The
program established in 1942-43, modified to meet changing condi-
tions, was continued. Emphasis was still upon increasing the yield
of native foods crops; upon the use of new land and the production
of new food crops; upon the continued production of raw materials
for munitions.
Towards the close of the year, following the prolonged drought,
the Department inaugurated a $400,000 project, under the War
Emergency Program, to distribute seeds and fertilizers to needy
farmers, as a means of increasing the food supply. As a result, food
crop production, which had fallen off because of the drought, was
greatly stimulated.
The drought, which began in October, 1943, was one of the most
intense in Puerto Rican history. The period of sub-normal rainfall
extended to May, 1944. This not only caused large crop losses, but
also reduced the acreage of new plantings, and affected adversely
other phases of agriculture, such as livestock and milk production.
Sugar: Because of inadequate allotment of fertilizers for sugar
cane, out-of-season deliveries, the prolonged period of drought, and
the scarcity of agricultural machinery and implements, only 5,602,437
tons of cane, with an average yield of 12.90 per cent, were ground,
netting 723,611 tons of sugar, which was 315,626 tons less than in
1942-43.
Puerto Rico produced 28,180,258 gallons of molasses during the
year. With the 17,400,000 gallons left from 1942-43, available molas-
ses totaled 45,580,258 gallons. Shipments from Puerto Rico amounted
to 9,889,757 gallons. Local allotments were: for rum 17,050,000 gal-
lons; for industrial alcohol, 5,500,000; for butyl alcohol, 3,194,000;
for livestock feed, approximately 3,000,000.
Tobacco: There was considerable increase in tobacco production
as the result of the timely arrival of fertilizers and. the high price









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


paid for Puerto Rican tobacco last year. The acreage rose to 34,500
cuerdas, as compared to 12,360 cuerdas in 1942-43. It is estimated
that total production will reach 28,500,000 pounds, 19,078,000 pounds
more than last year.
Coffee: The coffee situation was very unstable. A severe storm
on October 14, 1943, reduced the crop from an estimated 222,044
to 189,848 hundredweights. The long period of drought also had an
adverse effect on the crop.
Fruits: The production of citrus fruits in Puerto Rico continued
to decline. According to the United States Department of Agricul-
ture War Board, approximately 108,000,000 pounds were harvested.
Practically no shipments of fresh citrus fruits have been made in
the past two years. However, 3,523,461 pounds of citron in brine
were shipped during 1943-44. Although no fresh pineapples left
the Island, 11,580,959 pounds of pineapple were canned, 45 per cent
of which was for export.
Coconuts: In spite of unfavorable weather conditions, Puerto
Rico harvested approximately 25,000,000 coconuts, about the same
number as in previous years. Of the total, 7,252,000 nuts in the
shell were shipped to the United States, as compared to 10,057,000
in 1942-43. Shipments of sweetened or shredded coconut jumped
from 752,030 pounds to 5,082,483. The embargo placed on coconut
exports during the previous year was lifted on September 30, 1943.
Cotton: The production of cotton was considerably reduced, due
partly to climatic conditions. The harvest from the southern zone
was 8,982 hundredweights, only 80 per cent of the previous year's
cop. The northern zone crop, too, showed a reduction. An increase
in production is anticipated with the importation, by the Depart-
ment of Agriculture and Commerce, of a short staple variety seed
called "AMonserrat Sea Island".
Food Crops: Food production, has increased markedly since the
beginning of the War. The total production of corn, beans, rice,
pigeon peas, cowpeas, sweet potatoes, yams, dasheeiis, tanniers, cas-
sava, plantains, and bananas, considered collectively, was 14 per cent
higher in the calendar year 1943 than in 1942. A total of 708,730
cuerdas of these 12 crops were harvested, an increase in acreage over
1942 of 69 per cent. On the basis of food groups the greatest
increase occurred in cereals. This is of special significance, since
large amounts of rice and corn are imported. The smallest increase









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


occurred in the starchy vegetables, such as plantains, yams, tanniers,
etc. Under the WEP Planting Program, fertilizer and seed valued
at $193,496.41 were .distributed to 21,916 farmers who planted
52,211.20 cuerdas to corn, rice, beans, cowpeas, pigeon peas, tan-
niers and minor vegetables.
The price support program, carried on by the Office of Distri-
bution, and financed by the U. S. Department of the Interior, under
which growers are assured a market for selected crops, has been of
great value in stimulating food crop production. The Office of Dis-
tribution also gave vital assistance in procuring and importing seeds.
Fertilizer: Imports of fertilizer materials were more than three
times as great as in the preceding year. The total was 150,519.45
tons, an increase of 104,926.80 tons.
The United States Department of Agriculture War Board, of
which the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce is an advisory
member, efficiently rationed fertilizer to farmers and was instru-
mental in obtaining increased supplies.
Agricultural Credit: Credit extended to farmers during the fiscal
year by four agencies totaled more than $11,000,000. The Emer-
gency Crop and Feed Loan Office made 5,456 loans amounting to
$1,387,005. The Federal Land Bank of Baltimore put out $1,310,500
in 283 new loans. The Federal Intermediate Credit Bank of Balti-
more discounted agricultural paper totaling $7,559,093.45. The
Farm Security Administration granted loans to 6,317 clients aggre-
gating $948,188.60.
Livestock: The Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of
Animal Industry of the U. S. Department of Agriculture carried on
the joint campaign against Bang's disease. Considerable progress
has been made on this project as well as on bovine tuberculosis and
cattle tick eradication although all three programs were hampered
by lack of veterinary personnel. The infection ratio for the 106,824
head of cattle tested for tuberculosis was .315, the lowest in the his-
tory of the Department.
Soil Conservation: The soil conservation program was carried on
with the cooperation of various Insular and Federal agencies.
Conservation practices included both complete farm planning
covered by cooperative agreements, and simple conservation prac-
tices which could be applied with a minimum amount of technical
assistance. It is estimated that, in some parts of the Island where










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


such practices have been put into effect, crop yields increased from
15 to 30 per cent on treated lands.
Forestry: ,The rate of acquisition of land for forests was very
slow during ,the year; however a long range plan of acquisition was
prepared and is now ready to be put into effect. The reforestation
of lands best suited for timber growing, most of which are now
denuded and idle, was the most important work of the Forest Service
during the year. With the help of funds from the War Emergency
Program, over 3,000,000 seedlings were produced. Of these, 2,153,000
were distributed to farmers and others, while 42,000 were planted on
public lands.
Fishing: Attention' was concentrated on the rehabilitation and
development of commercial fishing, with emphasis on salt water fish.
A fishing colony was established on Mona Island, and a cold storage
unit for the preservation of the catch was installed on the Island.
A freezing unit was purchased at Boquer6n, and is being operated
for the benefit of commercial fishermen.
Commerce: Business conditions improved, and, at the close of the
year, many more businesses were running on a fairly normal basis.
Shortages now are due not so much to shipping difficulties as in-
ability of suppliers to provide the usual volume of civilian goods.
There was a remarkable increase in the output of many local
industries during the year. The greatest increase came in the man-
ufacture of rum which, in December, 1943, reached the highest
volume of production ever recorded. Shipments of rum to the United
States this year amounted to 8,884,171 gallons, as compared to
2,334,223 gallons during the previous year. Total production of rum
for the year was 12,148,768 gallons.

DEPARTMENT 'OF EDUCATION-

The fiscal year 1943-44 is the first in which the 6-3-3 plan
operated in the public schools in all municipalities of the Island, as
well as in many private schools. Under this plan the system has
been organized into six-year elementary schools, three-year junior
high schools, and three-year senior high schools.
Total enrollment in both public and private day schools, for the
year was 322,338, an increase of 6,408 from the preceding year. The
picture since 1939-40, however, shows a much more marked increase
in total enrollment. The most notable progress during these years
has been in the high schools.








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


There were 13,306 pupils enrolled in the 31 complete and two
incomplete (tenth grade only) senior high schools. The 89 urban
junior high schools had an enrollment of 33,665 students, while the
64 rural junior high schools had 11,027 students.' The total enroll-
ment of 44,692 in junior high schools was a slight increase over the
enrollment of 41,569 in the previous year.
In the teaching of English, the acquisition of a standard basic
vocabulary all over the Island is being emphasized. At junior and
senior high school levels, an extensive supplementary reading pro-
gram has been developed. Various aids were offered to teachers.
These included: summer and emergency courses at the University
of Puerto Rico; the publication of exercise books especially pre-
pared for use in Puerto Rico; the dissemination of bulletins and
circular letters on different aspects of teaching English; conferences
to explain methods of handling the basic vocabulary problem. The
work of the field assistants in Eir-liA h was extended to include the
rural zones.
In line with the policy of adapting materials and techniques ta
the needs of the pupil, bulletins containing information about the
social and economic problems of Puerto Rico were prepared. A
weekly newspaper supplied junior and senior high school students
with reading material for the work in Social Studies. A course in
Latin American History was offered in senior high schools, while
the history of Puerto Rico was taught in junior high schools.
The Department of Education had many activities connected with
the war. Instruction regarding the program and problems of the
Office of Price Administration was given in the schools. Bonds and
stamps sold to teachers and pupils in schools amounted to $302,113.60.
The Trade and Industrial Education Division cooperated with- the
War Manpower Committee in the selection of persons to work on
the Mainland.
The school lunch program, formerly carried on by the, Worl
Projects Administration, was transferred to the Insular War Emer-
gency Program in November, 1943. With the help of the Federal
Office of Distribution, which contributed most of the food, and of
the Insular Department of Interior, 179,000 children were fed at a
cost of $3,500,000 to the Insular Government. The War Emergency
Program also supplied funds to operate 206 adult schools, and to
increase the salaries of rural teachers where teacher turnover was
so great as to constitute a serious problem.









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Enrollment in classes for adults was 8,009. Schools for adults
were classified in five groups: schools for illiterate students, advanced
groups, English groups, sixth grade groups, and eighth grade groups.
These schools issued 310 eighth grade diplomas and 542 sixth grade
diplomas. Each municipality had at least one adult school.
In 1943-44 extension high schools were operated in 23 localities.
The enrollment figure was 2,717, and 277 diplomas were awarded.
Extension eighth-grade schools, established in six localities, were at-
tended by 349 persons. Of these, 263 received diplomas.
The Vocational Education Program was further expanded during
the year, especially with reference to war needs. Thirty-three pre-
employment courses were offered in the War Proiduction Training
Program. A total of 1,792 students completed the pre-employment
courses.
School farm activities, under the Vocational Agriculture Program,
yielded an income of $33,063.02, an increase, of $3,417.44 over that
for the previous year. The growing Future Farniers of America
organization took part in War Bond, Red Cross, and Food for
Victory campaigns.
Home economics instruction reached 13,000 children, and the
number of Home Economics teachers was increased. Home nursing
courses were taught in Various schools of the Island. There were
68 evening and part time classes on community problems and health
education. Victory gardens planted numbered 1,477.
Plans have been made to extend the work of the Vocational
Rehabilitation Division to include facilities which will meet the needs
of returning disabled veterans, in accordance with Federal legisla-
tion. During 1943-44 the services of this Division were offered in
4,542 cases. Of these, 153 were successfully rehabilitated.
Enrollment in Trade and Industrial Education classes reached a
total of 2,143, as compared with 1,670 for the previous year.
Emphasis was placed on pre-induction courses for those students sub-
ject to induction who possessed aptitudes for and interest in specific
army specialists jobs.
One of the principal educational problems of Puerto Rico is the
existing inequality in opportunities. Thirteen municipalities, for
example, have no rural junior high schools at all. Many other
municipalities offer junior high school work in only a portion of
their school districts. Educational opportunities are, therefore,
extremely unequal, not only as between urban and rural communities,
but within each community.









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


Of the total school population of the Island, only 50.1 per cent
attended school during the year. In rural zones 22.16 per cent of
the pupils attended classes all day, while the remaining 77.84 per
cent attended only half days under the double enrollment plan. In
the urban zones, the situation was somewhat better, although 44.32
per cent of the total urban enrollment attended school for only a
half day or less.
More than 50 per cent of the children who enroll in the first
grade of the urban schools complete their elementary education.
Approximately the same proportion of those entering rural schools
stay only through the fourth grade.
At the request of the. Planning, Urbanizing and Zoning Board,
the Department of Education prepared a six-year plan, covering the
years 1944-45 to 1949-50, designed to extend equal educational
facilities to the entire school population between the ages of five and
seventeen years. As submitted to the Board for its consideration,
this plan called for an expenditure of $135,000,000.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

The vital statistics supplied by the Department's Division of
Public Health show no improvement in Puerto Rico's population
problem. Although the birth rate declined slightly (from 40.3 per
one thousand to 39.6), the death rate fell from 16.6 per one thousand
in the calendar year 1942 to 14.7 in 1943, a new low record. As of
July 1, 1943, according to the Division's estimate, Puerto Rico had
a population of 1,978,541, an average of 576 persons per square mile.
The chief causes'of death were diarrhea and enteritis, tuberculosis,
and pneumonia, as in previous years. These diseases, with diseases
of the heart, nephritis, malaria, and cancer, were responsible for
63.5 per cent of the total number of deaths. Of special interest was
the decrease in deaths from malaria. In the calendar year 1942,
this disease accounted for six per cent of all deaths, while in 1943
it was responsible, for only four per cent of the total.
Communicable diseases increased 15.8 per cent over the figure for
1942. Although the total number of malaria cases (16,032) was
5,359 less than the preceding year, this disease still occupied first
place in the list of communicable diseases. An Island-wide epidemic
of influenza, which caused 165 deaths and affected 11,746 persons,
placed this disease second in the list, with a total of 13,041 cases
reported. Syphilis, which last year was in second place, fell to third
place with 12,102 cases.









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


The only disease, in addition to influenza, which reached epidemic'
proportions during the year was typhoid fever, which broke out in
the rural zone of the municipality of Pefiuelas and resulted in 43
cases and one death. Immunization and prevention activities in-
cluded the vaccination of 51,538 persons against smallpox, immuniza-
tion of 9,207 children from diphtheria, and vaccination of 32,472 per-
sons against typhoid fever.
There were 4,830 new cases of tuberculosis found among the
109,068 persons examined in the anti-tuberculosis clinics of the
Department. Patients admitted to the five Insular tuberculosis
Hospitals, with a combined bed capacity of 1,500, numbered 2,296,
while 2,286 patients were discharged. A total of 10,539 persons were
examined by the 200 M.A. X-Ray Traveling Unit in towns where
there were no available radiographic facilities, and the examinations
revealed 144 cases of pulmonary tuberculosis. The 100 M.A.
Traveling Unit examined 4,309 persons, most of whom were govern-
ment employees and University students, and found 27 cases. The
educational i.-ljii1-, against tuberculosis was continued throughout
the Island by means of moving pictures, posters and lectures.
The Bureau of Malaria Control, in conjunction with the Work
Projects Administration and the United States Public Health Service,
carried on anti-malaria treatment work on an Island-wide basis, and
drainage operations of a permanent character. It also made surveys
to determine the location and intensity of breeding areas. A total
of 97,934 field visits were made, and 46,156 blood smears were taken,
of which 12.2 per cent were found positive. Treatment was given
in all positive cases discovered.
The problem of venereal disease control, heightened by war time
conditions, was partially met with the organization of the Puerto
Rico Committee on Social Protection, and legislation for the pre-
vention and treatment of venereal diseases. With the cooperation
of the Office of Health Education, an educational campaign was
carried on, and intensive work was conducted in the biological labora-
tories of the Department. The coordination of venereal disease serv-
ices in the public health units will make it possible to care for 20,000
ambulatory patients. This, with the facilities furnished by four
detention centers and four rapid treatment centers, will greatly aid
in the control of venereal diseases.
Reorganization of the Bureau of Public Health Units, begun in
the previous year, was carried through to completion. The result
was the establishment of 45 public health units and, under these,









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


48 urban public health subunits and 75 rural public health sub-
units. Rural medical dispensaries, which previously operated inde-
pendently, were all incorporated in the new organization as rural
public health subunits. The Island was re-divided into five districts,
each in charge of a medical supervisor.
The eight Public Health Laboratories made 848,909 examinations,
as compared with 843,314 in the previous year. The. Bureau of
Chemistry, which was again organized as a separate entity by leg-
islative action, analyzed 9,501 samples of food, drugs, cosmetics and
miscellaneous material. The Bureau also made daily tests to deter-
mine the thoroughness of pasteurization in commercial milk plants.
Of a total of 7,809 samples of milk examined during the fiscal year,
277 were found to be adulterated.
The school hygiene services of the Bureau of Maternal and Infant
Hygiene, Division of Public Health, included the examination of
11,759 children by physicians, the inspection of 73,276 children by
nurses, and the vaccination and immunization of 40,217 children
against smallpox, diphtheria, and typhoid fever. The Bureau held
4,062 clinic sessions for prenatal care; gave dental care to 12,944
school children supervised 1,806 registered, assistant midwives;
conducted 11,990 case consultations in clinics; and made 177 home
visits on nutrition problems. In December, 1943, the Crippled Chil-
dren's Section of the Bureau, which had previously been a part of
the Bureau. of Maternal and Infant Hygiene, was organized as an
independent bureau in the Division of Public Health. Treatment
was given in 1,071 cases of crippled children; 583 cases ware hos-
pitalized; and 486 operations were performed.
During the year, the Bureau of Hookworm Control was organized
in the Division of Public Health. This Division is concerned pri-
marily with the construction of latrines. A total of 2,321 home
privies were constructed, and 834 repaired.
The four -district hospitals under the Division of Insular Medical
Services cared for 16,136 patients in the course of the year. The
new District Hospital at Aguadilla, inaugurated on April 7, 1944,
admitted 92 patients during the period from May 3 to June 30, 1944
The Insular Hospital for the Leper, previously under the Division
of Public Health, was transferred to the Division of Insular Medical
Services at the beginning of the fiscal year. A-total of 59 cases were
hospitalized.
The new Division of Public Welfare gave assistance in the form
of monthly grants (amounting, in practically all cases, to $7.50) in









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


24,137 cases, disbursing in this way $2,303,489.94. Programs of
Assistance to Enemy Aliens and Civilian War Assistance involved
the expenditure of $15,094.61 in Federal funds.
Administrative accomplishments included the establishment of an
office of the Division in all but one of the 77 municipalities, and
the carrying on of an intensive in-service training program for the
benefit of new personnel. This program was especially important
in the Bureau of Public Assistance where few of the employees had
,received previous training in social work.
The Division handled 2,521 applications for child welfare services.
These applications covered 6,658 children of whom 3,090 were given
aid in their own homes or in the. homes of relatives. The others were
placed in foster homes or institutions or given other types of as-
sistance.
Improvements were effected both in the physical plants'and the
quality of services of the four institutions managed by the Division
-the Insular Home for Boys, the Insular Home for Girls, the Puerto
Rico Institute for Blind Children, and the Insular Asylum for the
Indigent Blind.
The Division also made a census of beggars in San Juan, com-
pleted a study of the effect of a law regulating the employment of
minors, and started the organization of the Confidential Exchange
which will serve as a clearing house for cases registered by public
and private social agencies.

DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR

Although the public works program of the Department continued
to be hampered by war limitations on materials and lack of trained
technical personnel, its normal activities were carried on.
The cost of construction work' done in the course, of the year
fell from $12,000,000 (in 1942-43) to $3,964,800, of which $2,072,000
came from Insular funds. Of the total, $3,453,800 went' for road
construction, and $511,000 for other construction work.
The Federal Government, through the Public Roads Administra-
tion and-the Work Projects Administration contributed $1,792,650
for road construction as against $1,561,150 spent by The Insular
Government. Among the most important single projects was the
improvement of Loiza Street in Santurce, one of the three main
*routes out of San Juan. This was a joint project of the Depart-
:ment and the War Emergency Program, and cost $421,379.32.








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


Other construction work included 33 fire stations, four school
buildings, one retaining wall, and several urban and rural water
supply systems.
The problem of road maintenance was complicated by continued
heavy military traffic, the torrential rains of October, 1943, which
caused damage to roads and bridges estimated at $150,000, and
decreased revenues from the gasoline tax which normally provides
for this work. In all, $1,418,400 was spent on road maintenance,
an average of $466 per kilometer. In cooperation with the Plan-
ning, Urbanizing and Zoning Board, an Island-wide traffic census
was begun.
Due chiefly to the rapid deterioration of the older public build-
ings, some of which were put up two centuries ago, the $125,000
provided in the budget for the maintenance of public buildings
proved wholly inadequate. The Department was enabled to carry
on an adequate program only by virtue of allotments totaling
$323,100 from WVEP funds, and an appropriation by the Legislature
of $50,000 for repairs and improvements to the Insular Psychiatric
Hospital. In addition to this hospital, buildings which underwent
major repairs included: the Insular Home for Girls, the Anti-
Tuberculosis Sanatorium, the Leper Hospital and the Department
of Health.
The Department's duty of public land policing is extremely dif-
ficult because of the lack of a definite land policy. A total of 492
infractions of the Slum Prevention Act were reported and dealt-with,
in large part, by removal of the houses in question from the public
land.
The Bureau of Automobiles and Traffic collected $932,250.08
during the year, and registered 27,648 vehicles. The low point in
collections from automobile licenses was reached in 1942-43, when
collections amounted to $890,103.98.
The Bureau of Mines carried on research work during the year
to determine the commercial possibilities of developing known de-
posits of aluminum, tungsten, cadmium, and nickel. Statistics were
compiled on the production of sand, gravel, and stone, and a report
on explosives and the ingredients that enter into their composition
is in preparation.
Activities of the Bureau of Harbors and Docks are rapidly return-
ing to normal. Dockage fees collected amounted to $110,485.16, a
15 per cent increase over those of the previous year. Collections
from wharfage, storage, mooring and other sources amounted to









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


$139,393.97, an all time high figure. The number of vessels which
docked in Island ports was greater than in 1942-43-1,410 as against
1,097. Aggregate gross tonnage was 2,958,150 tons. The dredging
of the Arecibo harbor, under the direction of the War Department,
was completed in May, 1944. Construction expenditures of the
Bureau of Harbors and Docks for the fiscal year amounted to
$66,714.86.
The Insular Park Commission completed 38 projects during the
year in various towns of the Island. These included base ball and
track fields and courts for basket ball, volley ball, and tennis.
Considerable time went into the preparation of plans for a con-
struction program, amounting to $23,000,000, to be developed after
the war with combined Federal and Insular funds. The proposed
program includes the construction of bypasses for the most.important
cities of the Island, partial relocation and widening of existing high-
ways, and replacement of inadequate bridges. Field data on the
various projects planned has now been gathered, and final plans will
be ready for about half the work by the end of the present fiscal
year.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

War-connected activities again had a large share of the atten-
tion of the Department of Justice. As it has done since the begin-
ning of the war, the Department gave all possible help and advice
to military and naval authorities and to Federal and Insular war
agencies. Particularly, the Department cooperated in the investiga-
tion and prosecution of criminal cases involving the Armed Forces,
and in the program to control venereal diseases and prostitution.
A total of 109 formal opinions were rendered during 1943-44
by the office of the Attorney General. Among the more important
opinions were the following:

Holding that the appropriation made. by Act No. 181 of
M 1., 5, 1943, amending Section 14 of Act No' 16 of 1942,
a(.i.,iti- the War Emergency Program, is a continuous renew-
able appropriation for any coming fiscal year while the state
of war emergency exists or until otherwise determined;
Holding that the Insular Board of Elections is not endowed
by law with a right or the power to return to the Local
Elections Board "peticiones de inscripci6n" which may ap-
pear for some reason or other to be defective, as this is a
matter which rests solely with the judicial branch;
Holding that, in accordance with the provisions of Act
No. 1 of June 22, 1942, all petroleum products served to








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


vessels as ship's stores during the present state of war and
until 90 days after the United States ceases hostilities are
exempted from the levy and collection of every excise tax
imposed by the Internal Revenue laws of Puerto Rico;
Holding that "trust funds" of The People of Puerto Rico
cannot be used for purchasing bonds issued by the Develop-
ment Company since these bonds do not constitute indebted-
ness of the Insular Government.
The Attorney General's office made. 95 reports to the Governor
regarding bills pascd by the Insular Legislature in the regular ses-
sion of 1944. The recommendations of the Depairtment were fol-
lowed by the Governor in 90 instances.
Litigation with regard to the five-hundred acre limitation included
suits filed in the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico against five part-
nerships owning over 60,000 acres of land. In this litigation, im-
portant constitutional questions arose which had not been passed
on as of June 30. Two consent decrees were approved by the
Supreme Court, and one such decree was tentatively agreed upon.
One of the cases handled by the Department which evoked wide
public interest was that of Francisco Ballester Ripoll vs. Court of Tax
Appeals, Treasurer of Puerto Rico, Intervener, in which the United
States Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the Supreme
Court of Puerto Rico that: (1) Section 13 of-Act No. 31, Laws of
Puerto Rico, 1941, (The Income Tax Law) providing for a single
joint return by husband and wife, is not invalid in its applications
to the income reported fodr the year 1940 and after; (2) the rule
for uniform taxation is not violated by the provision for higher
rates of taxation at higher income levels; (3) the imposition of a
higher rate of taxation on the income of a resident alien than on
the income of a resident citizen is violative of the equal protection
clause of the Organic Act; (4) a statute imposing a tax on all
income of a previous year, although one'tax on that income had
already been paid, is valid, and that retroactive removal of pro-
visions which are replaced by others limiting or eliminating deduc-
tions from gross income and retroactive increases in existing income
tax rates, are valid.
A large number of tax cases were brought against the Treasurer.
On June 30, 1944 there were 999 cases before the Court of Tax
Appeals, many of which involved the Income Tax Law.
At the end of the fiscal year, there were pending in the Insular
and Federal courts 1,923 civil cases in which the People of Puerto
Rico had an interest. This compares with 2,031 such cases pending









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


on June 30, 1943. The number of new cases initiated during the
year was 819, while 927 cases were decided.
The Registries of Property handled a total of 39,704 documents,
of which 36,723 were recorded, 2,981 withdrawn or refused, and
1,584 left pending.
Penal Institutions

Despite problems of personnel and the increased cost of food,
the Insular Penitentiary and seven district jails under the Depart-
ment's jurisdiction functioned normally. The daily average number
of prisoners during the year was 2,617, as compared with 2,712 for
the previous year. On June 30, 1944, there were 2,758 prisoners
serving sentences or awaiting trial. The total expense of maintain-
ing the Penitentiary and district jails was $393,779.76. Deducting
the value of the services of the prisoners, each prisoner was main-
tained at a net cost of 33 cents per In the self-sustaining plan of the Penitentiary, farm work was
intensified with special emphasis placed on the growing of products
which will aid in providing a more balanced diet for the prisoners.
Vegetables and fruits valued at $6,230 were produced. In the shops
of the Penitentiary $32,670.59 worth of articles were manufactured.
At the close of the year, 211 minors were in the Industrial School
in Mayagiiez, as compared with 231 at the end of the previous year.
Academic instruction was given to 181 boys, and the remainder Ire-
ceived instruction in various special skills. The school produced
$12,685.09 in agricultural and industrial products during the year.
There were 50 girls in the Industrial School for Girls in Ponce
on June 30, 1944. Eight girls graduated at the end of the year
from the six-grade academic course (which is recognized by the
Department of Education). Others received training in sewing and
glove manufacturing.
During the year, 191 boys entered the Juvenile Home in San
Juan, and 170 left it. On June 30 there were 58 boys at the Insti-
tution.
The Advisory Parole and Pardon Board handled 849 petitions
for executive clemency in the course of the year-or 203 more than
in the previous year. Of the total, 289 cases were disposed of and
560 wore pending at the end of the year. Favorable recommenda-
tion was made to the Governor on 116 cases, 97 were unfavorably
recommended, and no action was taken on 75 cases, either because









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO '


of withdrawal of the petition, or expiration of the term of sentence.
The Governor granted the clemency asked fir in 75 of the cases
which were favorably recommended to him.

Courts
Supreme Court: Of the 1,123 cases handled by the Supreme
Court, 924 were decided, 57 were pending decision, and 142 were
pending "perfection of appeal" on June 30.
District Courts: During the year, the District Courts handled
23,001 civil cases-or almost 3,000 more than in 1942-43. Of these,
9,313 were decided and 13,688 were left pending. Felony cases
handled numbered 4,442 of which 1,987 were decided. Decisions
were handed down in 1,372 of the 2,703 misdemeanor cases. The
courts disposed of 2,174 appeals in criminal cases from municipal
and justice of the peace courts.
Municipal Courts: The Municipal Courts processed 16,368 civil
cases and 160,162 criminal cases. Disposition was made of 5,453
civil and 130,935 criminal cases. At the end of the year there were
10,915 civil and 29,227 criminal cases pending action.
Justice, of the Peace Courts: A total of 18,267 eases was brought
before Justice of the Peace Courts, of which 13,721 were concluded
and 4,546 cases were still awaiting action.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
The work of the Department of Labor falls principally into two
categories: (1) the promotion of amicable relations between workers
and employers in order to maintain industrial peace, and to en-
courage increased production and employment opportunities, and
(2) the enforcement of labor laws.
In the maintenance of industrial peace the Mediation and Con-
ciliation Service, which began to function in March, 1943, inter-
vened in 181 disputes w.,i.-tcig 143,517 workers. Sixty-three of these
disputes were strikes, involving 27,622 workers. The Service also
cooperated in the negotiation of 49 collective agreements. This con-
stituted only part of the total number of such agreements entered
into during the year. Others were negotiated with the assistance
of the Federal Conciliator, and many were signed by unions and
employers through their own initiative.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a survey of employ-
ment and labor conditions in more than 5,000 establishments









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO '


of withdrawal of the petition, or expiration of the term of sentence.
The Governor granted the clemency asked fir in 75 of the cases
which were favorably recommended to him.

Courts
Supreme Court: Of the 1,123 cases handled by the Supreme
Court, 924 were decided, 57 were pending decision, and 142 were
pending "perfection of appeal" on June 30.
District Courts: During the year, the District Courts handled
23,001 civil cases-or almost 3,000 more than in 1942-43. Of these,
9,313 were decided and 13,688 were left pending. Felony cases
handled numbered 4,442 of which 1,987 were decided. Decisions
were handed down in 1,372 of the 2,703 misdemeanor cases. The
courts disposed of 2,174 appeals in criminal cases from municipal
and justice of the peace courts.
Municipal Courts: The Municipal Courts processed 16,368 civil
cases and 160,162 criminal cases. Disposition was made of 5,453
civil and 130,935 criminal cases. At the end of the year there were
10,915 civil and 29,227 criminal cases pending action.
Justice, of the Peace Courts: A total of 18,267 eases was brought
before Justice of the Peace Courts, of which 13,721 were concluded
and 4,546 cases were still awaiting action.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
The work of the Department of Labor falls principally into two
categories: (1) the promotion of amicable relations between workers
and employers in order to maintain industrial peace, and to en-
courage increased production and employment opportunities, and
(2) the enforcement of labor laws.
In the maintenance of industrial peace the Mediation and Con-
ciliation Service, which began to function in March, 1943, inter-
vened in 181 disputes w.,i.-tcig 143,517 workers. Sixty-three of these
disputes were strikes, involving 27,622 workers. The Service also
cooperated in the negotiation of 49 collective agreements. This con-
stituted only part of the total number of such agreements entered
into during the year. Others were negotiated with the assistance
of the Federal Conciliator, and many were signed by unions and
employers through their own initiative.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a survey of employ-
ment and labor conditions in more than 5,000 establishments









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


representing all economic activities of the Island. The study reveals
the number of workeriin each enterprise and gives information con-
cerning working conditions. Monthly statistical reports were issued
on the employment situation in the Island, and a census was made
of all enterprises in the urban zone and in a portion of the rural
zone of 25 representative municipalities. This census will provide
the base for the computation of monthly employment and pay roll
indexes for the different industries. A cost-of-living index, which
is a measure of the effectiveness of Federal action to control in-
flation, is prepared monthly by the Bureau.
The Employment Service of the Department made a total of
1,483 placements, an increase of 25 per cent over the preceding
year. The scope of its work was broadened to cover registration
of the unemployed in 10 additional cities and towns.
The Children's Bureau issued 2,126 work permits and age certifi-
cates. This was 30 per cent more than in the previous year. As
.a result of the 16-year age minimum provided by the Insular Child
Labor and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Acts, the number of
special permits to minors 14 and 15 years old was reduced from
148 to 100. Permits for vocational training were granted to 182
junior and senior high school students. A total of 7,986 inspections
were made of all kinds of establishments, in order to determine com-
pliance with the provisions of the law regulating the employment of
minors.
Responsibility for the enforcement of labor laws falls chiefly on
the Industrial Supervision Service. In the course of the year
inspections were made of 16,205 establishments and working places
which had 129,360 employees.. Of the 6,293 complaints considered,
4,374, including 3,593 wage claims and 781 share-cropping claims,
were settled. Collections in the settlement of claims amounted to
$152,729.63, only $13,861.73 of which resulted from court action.
The record for the year represents increases over 1942-43 of 33 per
cent in the number of cases handled and of 61 per cent in the
amount of money collected.
Under the Industrial Home Work Law, the Service issued per-
mits to 505 contractors and subcontractors, and gave out 8,527 home
work certificates.
During the year, the Legal Division received 5,038 claims involv-
ing a total of $629,319; dealt with 786 share-cropping cases, of which
743 were settled, 22 dismissed, 16 withdrawn, and 5 are still pending;
investigated and prosecuted 41 cases for violation of labor laws;









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


prepared and filed 164 cases in the Insular Courts: 150 in Municipal
Courts, and 14 in. District Courts.
The Homestead Division granted 1,286 titles of ownership. Of
this number 394 were for houses and lots, aggregating 7,614 square
meters, while 892 were for small farms, with a combined area of
8,809 .cuerdas. The persons to whom the titles of ownership were
granted were tenants of government farms and members of work-
ers' settlements who, after proper investigation, were found to be
unable to pay the stipulated rent.
A program of workers' education was begun in October, 1943
under the newly created Bureau of Publications and Workers Educa.
tion. In the course of the year, 481 short courses for workers were
organized in 70 out of the 77 municipalities in the Island. A total
of 19,591 men and 2,737 women enrolled in the courses, which were
attended also by 1,085 visitors. Lectures were given on problems
directly affecting the workers.

AGENCIES
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

(University of Puerto Rico)
The Agricultural Experiment Station continued to stress a pro-
gram aimed at immediate increase in food production in the Island.
This program consisted primarily of: (1) development of food crop
varieties superior in yield and nutritional value and resistant to
disease; (2) the improvement of cultivation and marketing prac-
tices; (3) conservation and preservation of seeds and other prop-
agating material; and (4) the propagation of selected seeds to
provide necessary initial stocks to farmers and government agencies.
Research was conducted on varietal development and adaptation,
and on best cultivation practices, for sweet and Irish potatoes, field
beans, soybeans, corn, tomatoes, onions, tanniers, peppers, cucumbers,
pumpkins, and fruits of various kinds.
New varieties of field beans and of corn developed at the Station
yield 25 per cent and 10 per cent more, respectively, than previous
varieties. A new variety of sweet potato, superior in both yield and
nutritive value, was selected from seedings of the native mameya
variety. A new variety of peppers, resistant to the mosaic disease,
was developed, but is being perfected before release to commercial









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


prepared and filed 164 cases in the Insular Courts: 150 in Municipal
Courts, and 14 in. District Courts.
The Homestead Division granted 1,286 titles of ownership. Of
this number 394 were for houses and lots, aggregating 7,614 square
meters, while 892 were for small farms, with a combined area of
8,809 .cuerdas. The persons to whom the titles of ownership were
granted were tenants of government farms and members of work-
ers' settlements who, after proper investigation, were found to be
unable to pay the stipulated rent.
A program of workers' education was begun in October, 1943
under the newly created Bureau of Publications and Workers Educa.
tion. In the course of the year, 481 short courses for workers were
organized in 70 out of the 77 municipalities in the Island. A total
of 19,591 men and 2,737 women enrolled in the courses, which were
attended also by 1,085 visitors. Lectures were given on problems
directly affecting the workers.

AGENCIES
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

(University of Puerto Rico)
The Agricultural Experiment Station continued to stress a pro-
gram aimed at immediate increase in food production in the Island.
This program consisted primarily of: (1) development of food crop
varieties superior in yield and nutritional value and resistant to
disease; (2) the improvement of cultivation and marketing prac-
tices; (3) conservation and preservation of seeds and other prop-
agating material; and (4) the propagation of selected seeds to
provide necessary initial stocks to farmers and government agencies.
Research was conducted on varietal development and adaptation,
and on best cultivation practices, for sweet and Irish potatoes, field
beans, soybeans, corn, tomatoes, onions, tanniers, peppers, cucumbers,
pumpkins, and fruits of various kinds.
New varieties of field beans and of corn developed at the Station
yield 25 per cent and 10 per cent more, respectively, than previous
varieties. A new variety of sweet potato, superior in both yield and
nutritive value, was selected from seedings of the native mameya
variety. A new variety of peppers, resistant to the mosaic disease,
was developed, but is being perfected before release to commercial









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


planters. Some native pumpkins, tolerant to the mosaic disease, are
being selected for improved quality, shape and nutritive value.
Increase in the productive resources of agriculture and improve-
mnent in the distribution of agricultural products was the long range
program of the Station. Funds for the establishment of two new
sub-stations, one in the Lajas Valley, the other in Vieques, were
secured. These new sub-stations, when established, will add very
considerably to research activities.
The work on sugar cane has demonstrated that PR-903, M\-317,
M-275, POJ-2878 and POJ-2961 are the best all around varieties
for the Island. The usual practice of applying fertilizer to sugar
cane on top of the soil was definitely established as efficient. Rapid
progress was made on the development of new cane varieties which
are resistant to mosaic.
Results obtained from an experiment on nine crops of coffee,
comparing the Puerto Rican and the Columnaris varieties, proved
definitely that the latter is a much heavier yielder. Fertilizer experi-
ments with coffee showed most marked response to phosphoric acid
and nitrogen, an additional yield of 318 pounds of green coffee
per acre resulting from each additional 100 pounds of phosphoric
acid applied.
In growing cotton on the north coast, nitrogen was found to be
the only fertilizer which could be used profitably. Tests to deter-
mine the best variety of regular Sea Island cotton, and studies for
control of the pink bollweevil, were continued.
Progress was made in the development of foundation herds of
native swine and cattle-an essential first step in the development
of new breeds of efficient production under local conditions.
A study of the commercial activities of fishermen and of fish
marketing throughout the Island, was completed. The Eastern coast
was found to offer the best possibilities for the development of fish-
ing. Other findings were that marketing practices are extremely
primitive, and that the lack of a continuing supply of fish is the
principal marketing problem.
An economic study of Vieques Island resulted in a program for
the use of Navy lands in that Island.
Large quantities of seeds of superior varieties were produced and
distributed to farmers and government agencies. Many fruit trees
and live plants for home gardens in the metropolitan area were
also supplied.









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


BOARD OF ELECTIONS
The holding of registrations was the big job of the year for the
Board of Elections.
New registrations were held throughout Puerto Rico on January
15 for women, and on January 16 for men. Applications for regis-
tration were presented by 278,342 persons, of whom 134,169 were
women and 144,173 men. Registrations were conducted by 1,231
Boards. Provisional lists furnished to the local committee of each
political party, as provided by law, contained the names of 575,379
electors.
The number of incomplete or defective registrations increased
very considerably over that in 1940, reaching a total of 87,546. In
62,000 cases the defect was the lack of the signature of one member
of the Board to the oath.
As in 1940, the Insular Board of Elections refused to permit the
return of application documents to the local Boards, and declared
all defective registrations void. A mandamus was filed in the Su-
preme Court to compel the. acceptance of such registrations but the
Court split two to two, and the mandamus was denied. Similar
cases were then filed in every District Court in the Island. One
court rendered a decision ordering the Insular Board of Elections
to accept the registrations as valid. This decision, upon appeal to
the Supreme Court, was reversed. Of those whose registrations were
defective because of the absence of the signature of a Board member
to the oath, it was possible to save from disfranchisement more than
5,000 persons who had voted in 1940.
Preliminary estimates indicate that the voting lists will contain
approximately 720,000 names.

CARNEGIE LIBRARY OF PUERTO RICO
The Library played its part in the recreational program offered
to members of the Armed Forces stationed in the training camps
of the Island. Interlibrarv loans were. made to the Antilles Head-
quarters of the Army Library as well as to Fort Buchanan. A total
of 2,650 books circulated in traveling libraries which, in addition
to serving the Armed Forces, brought reading material to schools
and rural residents. A Parcel Post service was particularly help-
ful to high school students throughout the Island.
Total circulation of books for the year amounted to 42,524. Acces-
sions numbered 2,354 volumes, of which 1,332 came as gifts and
1,022 were purchased. Special attention was given to increasing the









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


BOARD OF ELECTIONS
The holding of registrations was the big job of the year for the
Board of Elections.
New registrations were held throughout Puerto Rico on January
15 for women, and on January 16 for men. Applications for regis-
tration were presented by 278,342 persons, of whom 134,169 were
women and 144,173 men. Registrations were conducted by 1,231
Boards. Provisional lists furnished to the local committee of each
political party, as provided by law, contained the names of 575,379
electors.
The number of incomplete or defective registrations increased
very considerably over that in 1940, reaching a total of 87,546. In
62,000 cases the defect was the lack of the signature of one member
of the Board to the oath.
As in 1940, the Insular Board of Elections refused to permit the
return of application documents to the local Boards, and declared
all defective registrations void. A mandamus was filed in the Su-
preme Court to compel the. acceptance of such registrations but the
Court split two to two, and the mandamus was denied. Similar
cases were then filed in every District Court in the Island. One
court rendered a decision ordering the Insular Board of Elections
to accept the registrations as valid. This decision, upon appeal to
the Supreme Court, was reversed. Of those whose registrations were
defective because of the absence of the signature of a Board member
to the oath, it was possible to save from disfranchisement more than
5,000 persons who had voted in 1940.
Preliminary estimates indicate that the voting lists will contain
approximately 720,000 names.

CARNEGIE LIBRARY OF PUERTO RICO
The Library played its part in the recreational program offered
to members of the Armed Forces stationed in the training camps
of the Island. Interlibrarv loans were. made to the Antilles Head-
quarters of the Army Library as well as to Fort Buchanan. A total
of 2,650 books circulated in traveling libraries which, in addition
to serving the Armed Forces, brought reading material to schools
and rural residents. A Parcel Post service was particularly help-
ful to high school students throughout the Island.
Total circulation of books for the year amounted to 42,524. Acces-
sions numbered 2,354 volumes, of which 1,332 came as gifts and
1,022 were purchased. Special attention was given to increasing the









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


collection of children's books. Supplementary volumes were added
to encyclopedias, improving the value of the reference department
to the public in general and to students in particular.
Magazine and newspaper titles totaled 193, exclusive of local
publications and official journals and reviews.

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
A new Chairman of the Civil Service Commission was appointed
in May, 1944. He found that of approximately 20,000 Insular Gov-
ernment positions, about 9,000 were classified Civil Service appoint-
ments, and about 11,000 were as yet unclassified. The Insular
Department of Education and the Insular Police had the two largest
groups of unclassified positions-7,200 teachers and 1,800 policemen.
The Commissioner and his staff immediately began the task of
drafting new job specifications for every type of work done in the
Insular Government. The principal objective was to replace, ob-
solete classifications, and to supply classifications where none existed.
During the fiscal year, 38 different types of examinations were
held for Civil Service positions. As a result of these examinations.
3,706 people were given Civil Service classifications, and were placed
on the rolls of eligibles.

CIVILIAN DEFENSE
As the theatre of war shifted away from the Caribbean, Civilian
Defense began terminating its activities. The chief business of the
year was the redistribution of work and materials to volunteers and
Insular agencies.
In most areas, directors who were formerly paid continued in
their positions on a volunteer basis. The Public Relations Office
maintained .publicity programs under a volunteer chief. The Social
Services, Food and Housing Plans, and Training Divisions were
eliminated.
The Insular Department of Interior, Municipal Public Works,
and the Water Resources Authority took over the activities of the
Defense Corps and Services.
The construction of 34 fire stations in different municipalities
went forward under the supervision of the Department of Interior.
As stations were completed, they were taken over by the Insular
Fire Department. All fire fighting equipment belonging to the
Federal Government, heretofore operated and maintained by Civilian









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


collection of children's books. Supplementary volumes were added
to encyclopedias, improving the value of the reference department
to the public in general and to students in particular.
Magazine and newspaper titles totaled 193, exclusive of local
publications and official journals and reviews.

CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
A new Chairman of the Civil Service Commission was appointed
in May, 1944. He found that of approximately 20,000 Insular Gov-
ernment positions, about 9,000 were classified Civil Service appoint-
ments, and about 11,000 were as yet unclassified. The Insular
Department of Education and the Insular Police had the two largest
groups of unclassified positions-7,200 teachers and 1,800 policemen.
The Commissioner and his staff immediately began the task of
drafting new job specifications for every type of work done in the
Insular Government. The principal objective was to replace, ob-
solete classifications, and to supply classifications where none existed.
During the fiscal year, 38 different types of examinations were
held for Civil Service positions. As a result of these examinations.
3,706 people were given Civil Service classifications, and were placed
on the rolls of eligibles.

CIVILIAN DEFENSE
As the theatre of war shifted away from the Caribbean, Civilian
Defense began terminating its activities. The chief business of the
year was the redistribution of work and materials to volunteers and
Insular agencies.
In most areas, directors who were formerly paid continued in
their positions on a volunteer basis. The Public Relations Office
maintained .publicity programs under a volunteer chief. The Social
Services, Food and Housing Plans, and Training Divisions were
eliminated.
The Insular Department of Interior, Municipal Public Works,
and the Water Resources Authority took over the activities of the
Defense Corps and Services.
The construction of 34 fire stations in different municipalities
went forward under the supervision of the Department of Interior.
As stations were completed, they were taken over by the Insular
Fire Department. All fire fighting equipment belonging to the
Federal Government, heretofore operated and maintained by Civilian









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


Defense, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Insular Fire
Department.
Ambulances, medicines, and supplies procured with Insular Funds
were transferred to the Insular Department of Health. The Blood
Bank, with its equipment, was transferred to the School of Tropical
Medicine. A total of $5,307.07 worth of medical supplies allotted
to Civilian Defense in Puerto Rico by the Federal Government was
sold to hospitals, clinics, and doctors.
The Insular Department of Interior is in the process of destroy-
ing air raid shelters, with funds appropriated by the War Emer-
gency Program.
The Child Feeding Program of the Citizens Service Corps ex-
tended its activities throughout the Island. A campaign to raise
funds for the support of milk stations was successful, and at the
close of the year 44,274 children were being fed daily at 399 stations.

COMMITTEE ON DESIGN OF PUBLIC WORKS
The Committee on Design of Public Works was established by
the Insular Legislature in 1943. Its purpose is to translate into
working plans the program of capital' improvement projects pre-
pared by the Puerto Rico Planning, Urbanizing, and Zoning Board,
and to coordinate the plans of the various Insular Agencies for post
war development. It is financed by a $100,000 Trust Fund created
by the Legislature.
The Office of the Committee was set up in August, 1943, and
reorganized in April, 1944, when the activities of the Committee
were divided among the following eight sections: (1) Finance and
Administrative Section; (2) Programing Section; (3) Land Section;
(4) Specialized Designs Section; (5) General Designs Section; (6)
Utilities Engineering Section; (7) Civil, Structural, Estimates, and
Costs Section; (8) Architectural and Engineering Specifications
Section.
Among the most important projects undertaken during the first
year of the Committee's activities was the selection of sites through-
out the Island for district hospitals, and the completion of a sub-
stantial part of the plans for the hospital at Ponce. Preliminary
drawings have been made for the hospitals at 1\ayagiiez, Caguas and
Guayama as well as for the Insular Home for Girls at San Ger-
man. Other projects in the preliminary stages of planning include:
central laundries for the North and South of Puerto Rico, exten-









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


sions to tuberculosis sanatoria, and a dormitory for girls at the Uni-
versity of Puerto Rico.
Housing, one of Puerto Rico's most urgent needs, was the chief
concern of the General Designs Section during the year. Realizing
that public development, ownership, and operation of industries for
the production of basic building materials on a non-profit basis is
essential to a broad housing program, the Committee prepared a
plan which it called the Zero Plus Housing Plan. This provides
for the use of local materials in so far as possible and is based on
the premise that public development must be: (1) on a large scale;
(2) tax exempt; (3) based on long-term financing at low interest
rates; and (4) under public control to prevent deterioration and
speculation.
As of June 30, 1944, a total of 330 Insular and Municipal Gov-
ernment projects were in process of development by the Committee.
The total cost of these projects is $58,468,028.

COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY
No .important changes in the telegraph and telephone systems of
the Authority were possible due to the .war emergency and resulting
restrictions upon the. use of materials and equipment. However,
service increased in volume, improvements were made, and further
acquisitions of buildings and property carried out.
With materials and equipment at hand, general repairs to the
telephone lines were effected throughout the Island. In many cases,
this repair work led to the elimination of circuits strung through
foliage along highways. Studies and proposals were completed for
the establishment of automatic telephone exchanges when equipment
is available.
During the year the Authority was put in charge of the. telephone
service -rendered by the Porto Rico Telephone Company to the dif-
ferent departments and agencies of the Insular Government. New
regulations governing this service, which became effective May 1,
1944, can reduce the telephone, expenditure of the Insular Govern-
ment by about $10,000 per annum, it is estimated.
The franchise of the Porto Rico Telephone Company expired in
September, 1944. With a view to acquiring the properties of the
Company, a three-man board of appraisal was set up in October,
1943, and completed its work in April, 1944. The Legislature, how-
ever, failed to authorize the transaction. Approval was voted by
the Senate, but the House of Representatives passed a resolution








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


postponing consideration of the proposal until,after an investigation
to 'be made by a special legislative commission. At the close of the
year, this commission had not yet made a report.

DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
The 12 months from July 1, 1943 to June 30, 1944 was a period
of rapid expansion in the activities of the Puerto Rico Developmeni
Company.
The chief accomplishment was the virtual completion of the
glass container plant, construction of which was begun in May, 1943.
Installation of machinery and equipment was well under way by
the end of the year. Most of the forming machines were in place
by that date. Difficulties encountered in connection with the con-
struction contract led to cancellation of the contract early in 1944,
and the completion of the plant was undertaken, on a fully re-
imbursable basis, by the War Emergency Program.
The total investment of the Development Company in the Puerto
Rico Glass Corporation, as of June 30, 1944, totaled $2,276,890.
Capital stock issued by the Corporation as of that date amounted to
$2,500,000, of which private investors held $223,110.
The second major activity of the Development Company was the
creation of the Puerto Rico Pulp and Paper Corporation in April
1944, and the award of a contract in the same month, to the War
Emergency Program, for the construction of a paper mill on a site
adjacent to the glass plant. Actual construction was begun in May,
1944. Two-thirds of the production of the mill, which will have
a yearly capacity of 12,000 tons, will be used for the production
of corrugated paperboard boxes to package bottles manufactured by
the Puerto Rico Glass Corporation. The paperboard will be made
from a mixture of waste paper and bagasse. As of June 30, 1944,
the investment of the Puerto Rico Development Company in the
paper mill amounted to $379,386.32. The erection of the mill and
the machinery will cost about $1,200,000.
Two important contracts in connection with the development of
manual or semi-mechanized industries were also entered into during
the year. One was a contract with the Compafiia de CerAmicas de
Puerto Rico, Inc., for the operation of its plant as an experimental
activity for six months. The other was a contract with Fine Woods
Manufacturers, Inc., for the development of a complete line of furni-
ture. The Company was also instrumental -in interesting other
Continental firms in the establishment of semi-mechanized industry,









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


among which was the Red Cape Leather Products Corporation at
Cabo Rojo. Continental markets for bamboo, needlework, fibre and
other products manufactured in Puerto Rico were explored, and local
producers were given advice as to improved designs, methods of
operation, and marketing.
The Development Company continued to promote opportunities
for training technicians. Eight graduate students were sent to the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which has cooperated fully
in the industrial training program. Twelve chemists were sent to
the Louisville plant of Seagrams and Sons Inc., to study modern
fermentation processes, in connection with the food yeast project.
On May 11, 1944, the Legislature of Puerto Rico appropriated
$500,000 for the purpose of acquiring and operating a sugar mill
and liquor industry in Vieques as part of a plan for the economic
rehabilitation of this island. Preliminary action toward this objec-
tive had been taken by the end of the year.
Funds for the activities of the Development Company were
secured through Legislative appropriations, and by borrowing from
banks. On May 25, 1944 the Company was authorized by its Board
of Directors to issue Temporary Financial Collateral Bonds, with the
Puerto Rico Development Bank acting as fiscal agent. Bonds in the
amount of $2,000,000 had been issued as of June 30, 1944.

EXTENSION SERVICE
Extension Service continued to emphasize the production, pre-
paration, and conservation of food.
Through Federal funds assigned to the Extension Service in Feb-
ruary 1944, an Emergency Food Production Assistant was appointed
to work in each of the 36 Extension Districts of the Island. Assist-
ance was given to more than 14,000 families in the cultivation of
Victory gardens.
To prevent waste of the foods thus produced, Extension-Home
Demonstration Agents intensified their work of teaching rural women
more diversified and better methods of food preparation. With the
aid of Preservation and Canning Assistants appointed with Federal
Emergency' Funds, 19,244 cans, 3,274 pint jars, 5,401 quart jars,
and 1,225 pounds of food were preserved. At the ,same time a cam-
paign was carried on to assure maximum use of home grown and
preserved foods.
In cooperation with the War Emergency Program, six industry
centers were established to train women and girls in various crafts.









OF THE GOVERNOR OF .PUERTO RICO


At these centers, a total of 5,040 articles, valued at $2,988.31, were
made. After training, the women are available for transfer to enter-
prises of the Puerto Rico Development Company. In addition to
the work with the War Emergency Program, Instructors and Home
Demonstration Agents trained boys and girls in making articles from
native fibers and in the development of needlework techniques. The
value of products sold by farm families in this program was more
than $6,000.
Extension Field Personnel assisted in setting up 76 milk stations,.
feeding-over 5,507 children, in rural areas throughout the Island.
Other activities of the Service included health and hygiene
instruction, the distribution of games and equipment for recreation,
extension classes to give specialized training to farmers and the dis-
semination of material from the Office of Price Administration and
Office of Distribution.
FIRE SERVICE

The Insular Fire Service dealt with 75 fires, which caused damage
estimated at $817,188. The largest number of fires (29) took place
in the San Juan district where damage amourited to $186,374. The.
Arecibo district had only three fires, but suffered damage to the
extent of $207,000.
At the close of the year, the Service had 34 fire stations through-
out the Island. Many of these stations were constructed for the-
Office of Civilian Defense, and were turned over to the Insular Fire-
Service for operation in the course of the year.
The rolling equipment of the Service included two modern fire'
trucks and 33 pumpers. The pumpers which were transferred from:
the Office of Civilian Defense were mounted on second hand trucks
most of which were in poor condition. Reparation work undertaken
by the regular personnel of the Service resulted in salvaging 21 of
these trucks.
To offset the handicap of deficient and uncertain water supply
and of inadequate hydrant facilities, the Service sought to perfect
techniques for using the sea for a source of supply. Emphasis was
placed on this problem in fire drills and a special booster pump was
devised.
Lack of personnel limited the scope of inspection work.









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


GENERAL SUPPLIES ADMINISTRATION

SSince no new war problems occurred, the work of the General
Supplies Administration proceeded along lines previously established.
The principal activities of the Administration centered about the
allocation of shipping space, the compilation of statistics, the importa-
tion and distribution of lumber, procurement and distribution of
coffee, and the enforcement of a system of priorities for the purchase
of fuel oil.
.The system of allocating shipping space, established in 1942, was
continued but, due to the fact that there were more vessels avail-
able, it was possible to obtain almost all kinds of commodities needed
by the civilian population of Puerto Rico. After careful considera-
tion of all factors involved, preference was given to the most essen-
tial items.
During 1943-44, a number of commodities which had been im-
ported by the War Food Administration were turned over to com-
mnercial procurement, and consequently became subject to cargo space
approval by the General Supplies Administration.
In the course of the year, 72,674 requests for cargo space allot-
ment, covering a total tonnage of 416,472.51 tons, were approved.
Monthly reports of stocks on the Island of the most important food
commodities were made throughout the year. In allotting space, the
Administration gave particular attention to items, which, by in-
creasing local production, would not only save shipping space but
contribute to the development of Puerto Rico, and increase employ-
ment.
Under the direction of the Administration, and in collaboration
with the War Production Board, the use of lumber for urgent repairs
and essential new construction was regulated. A stock pile of con-
struction materials for use in case of a hurricane, valued at $400,000,
which had been created early in 1943, was liquidated in November
when the hurricane season was considered over.
When a shortage of coffee threatened the Island, steps to import
-and distribute coffee were taken. The rationing and allocation of
kerosene were handled by the Administration until the establishment
of a method of distribution by the Office of Price Administration.
A total of 3,998 permits were issued under the order governing the
use of Bunker "C" Fuel Oil.
The General Supplies Administration also fostered the develop-
ment of Victory Gardens by contributing $12,923.50 worth of seed









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


to the Department of Agriculture, which, with the cooperation of
the Agricultural Extension Service, carried on the War Emergency
Program for Production and Conservation of Food. *
As a result of commercial operations, the income of the Adminis-
tration for the fiscal year 1943-44 exceeded administrative expend-
itures by $2,255.07. As of June 30, the working capital of the
Administration was $513,213.19.

HOUSING AUTHORITY
The Federal Housing Authority made no loans except for de-
fense housing projects,'for which Puerto Rico could not qualify, and,
consequently, no new housing projects were developed. Two loan
contracts for the construction of projects at Catafio and Guayama,
already in effect, were also held up by the Federal Public Housing
Authority. In view of this situation, the Puerto Rico Housing
Authority reduced its personnel to the number necessary for the
operation of completed projects, although it retained a few technical
men for post-war planning.
The terms of the Loan and Annual Contribution Agreement with
the Federal Public Housing Authority require elimination of one
unsafe or unsanitary dwelling for each lew dwelling made avail-
able for occupancy. With the cooperation of the Insular Depart-
ment of Health, the Puerto Rico Housing Authority completed this
required elimination in all but three municipalities. A shortage of
houses and lack of materials for repairs made such elimination
impossible in Rio -Piedras, Yauco, and Arecibo, and deferment of
elimination until after the war was, therefore, requested in the case
of these three towns.
"The social activities of the Authority, carried out by the Central
Office and the Management Aides, with the cooperation of civic and
social organizations operating on the Island, included the organiza-
tion of tenants' associations in nine projects, the establishment of
women's clubs in five projects, the operation of 4-H Clubs for
boys and girls, the establishment of school lunch rooms in seven
projects, and the establishment, with the cooperation of the War
Emergency Program, of day nurseries in four projects.
The Insular Legislature granted $2,200,000 to the Authority for
the purchase of land and the preparation of plans and specifications
for post-war projects. Negotiations for the purchase of land in
all municipalities have been initiated. The annual rotating fund










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


of $500,000, provided by Legislature in 1942, will be used at such
time as construction work is again possible.
The Authority approved a Slum Freezing and Clearance Program
to be developed in the municipalities within its jurisdiction. On the
basis of a slum survey and of estimated population growth through-
out the Island, a preliminary project application was submitted to
the Federal Public Housing Authority, providing for the construc-
tion of 39,000 houses at an estimated cost of $98,000,000.

INDUSTRIAL COMMISSION
When the Industrial Commission was created in 1935, with the
establishment of the State Insurance Fund, it was authorized to
determine the amount of the debts of the Workmen's Compensation
Trust Fund from August 13, 1928 to June 30, 1935. The Industrial
Commission was also given power to liquidate all claims pending
action, which had originated under previous compensation acts. The
Bureau of Liquidation was created for this purpose and, with the
exception of the collection of premiums which for the most part
appear uncollectable, the work of the Bureau is now completed.
A bill introduced at the 1944 regular session of the Legislature,
aiming at the final disposition of all old claims, failed to pass.
A total of 1938 cases were registered with the Commission during
the past year. These, with 1,076 cases pending from the previous
year, brought the total to 3,014 cases, of which 2,860 were decided
during the year. Only 154 cases, therefore, were pending on June
"0. In addition, 346 cases were reconsidered during the year.
Public hearings totaled 1,090 and the Commission held 30 adminis-
trative sessions.
The Med:cal Advisor to the Commissioners rendered 1,634 writ-
ten reports to the Commission, and made hundreds of verbal reports-
at the public hearings.
During the year, 59 cases, three of which were pending from
the previous year, were appealed to the Supreme Court of Puerto
Rico. Forty of the decisions of the Industrial Commission were
confirmed by the Supreme Court, 18 were reversed, and one appeal
was withdrawn.
The most important decisions of the Commission, thus far, have
been published in nine volumes. Of late, the daily press has car-
ried a summary of the more important decisions as well as of
Supreme Court decisions on questions of workmen's compensation.









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


On November 10, 1943, rules of procedure for the Commission
were approved, one of which requires monthly publication in the press
of the calendar of cases to be heard the following month.
The M1edical Advisor of the Industrial Commission made 1,498
medical examinations and rendered a report on each.

INSTITUTE 'OF TROPICAL AGRICULTURE
During the second year of its existence the Institute of Tropical
Agriculture was able to initiate fundamental research in the field
of plant physiology, as well as to continue research in soil minerology
and tropical mycology.
In its role as an inter-American station of investigations in trop-
ical agriculture, the Institute was consulted by many institutions,
museums, and scientific societies in Latin America. It received dis-
tinguished visitors from the United States, Spain, 1Mexico, Colom-
bia, and the British West Indies. The Director attended meetings
called by the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission in the Virgin
Islands and the British West Indies, and was appointed Chairman
of the Section on Agriculture, Nutrition, Fisheries and Forestry of
the Caribbean Council, created by the Commission.
In the survey of the southwestern region of Puerto Rico, the
Lajas Valley, being conducted under the direction of the Puerto
Rico Planning Board, the Institute served as a coordinating factor
among the cooperating agencies of the Insular and Federal Govern-
ments. An economic survey of the farms of that region was made
to determine the average crop production and possibilities under
irrigation. Studies are planned for crops other than sugar cane in
the Lajas Valley. The vegetation and sugar cane development under
irrigation were studied in the "El Anegado" zone.
Research begun on the hormone mechanism of tropical plants
reached conclusions in regard to the auxin content of sugar cane.
Practical application of the results of this research was made on
various plants and fruit trees.
The number of specimens in the mycological herbarium reached
5,000. Every effort is being made to complete the Puerto Rican
collections.










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


INSURANCE

The volume of insurance premiums and losses paid for the calen-
dar years 1942 and 1943 are shown in the following table:
PREMIUMS RECEIVED
Coverage 1942 1943 Per cent


Fire and Fire and Marine (adjusted)................... $5,861,717.59 $2,977,450.83 50.79
Casualty and M iscellaneous............................. 1,308,833.86 1,182,194.06 90.32
Life and H health ............................. ........... 2,206, 296.10 2,788,802.24 126.40
TOTALS (adjusted).......................... $9,376,847.55 $6,948,446.63 74.10

Losses Paid
Fire and Fire and Marine ............................. $2,230,505.49 $377,130.18 30.36
Casualty and Miscellaneous. ........................... 301,064.83 306,219.18 101.71
Life and Health......................................... 341,385.66 680, 114.19 125.62
TOTALS......... ...... ....... .... ..... ...... $3,072,955.98 $1,663,463.55 54.13


Thirteen and one half million dollars of new life insurance was
written in 1943 as compared to $8,987,543.49 in 1942.
The storm of near-hurricane proportions which passed over the
western part of Puerto Rico in October, 1943, was responsible for an.
increase of $21,063.43 over the amount paid for hurricane insurance
losses in 1942. Losses paid amounted to approximately five per cent
of the premiums received during the year.
Earthquake insurance written exceeded that of 1942 by 39.11
per cent. Loss payment was slightly over four per cent.
Automobile fire, property damage, and collision insurance hon-
tinued to be affected by gasoline and tire rationing. The volume of
premiums received came down to approximately 52 per-cent of that
for 1941. Losses amounted to 21 1/3 per cent of the premiums
received.
Fire losses were considerably higher in 1943 than in 1942, but
the volume of premiums received exceeded the million dollar mark
for the first time since 1928. Losses paid amounted to 28.9 per cent
of premiums received.
Up to June 30, 1944, only one hospital plan had been organized
under the act of 1942. This is the Puerto Rico Hospital Service
Association which, on June 30, 1944, had 8,199 contracts covering
a total of 18,036 persons. Of this total, 13,200 are covered for both
hospital and medical -services, the remainder for hospital services
only.









OF-THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


During the fiscal year 1943-44, 65 companies received authoriza-
tion to transact insurance business in the Island. Forty-three were
organized under the laws of the United States, 14 under the laws
of Great Britain, seven under the laws of Canada, and one under
the laws of Puerto Rico.
On June 30, 1944, deposits in trust for the protection of policy
holders in Puerto Rico amounted to $1,901,000.

ISABELA IRRIGATION SERVICE
At the .end of the fiscal year, 90 per cent of the construction
work on Hydroelectric Plant No. Three had been completed. Final
cost of this project will exceed the original estimate by approximately
$50,000, and this supplemental sum was appropriated on May 15,
1944.
Due to the severe drought, the run-off into the reservoir of the
Isabela Irrigation Service was only 76 per cent of the average for
the previous 15 years. This, and the fact that water service to
power plants was often suspended during the' year in order to line
the Main Canal with concrete, accounts for a drop of nearly 3,900,000
kwh. in power production. Total power generated and purchased
amounted to 8,852,375 kwh. Gross sales of electric energy came
to $248,236.36.
Of the total draft of 59,897 acre-feet of water from the reservoir,
3,900 acre-feet, or 2.6 times as much as last year, were. delivered
for irrigation purposes, 2,442 acre-feet were sold under direct orders,
and 3,108 acre-feet were served to municipal water-works and for
industrial and domestic purposes.
Irrigation and hydro-electric investigations were initiated in the
municipalities of Hatillo, Camuy and Quebradillas. Improvements
to the spillway channel of the Guajataca reservoir, financed with
funds of the War Emergency Program and the Isabela Irrigation
Service, were completed in November, 1943. By the end of the year,
11,000 lineal feet of the Main Canal had been lined with concrete.

LAND AUTHORITY
The outstanding event in the land program during the year was
the operation of the first six proportional-profit farms by the Land
Authority. These farms, which were established on land purchased
in the previous fiscal year from the Central Cambalache, were planted
to sugar cane. A net profit of $53,656 was realized despite the fact
that the year was extremely difficult for sugar producers, because









OF-THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


During the fiscal year 1943-44, 65 companies received authoriza-
tion to transact insurance business in the Island. Forty-three were
organized under the laws of the United States, 14 under the laws
of Great Britain, seven under the laws of Canada, and one under
the laws of Puerto Rico.
On June 30, 1944, deposits in trust for the protection of policy
holders in Puerto Rico amounted to $1,901,000.

ISABELA IRRIGATION SERVICE
At the .end of the fiscal year, 90 per cent of the construction
work on Hydroelectric Plant No. Three had been completed. Final
cost of this project will exceed the original estimate by approximately
$50,000, and this supplemental sum was appropriated on May 15,
1944.
Due to the severe drought, the run-off into the reservoir of the
Isabela Irrigation Service was only 76 per cent of the average for
the previous 15 years. This, and the fact that water service to
power plants was often suspended during the' year in order to line
the Main Canal with concrete, accounts for a drop of nearly 3,900,000
kwh. in power production. Total power generated and purchased
amounted to 8,852,375 kwh. Gross sales of electric energy came
to $248,236.36.
Of the total draft of 59,897 acre-feet of water from the reservoir,
3,900 acre-feet, or 2.6 times as much as last year, were. delivered
for irrigation purposes, 2,442 acre-feet were sold under direct orders,
and 3,108 acre-feet were served to municipal water-works and for
industrial and domestic purposes.
Irrigation and hydro-electric investigations were initiated in the
municipalities of Hatillo, Camuy and Quebradillas. Improvements
to the spillway channel of the Guajataca reservoir, financed with
funds of the War Emergency Program and the Isabela Irrigation
Service, were completed in November, 1943. By the end of the year,
11,000 lineal feet of the Main Canal had been lined with concrete.

LAND AUTHORITY
The outstanding event in the land program during the year was
the operation of the first six proportional-profit farms by the Land
Authority. These farms, which were established on land purchased
in the previous fiscal year from the Central Cambalache, were planted
to sugar cane. A net profit of $53,656 was realized despite the fact
that the year was extremely difficult for sugar producers, because









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


of the drought and the continued scarcity of fertilizers and equip-
ment. Of the net profits, the sum of $46,891.98 has been set aside
for distribution to the workers employed on the farms, while
$6,763.98 will go to the lessees of the farms. In the course of the
year, the Land Authority acquired 6,246.61 cuerdas of land, for the
purpose of Title V of the. Land Law .(Agregado program), at a cost
of $590,262.34. This represented the major land acquisition of the
year. As of June 30, 1944, a total of 23,969 cuerdas of land, for
all purposes of the Land Law, had been acquired by the Authority,
at a cost of $2,795,029. This total does not include 5,639 cuerdas
of land of the Compafiia Azucarera del Toa, for which negotiations
to purchase were practically completed on June 30.
In developing the prograni for Agregados (landless farm work-
ers), the Authority established 38 rural communities and distributed
parcels of land ranging from one-fourth cuerda to three cuerdas to
5,108 agregado families, representing about 25,000 persons. As of
June 30, a total of. 9,021 parcels of land had been distributed,
benefiting approximately 46,000 persons. In the established com-
Inunities, plots were reserved for churches, vocational'schools, 4-H
Clubs, stores and other public services.
The amount of subsistence crops already planted on the agregado
plots indicates that those who have. received land are willing and
able to till it. At the close of the year, subsistence crops valued
at $206,268 were being cultivated.
Under the provisions of Section 25 of the Land Law, 89 indi-
vidual farms were created and 75 of the farms, comprising 1,194
cuerdas of land valued at *. ,.;,st.4, were assigned to farmers during
the year.
In addition to the lands of the. Compafia Azucarera del Toa,
37,758 cuerdas of land, with a value of $3,550,066 were appraised
during the year.
MINIMUM WAGE BOARD

At the beginning of the year, Mandatory Decrees issued by the
Board, were in effect for the leaf tobacco industry, the sugar indus-
try, and hospitals, clinics and sanatoria. Mandatory Decrees cover-
ing the beer and soft drinks industries, and hotels, restaurants, bars,
and soda fountains were issued during the year.
The Board set rates of 30 cents an hour for the beer industry,
and 25 cents an hour for the soft drinks business. In the case of









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


the latter industry it was prescribed that the rate will be raised to
30 cents an hour six months after the end of the war. An eight-
hour day and 48-hour week were ordered with double time for every
hour in excess of either the daily or weekly maximum. Minimum
wages prevailing in these industries prior to the Board's Decree were
15 and 10 cents an hour respectively.
The Decree for hotels, restaurants, bars, and soda fountains
divided the Island into two zones, and established rates of $10 per
week for the first zone (comprised of the larger cities), and $8.50
a week for the second zone. The Decree permits employers to de-
duct for meals or lodging furnished, at rates fixed by the Board-
but in no case more than 60 cents a day. The Board also fixed
standards for lodging and food which the employer must meet, if
he charges for these services. Employees may accept or reject any
or all of such .services. The minimum wage prevailing in this indus-
try prior to the Decree, including the value of services furnished
by the employer, was found to be $3.50 per week in the first zone,
and $3 per week in.the second. An 8-hour day and 48-hour week
were established, with double time for overtime.
Amending the Decree relating to hospitals, clinics and sanatoria,
the Board set a basic monthly wage of $25, with breakfast, lunch,
dinner, room and laundry furnished free,. When any of these
various perquisites are lacking, the Decree provides that the basic
monthly wage is to be increased by the value of services not received
at prices established by the Board. In case no such services are
donated, a monthly wage of $42 was fixed.
Regulations adopted by the Board permit employment of handi-
capped persons at rates of pay below the prescribed minimum wages,
but in no case less than 50 per cent of the minimum. The Board
also authorized a graduated monthly salary for learners employed
as assistant nurses in hospitals, clinics, and sanatoria, and mini-
mum rates for learners working as assistant nurses, and for students
under the Program of Vocational Education of the Insular Depart-
ment of Education.
On September 23, 1943, the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico de-
cided that the retroactive wage payments provided for in the Manda-
tory Decree of the Board for the sugar industry, were. not in accord-
ance with the law. Appeal from this decision was taken on December
22, 1943, to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals, where it was
pending on June 30, 1944.









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


PLANNING, URBANIZING, AND ZONING BOARD

This was the first full year of operation of the Puerto Rico Plan-
ning, Urbanizing and Zoning Board. Coordination of the normal
work of the Board with the war emergency and post-war planning
was the chief concern of the year.
During the first months, the Board continued its functions as a
projects analysis office for the War Emergency Program. As such,
it received 124 projects for review. After relinquishing these duties
to resume its normal function of reviewing all government projects,
the Board received 315 project proposals from Insular agencies and
municipalities, making a total of 439 applications submitted in the
course of the year. Of these 259 were approved, 11 rejected, and
75 returned to the War Emergency Program for resubmittal. The
remaining 94 were under consideration on June 30, 1944.
The projects approved by the Board call for an investment of
approximately $19,600,000. Of that sum $4,351,365 represented the
value of 101 public improvement projects proposed by the WEP.
Insular and municipal roads and bridges head the list of WEP rural
projects while sewerage is first in the urban WEP program. Twelve
Insular agencies, other than WEP, received approval of 102 projects,
while the remaining 56 approved projects were submitted by 16
municipalities. The year's program placed great emphasis on rural
areas, which were allowed projects of a total value of $14,484,746,
representing 73.9 per cent of the total.
The first six-year financial program of the Board was presented
to the Insular Legislature in March, 1944. It called for post-
war capital improvements amounting to $258,000,000, of which
$125,000,000 would be spent for construction projects such as schools,
hospitals, sanatoria, correction institutions, and urban and rural
housing. The balance would be used to stimulate the Insular econ-
omy through the establishment of manufacturing industries, the
furthering of land tenure reforms and agricultural research, and
the development of roads, hydro-electric power, and irrigation. It
is estimated that over 20,000 construction workers would find full
employment annually.
The Urban Development Division, with the cooperation of the
Work Projects Administration and the War Emergency Program,
extended its land use studies, to include a number of additional
municipalities. A project for re-housing slum dwellers in the San
Juan metropolitan area was prepared in collaboration with the WEP,
and approval was granted the Puerto Rico Housing Authority for









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


the purchase of land for this and various other housing projects.
A preliminary draft of the Master Plan of Parks in Urban Areas
was made during the year. Considerable attention was given to
a study of airports.
Developing a program for the improvement and extension of the
road system of Puerto Rico was the outstanding activity of the Mlap-
ping Division. In connection with studies of transportation facili-
ties in the rural zone, carried out with the cooperation of the Insular
Department of the Interior, an inventory was made of all roads that
can be efficiently used by motor vehicles. The Official Barrio Boun-
daries Map for the Municipality of Caguas was completed. A de-
tailed report of problems connected with the Caonillas Hydroelectric
Project at Utuado was made available to all agencies concerned with
this project.
In January, 1944, the Insular Industries and Services Division
of the Board published its first technical paper, A Development Plan
for Puerto Rico. This paper was an outgrowth of work begun by
the staff of the National Resources Planning Board field office in
San Juan. Substantial progress was made in studies relating to:
(1) the Insular Land Law; (2) agricultural planning and research;
(3).expansion of educational and health facilities; (4) governmental
services and facilities.
POLICE

The decrease in offenses of all kinds, noted during the previous
year, continued. A total of 107,434 actual offenses were reported
,as compared with 112,003 in 1942-43. In all, 120,642 arrests were
made, in comparison with 131,539 in 1942-43 and 210,392 in 1941-42.
Juvenile delinquency, however, showed a slight increase, with
319 persons charged as against 270 the previous year. To combat
juvenile delinquency, the Department organized the Police Athletic
League in March, 1943. On June 30, 1944, the 26 Units of the
League had a membership of 3,218 boys between the ages of seven
and 15. Because of lack of available personnel, the League had
not yet been organized in 51 police stations. Most of the equip-
ment which the League used was secured through the cooperation of
the Amusement and Sports Commission.
Murder and non-negligent manslaughter also increased, the num-
ber of arrests rising from 280 in the previous year to 356. Marked
decreases occurred in burglary and in auto thefts. The age group
most frequently represented among persons arrested was, as during
the year 1942-43, that between 20 and 24 years of age.









44 FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT

A total of 271 men completed the course of the School for
Recruits of the Police. Academy. In addition, courses were offered
to 77 non-commissioned officers and 20 welfare officers in charge of
the Police Athletic League.
The Policewomen's Bureau, which deals with problems of juvenile
delinquency and of prostitution on the part of girls under age,
recorded 540 complaints. Only 28 of these complaints were pend-
ing investigation'at the close of the year.
The Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation received
13,102 finger print records, of which 4,208 were classified and sent
to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Bureau made numerous
investigations, and filed 14,133 criminal record cards. The Photo-
graphie Laboratories of the Bureau handled a total of,8,796 photo-
graphs.
The Detective Bureau made 10,031 criminal and non-criminal
investigations. These were carried out by a squad of 49 men, making
an average of 205 investigations per man for the year.
A total of 12,455 violations were reported by the Traffic Division.
During the year 5,601 persons were convicted of traffic violations.
Four hundred twenty-six were acquitted, and 11,109 cases were pend-
ing trial on June 30, 1944.
Although there was a slight increase in motor vehicle accidents,
the number of persons killed and injured was less than in the
previous year.
First class patrolmen were decreased by 16, and second class
patrolmen by 86. Induction of members into the Armed Forces
resulted in a considerable loss of strength to the Service as a whole.

PUBLIC AMUSEMENT AND SPORTS COMMISSION
An extensive program of sports activities was carried on under
the direction of the Public Amusement and Sports Commission.
More than 5,000 players participated in the four classes of
amateur baseball competition sponsored by the Commission in urban
areas. In addition, 26 teams took part in a special competition
organized for the rural zone. The amateur baseball program ex-
tended to 53 municipalities. Soft ball tournaments were held
throughout the Island.
"The Golden Gloves Association", organized by the Commission
and managed jointly by two Puerto Rican newspapers, held a boxing
tournament which attracted 873 contestants. The winners repre-









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


sented the Island in the championship Golden Gloves tournament
held in New York.
Basket-ball and volley-ball teams represented Puerto Rico in the
games attending the Centennial Celebration of the Independence of
the Dominican Republic. The basket-ball championship was won by
the Puerto Rican team.
From the games held in the Dominican Republic grew the idea
of setting up a regional sports organization. Later, at a meeting
of representatives of Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico,
in San Juan, the Governmental Inter-Antillian Amateur Sporting
Union was established.
Activities of the Commission in the field of professional sport
included the supervision of professional baseball during the season,
and the. sponsoring of two cock-fight tournaments, one in San Juan
and the other in Ponce.
The sum of $16,806.85 was collected by the Commission'during
the year.
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

During the year 4,792 cases were filed with the Public Service
Commission, wh:ch, with 387 ca;eas pending on July 1, 1943, brought
the total of eases considered by the Commission in 1943-44 to 5,179
Of these cases 5,136 were decided, 24 were pending decision, and 19
were pending hearing at the close of the year.
Sugar: The investigation of the books, accounts, and records of
one sugar mill was completed and a determination was made of the
division of sugar produced by the mill between growers and the
mill. Investigation and hearings were completed in the case of a
second sugar mill, and at the close of the fiscal year the Commis-
sion was in the process of making its final determination.
Electric Service: The Puerto Rico Water Resources Authority
acquired the facilities of the distributing electric systems of two more
municipalities: Coamo and Juana Diaz.
Water Service:. The aqueduct of the municipality of Las Marias
was repaired and put in operation. The Commission authorized the
municipality of Cayey to use its waterworks reserve fund for the
purchase and installation of a chlorine plant. The only municipality
lacking a waterworks system is Culebra.
Sewerage: Due to lack of construction materials, no new sewerage
systems were put in service during the year.










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Telephone: The Porto Rico Telephone Company proceeded with
the installation of automatic telephone service in San Juan and San-
turce. It proposes to begin such service in March, 1945.
Piers and Docks: Investigation of the Pyramid Dock Company
and Pier 3, Inc., in San Juan harbor, showed that rates charged by
both were reasonable, as was the return on capital invested.
Gas Service: During the year the Commission made a reduction
in the rates for gas service of the Porto Rico Gas and Coke Com-
pany, which serves the municipalities of San Juan and Rio Piedras.
It is estimated that this will mean a saving of approximately $18,000
per year to consumers.
PUBLIC WELFARE BOAtD
The Public Welfare Board, established by the Legislature of
Puerto Rico on May 12, 1943, is responsible for assisting in the
development of the programs of the Division of Public Welfare,
which was created at the same time in the Insular Department of
Health.
The Board held its first meeting on September 7, 1943. Four
committees were organized, and the work of the Board distributed
among them. Each Committee, under the Chairmanship of a mem-
ber of the Board, is made up of outside persons selected by the
Board.
The Board has, since its organization, devoted much of its time
to study and discussion of the organization, functions, and plans
of the Division of Public Welfare., especially with regard to public
assistance. In addition, the Board has considered the problem of
juvenile delinquency, and is at work upon a community plan to
attack this problem. It is interested in establishing day nurseries,
in developing a plan for the rehabilitation of the blind, in the
prevention of mendicity, and in the. improvement of the program
for, and conditions in, the venereal disease hospitals throughout the
Island.
The Board considers it especially important that the social security
public assistance titles of the Federal Social Security Act be ex-
tended to Puerto Rico. To this end it has studied and made recom-
mendations on a number of bills introduced in Congress.

SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE
During the past year, a number of Latin American students,
three of whom held fellowships established by the University of










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Telephone: The Porto Rico Telephone Company proceeded with
the installation of automatic telephone service in San Juan and San-
turce. It proposes to begin such service in March, 1945.
Piers and Docks: Investigation of the Pyramid Dock Company
and Pier 3, Inc., in San Juan harbor, showed that rates charged by
both were reasonable, as was the return on capital invested.
Gas Service: During the year the Commission made a reduction
in the rates for gas service of the Porto Rico Gas and Coke Com-
pany, which serves the municipalities of San Juan and Rio Piedras.
It is estimated that this will mean a saving of approximately $18,000
per year to consumers.
PUBLIC WELFARE BOAtD
The Public Welfare Board, established by the Legislature of
Puerto Rico on May 12, 1943, is responsible for assisting in the
development of the programs of the Division of Public Welfare,
which was created at the same time in the Insular Department of
Health.
The Board held its first meeting on September 7, 1943. Four
committees were organized, and the work of the Board distributed
among them. Each Committee, under the Chairmanship of a mem-
ber of the Board, is made up of outside persons selected by the
Board.
The Board has, since its organization, devoted much of its time
to study and discussion of the organization, functions, and plans
of the Division of Public Welfare., especially with regard to public
assistance. In addition, the Board has considered the problem of
juvenile delinquency, and is at work upon a community plan to
attack this problem. It is interested in establishing day nurseries,
in developing a plan for the rehabilitation of the blind, in the
prevention of mendicity, and in the. improvement of the program
for, and conditions in, the venereal disease hospitals throughout the
Island.
The Board considers it especially important that the social security
public assistance titles of the Federal Social Security Act be ex-
tended to Puerto Rico. To this end it has studied and made recom-
mendations on a number of bills introduced in Congress.

SCHOOL OF TROPICAL MEDICINE
During the past year, a number of Latin American students,
three of whom held fellowships established by the University of









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


Puerto Rico, attended the School of Tropical Medicine for study
and training formerly sought in Europe. Here they studied at first
hand diseases peculiar to the tropics, under conditions similar to
those in which they will apply their knowledge. In addition, special
courses were given for sanitary inspectors from Haiti and the
Dominican Republic.
The School participated in the Regional Conference on Social
Hygiene, held in San Juan in February, and was represented at the
West Indian Conference, held in Barbados in March under the
auspices of the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission.
The gradual withdrawal of war from Puerto Rico facilitated the
purchase of materials and equipment needed for research. However,
the situation in regard to personnel remained critical especially in
the laboratories, where long training is necessary. The nursing
problem also remained serious.
Cooperation with the Armed Forces had an important place in
the year's activities. Lectures on malaria, sprue', and schistoso-
miasis were offered to officers of the Medical Corps of the Armed
Forces., In collaboration with the Army Medical Corps, an antigen
to Wuchereria bancrofti infection was produced, and surveys of
Continental and Island troops for the presence of certain diseases
were conducted.
The Department of Bacteriology, in its work on "The Strepto-
coccus Problem in the Tropics", completed a survey of the hemolytic
streptococci to be found in Continental and Island troops. Studies
are under way on. the role of group "A" betahemolytic streptococci
in acute attacks of filariasis. Streptococcie organisms causing cow
mastitis were examined with reference to possible public health im-
plications. A series of studies, begun in 1938 on the throat flora
of monkeys, was completed with the examination of throat cultures
for betahemolytic streptococci. A final report on the initial phase of
the work on the Proteus Bacilli and Weir-Felix reaction was pro-
duced. The Department, in cooperation with the Department of
Public Health, offered courses to laboratory technicians, sanitary en-
gineers, nurses, and sanitary inspectors.
A total of 4,414 persons volunteered blood donations to the Blood
Bank, bringing the total number of donors to 9,024 for the 26 months
in which the Bank has been functioning.
Projects to determine the vitamin content and composition of
native foodstuffs, with particular emphasis on their riboflavin con-
tent, were continued by the Department of Chemistry. After ascer-









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


training the characteristics and Vitamin A content of a sample of
hammerhead shark liver oil, the Department offered to undertake a
survey of the Vitamin A content of oils of various species of sharks
found in Puerto Rican waters. Development of a small but prosper-
ous shark liver oil industry in Puerto Rico appears possible. Ex-
tensive work with rats was continued to determine the effects of the
rice and beans diet.
The Department of Mycology and Dermatology added five new
cases of ringworm of the scalp to its work in dermatomycosis. Studies
were made of 58 persons suffering from skin eruptions, and of 189
cases of dermatophytes of the feet. A general survey of fungus
diseases in Puerto Rico was conducted and the dramatic results of
the new podophyllin therapy in the treatment of granuloma inguinale
reported. Lectures and laboratory sessions were offered to groups of
students enrolled in the Department of Public Health.
Extensive research was carried on in the Department of Medical
Zoology to demonstrate the relation between infections with animal
parasites and blood agglutinins. The research suggests important
findings in regard to blood transfusions. The problem of mosquito
transmission of this infection was studied in the Department by the
National Institute -of Health. In collaboration with the Department
of Chemistry; further investigations in schistosomiasis were carried
on.
The Department of Clinical Medicine continued its extensive work
on sprue with special emphasis on chemical studies and Vitamin A
and riboflavin deficiencies. Detailed observation of patients on the
"Full Sprue Diet" were made. The study of the Vitamin C status
of a sample population of Puerto Rico was included in the general
work on nutrition in Puerto Rico. The Division of Pediatrics gave
attention to cases of schistosomiasis and intestinal parasitism in chil-
dren. Data on over 1,000 cases of cardiac diseases studied in Puerto
Rico are being analyzed.
The University Hospital admitted 780 patients during the year.
The Outpatient Department attended a total of 10,358 patients
Operations performed totaled 240. Of the three special clinics estab-
lished last year, the one for schistosomiasis patients was especially
active because of the large number of young men who had been drafted
and rejected for S. mansoni infections. The majority of these are
now coming to the clinic for treatment.
The Department of Pathology performed 61 autopsies during the
year and received 3,049 specimens for examination.








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


The Committee in charge of the Santiago Primate Colony decided
to permit its transfer to the University of Puerto Rico.
The organization of the Department of Public Health was com-
pleted during the year. This Department offered courses for public
health engineers, nurses, and in medical technology. It also con-
ducted three short-term courses for sanitary inspectors.

SErWERAGE SERVICE
The condition of the sewerage systems on the Island, with very
few exceptions, remains alarming. Little was done during the year
to remedy the situation, because of the restrictions upon construc-
tion materials and mechanical equipment.
A project of cleaning and urgent repairs on an Island-wide basis
was undertaken by the Insular Sewerage Service, with funds amount-
ing to $53,000, made available by the War Emergency Program. The
purpose of this work is to put primary treatment plants into opera-
tion, and to eliminate the discharge of raw ....- Ii-. into streams and
other natural bodies of water. For efficient and economical operation,
the Island was divided into six sanitary districts, and plans made for
establishing an operation crew in each. By the end of the year all
necessary equipment had been purchased, and two crews organized.
Another project covering improvements and extensions to existing
sewerage systems was submitted to the War Emergency Program. The
cost of this project, which would benefit eight municipalities and the-
Tuberculosis Hospital at Mayagiiez, is estimated at $131'000. In
addition, plans for the construction of new plants, at an estimated
cost of $550,950, were prepared and submitted to the WEP.
With an appropriation of $20,000 from the Committee on Design,
of Public Works, plans and specifications for post-war projects were-
completed for seven municipalities and undertaken for nine others.

STATE GUARD
The inability of the War Department to furnish arms and equip-
ment, because of war demands, necessitated the curtailment of the'
Guard's activities and the reduction of its strength to 181 officers and
2,294 enlisted men. The forces were reorganized into State Head-
quarters, State Headquarters' Company, and four regiments of three
battalions each. A battalion consists of three rifle companies. each
of which has three officers and 62 enlisted men.








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


The Committee in charge of the Santiago Primate Colony decided
to permit its transfer to the University of Puerto Rico.
The organization of the Department of Public Health was com-
pleted during the year. This Department offered courses for public
health engineers, nurses, and in medical technology. It also con-
ducted three short-term courses for sanitary inspectors.

SErWERAGE SERVICE
The condition of the sewerage systems on the Island, with very
few exceptions, remains alarming. Little was done during the year
to remedy the situation, because of the restrictions upon construc-
tion materials and mechanical equipment.
A project of cleaning and urgent repairs on an Island-wide basis
was undertaken by the Insular Sewerage Service, with funds amount-
ing to $53,000, made available by the War Emergency Program. The
purpose of this work is to put primary treatment plants into opera-
tion, and to eliminate the discharge of raw ....- Ii-. into streams and
other natural bodies of water. For efficient and economical operation,
the Island was divided into six sanitary districts, and plans made for
establishing an operation crew in each. By the end of the year all
necessary equipment had been purchased, and two crews organized.
Another project covering improvements and extensions to existing
sewerage systems was submitted to the War Emergency Program. The
cost of this project, which would benefit eight municipalities and the-
Tuberculosis Hospital at Mayagiiez, is estimated at $131'000. In
addition, plans for the construction of new plants, at an estimated
cost of $550,950, were prepared and submitted to the WEP.
With an appropriation of $20,000 from the Committee on Design,
of Public Works, plans and specifications for post-war projects were-
completed for seven municipalities and undertaken for nine others.

STATE GUARD
The inability of the War Department to furnish arms and equip-
ment, because of war demands, necessitated the curtailment of the'
Guard's activities and the reduction of its strength to 181 officers and
2,294 enlisted men. The forces were reorganized into State Head-
quarters, State Headquarters' Company, and four regiments of three
battalions each. A battalion consists of three rifle companies. each
of which has three officers and 62 enlisted men.









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Authorized armory drills were held once a week. Correspondence
courses, based on Army Extension Courses, were offered with the aid
of instructors from the Federal Army. Officers' schools, non-commis-
sioned officers' schools, unit classes, and officers' training camps were
held. The newly established Dental Department of the Medical Sec-
tion rendered valuable service. The Guard cooperated with local
authorities and civic institutions throughout the Island in numerous
instances of fire, storm, bond drives, and the celebration of patriotic
holidays.
STATE INSURANCE FUND
At the close of the 'fiscal year, the State Insurance Fund had
accumulated a total surplus, including reserves, of $2,683,457.38. The
policy of investing the reserve and surplus funds in Savings and
United States Treasury bonds was continued with the purchase of
$1,100,000 additional bonds.
Net premiums collected for the year were $2,305,903.20, as against
$2,526,213.11 for the year 1942-43. The general premium rate
reduction made during the policy year 1943-44, aggregating $438,908,
more than accounts for this drop. As of June 30, 1944, the number
of claims registered was 43,067 compared with 45,538 at the end of
the preceding fiscal year. At the same time, expenses for the year
increased to $173,656.66. This was due to higher hospitalization costs
per case, and additional compensation benefits prescribed by Legisla-
tive action. Eighteen death claims were compensated, and 37 were
'awaiting action as of June 30.
Despite a persistent campaign to insure employers, there remained
-no less than 10,000 uninsured employers each of whom had three or
more employees working either regularly or seasonally. The number
-of employers insured this year increased by 1,827, bringing the total
to 10,236. Further steps were taken toward consolidating classifica-
tions. At the end of the year there were 154 classifications, a reduc-
tion of 136 in the past two years.
In December, 1943, the Division of Accident Prevention was created
within the State Insurance Fund to facilitate the accident prevention
program begun last year. The work of this Division includes indus-
trial safety education, inspections, and industrial safety research.
The budget approved for the year 1944-45 amounts to 12.56 per
cent of premiums collected. According to law the State Insurance
Fund may use 15 per cent of the annual premium income of the
preceeding-year.










OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


TAX COURT

The Tax Court of Puerto Rico (formerly the Court of Tax
Appeals), with exclusive jurisdiction in all suits relating to Insular
tax laws, began functioning on August 15, 1943.
The work of the Court is summarized in the following table:

Concluded
Pending New cases during fiscal Pending
June 30, 1913 in 1944 year 1943-44 June 30, 1944

Income Taxes....................... 899 129 507 521
Property Taxes ..................... 431 142 144 429
Inheritance T axes................... 3 2 .... ... 5
Excise Taxes .... ........... ... ..... 25 1 24
Victory Taxes ................... ... .. 17 1 16
Taxes paid under protests.. .... ...... ...... 4 ............... 4
_' _- _- _- -d- -
TOTALS ................ 1,333 319 653 999


The Court held 121 public hearings and rendered 73 opinions
during the year. Only 17 cases were carried through certiorari pro-
ceedings to the Supreme. Court, which disposed of four. In each
case, the appealed judgment was confirmed.
In the course of the year, the Tax Court established new rules
of procedure, simplifying proceedings governing cases brought before
it.
TOBACCO INSTITUTE
The Institute proceeded with its program of research in agronomy,
chemistry, genetics, and pathology, and with its economic studies.
Work in the Department of Chemistry, however, was curtailed be-
cause of changes in personnel.
Agronomic research included various fertilizer experiments, studies
of new varieties and crosses of tobacco, and a soil conservation ex-
periment which was carried on in cooperation with the Soil Conserva-
tion Service. Four-sevenths of the total seed bed area planted this
year was supplied with seeds, free of charge. In addition, 2,500,000,
seedlings of standard varieties were distributed at cost price among
tobacco growers.
Work continued on mosaic and black shank diseases, the "mottle"
disease, and leaf spots, in the effort to determine or develop disease
resistant strains. In addition to its scientific research, the Institute
made studies of market movements and possibilities, production costs,
legislation affecting the tobacco industry, and various other matters
of interest to growers.
Seeds produced in experiments with crosses between Nicotiana
rustic and Nicotiana tabacum were sown, but did not germinate.










OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


TAX COURT

The Tax Court of Puerto Rico (formerly the Court of Tax
Appeals), with exclusive jurisdiction in all suits relating to Insular
tax laws, began functioning on August 15, 1943.
The work of the Court is summarized in the following table:

Concluded
Pending New cases during fiscal Pending
June 30, 1913 in 1944 year 1943-44 June 30, 1944

Income Taxes....................... 899 129 507 521
Property Taxes ..................... 431 142 144 429
Inheritance T axes................... 3 2 .... ... 5
Excise Taxes .... ........... ... ..... 25 1 24
Victory Taxes ................... ... .. 17 1 16
Taxes paid under protests.. .... ...... ...... 4 ............... 4
_' _- _- _- -d- -
TOTALS ................ 1,333 319 653 999


The Court held 121 public hearings and rendered 73 opinions
during the year. Only 17 cases were carried through certiorari pro-
ceedings to the Supreme. Court, which disposed of four. In each
case, the appealed judgment was confirmed.
In the course of the year, the Tax Court established new rules
of procedure, simplifying proceedings governing cases brought before
it.
TOBACCO INSTITUTE
The Institute proceeded with its program of research in agronomy,
chemistry, genetics, and pathology, and with its economic studies.
Work in the Department of Chemistry, however, was curtailed be-
cause of changes in personnel.
Agronomic research included various fertilizer experiments, studies
of new varieties and crosses of tobacco, and a soil conservation ex-
periment which was carried on in cooperation with the Soil Conserva-
tion Service. Four-sevenths of the total seed bed area planted this
year was supplied with seeds, free of charge. In addition, 2,500,000,
seedlings of standard varieties were distributed at cost price among
tobacco growers.
Work continued on mosaic and black shank diseases, the "mottle"
disease, and leaf spots, in the effort to determine or develop disease
resistant strains. In addition to its scientific research, the Institute
made studies of market movements and possibilities, production costs,
legislation affecting the tobacco industry, and various other matters
of interest to growers.
Seeds produced in experiments with crosses between Nicotiana
rustic and Nicotiana tabacum were sown, but did not germinate.








FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


The purpose of these experiments is to obtain a high yielding type
rich in nicotine, for use in the manufacture of nicotine sulfate.
The Institute worked closely with Insular and Federal government
agencies in the distribution of fertilizer for the 1943-44 crop, and
in other government activities connected with tobacco production and
marketing.
At the beginning of the fiscal year the Institute had a cash balance
of $93,223.41. The, income for the year amounted to $29,616.49,
making a total of $122,839.90. Total expenses for the year were
$53,072.60, leaving a balance on June 29, 1944 of $69,767.30.

TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY
Although the Transportation Authority concentrated chiefly on
the -operation of bus service in the San Juan metropolitan area, con-
siderable attention was given to future developments in air travel in
the Caribbean area.
When the Civil Aeronautics Board announced a hearing on air
travel facilities in the Caribbean, for September, 1944, work on
exhibits to be submitted at the hearings was undertaken. A bill
appropriating $1,000,000 for airport construction was introduced in
the Legislature, but, though passed by the Senate, did not receive
consideration by the House of Representatives.
A committee to study the airport problem, headed by the Gen-
eral Manager of the Transportation Authority, was appointed by the
Puerto Rico Planning Board. After seeing a preliminary report
prepared by the Planning Board, it was decided to seek expert a'lvice
from the Civil Aeronautics Board. This agency sent two members of
its staff to Puerto Rico, and after a survey of the Island, they recom-
mended: first, the construction of an international airport at San
Juan; and, second, the construction of additional air fields in the
Island. Surveys of both plans are now under way.
Bus transportation service in the San Juan metropolitan area
was improved with the addition of 35 new or reconditioned buses,
bringing the number of buses in service up to 95. The number of
passengers carried during the year was 22,775,897, and the total gross
income was $1,143,542.96. A profit of $57,698.23 for the year elim-
inated the losses incurred in the operation of the bus line during
the first eight months after it was taken over, and left a balance of
$8,608.73 in reserve.
The outlook for the next year is uncertain. The number of buses
on the road has reached the saturation point. A study of the pos-









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


sibilities of eliminating a number of buses during the off-peak hours
has been made by the Office of Price Administration and Office of
Defense Transportation, and action has been promised by the Public
Service Commission. The reconstruction of the fleet is 90 per cent
complete. Repair and maintenance plans are being formulated with
a view to making all units last for the duration of the war.
Labor problems continued to receive attention during the year.
In November the wages of the shop personnel were increased approxi-
mately 10 per cent and the demands of the chauffeurs for a six day
week were met. A new labor contract, revised to meet operating con-
ditions, ahd ',-rti.in_., provisionally, a wage increase of approximately
12 per cent was signed in June.
Additional land was acquired to provide for future expansion
of the plant.
UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO
The reorganization of the administrative structure of the Univer-
sity, begun in the previous year, was continued. The former Colleges
of Arts and Sciences and of Education have now been reorganized to
create four Schools: Humanities,' Social Sciences, Natural Sciences
and Education.
The employment of a number of visiting professors with Con-
tinental American and Spanish backgrounds greatly strengthened
instruction in the four schools and in other faculties. During the
year, there were seven visiting professors 'and three consultants in
the University. The visiting professors offered courses in English,
Political Science and Spanish studies.
Increased emphasis was placed upon the social, economic and
physical welfare of the students. A Student Service Board was set
up, and assigned duties concerned with the administration of student
aid, and the supplying of both medical and psychological guidance.
The University spent approximately $100,000 for student aid, as
compared with $48,000 in the previous year. This aid has been
divided into non-service scholarships, work aid to students, and aid
to superior high school students.
Steps were taken to assure a teaching staff adequate for post-
war needs. A number of students and faculty members were sent
to continental universities for further training. Scholarships for
advanced study in 1943-44 and 1944-45 were granted to 63 persons,
including students without previous university teaching experience.
Under the direction of the Chancellor, four special studies were
made during the year. Three of these concerned proposals to estab-








FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


lish (1) a Medical School; (2) an affiliated School of Nursing; (3)
a School of Public Administration. The fourth was a study looking
toward. improvement of the students' pronunciation of English.
At Mayagiiez, a program similar to that in Rio Piedras was car-
ried out, so far as practical.
Enrollment in the University continued to increase, despite war
conditions. The total number of students enrolled at Rio Piedras was
.,533, at Mayagiiez 527. Extension and evening school students
numbered 2,197.
WAR EMERGENCY PROGRAM

At the beginning of the year, the War Emergency Program was
employing 15,000 persons. At that time it supplemented the Federal
Works Agency, which was giving work to about 40,000 others.
Upon the termination of the Federal Works Agency's program,
on November 30, 1943, the War Emergency Program was forced to
assume the full responsibility for relief. Previously, the War Emer-
gency Program had -operated through a system of direct allocations
to government agencies or departments, which then became respon-
sible for the projects under their jurisdiction. In December, 1943,
however, all projects operating under the direction of the various
departments and agencies of the Insular Government were trans-
ferred to the control of the War Emergency Program, as were also
some Federal Works Agency projects.
Materials and equipment in the amount of $1,200,000 were pur-
chased from the FWA. A system of selection of workers was estab-
lished, under which the workers are selected by the drawing of lots
among those registered as unemployed and present when the selec-
lion is made.
The War Emergency Program was organized both to give tem-
porary work to the unemployed and to carry out projects of lasting
value. Two principal types of projects were undertaken: construc-
tion projects and community service projects.
Among the construction projects, the most important were those
for the improvement and paving of streets, and the. construction and
improvement of highways, roads,- and bridges. Those for the con-
struction, improvement, and repair of hospitals, schools, sewer and
water systems were next in importance. Other projects involved
the construction of recreational facilities, public squares, parks, and
cemeteries. In many instances, because of war shortages, it was
necessary to use materials and even to plan structures which will
eventually have to be replaced.








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


One of the outstanding heavy construction projects undertaken
was completion of the plant for the Puerto Rico Glass Corporation,
a' subsidiary of the Puerto Rico Development Company. This work
was taken over by the War Emergency Program from the con-
tractor when construction was somewhat less than 50 per cent com-
pleted. In May, 1943, the War Emergency Program also entered
into a contract with the Puerto Rico Development Company for
construction of a $300,000 paperboard mill for the Puerto Rico
Pulp and Paper Corporation, another subsidiary of the Develop-
ment Company. The WEP, of course, will contribute nothing from
its own funds for either job.
The most important community service project was the School
Lunch Program, through which 194,046 children were served meals
daily, and in which over 5,000 workers were employed. A food
production project, which produced over 14,000 pounds of vegetables
for the school lunch program, was carried on during the year. The
Nursery School Project operated 28 nursery schools throughout the
Island, with an enrollment of.1,241 children of pre-school age.
At the end. of the fiscal year, only 21,705 persons were employed
by the War Emergency Program, although a total of 239,412 persons
had. been registered as unemployed by the Division of Employment.
In cooperation with the Employment Service of the Insular Depart-
ment of Labor, the War Emergency Program tried in every way
possible to facilitate placement of registered unemployed persons in
,private and public employment, and to keep employers advised of
the available labor supply in each municipality.

WATER RESOURCES AUTHORITY
During the year the. Water Resources Authority acquired the
properties of the Porto Rico Railway, Light and Power Company and
the Mayagiiez Light, Power and Ice Company, which it had pre-
viously been operating for the Federal Works Agency. As a result
of these transactions, the Authority became the supplier of prac-
tically all electrical power generated in the Island.
The properties of the Porto Rico Railway, Light and Power Com-
pany were purchased for $11,218,416.66, and those of the Mayagiiez
Company for $1,700,000. Bonds of the Authority in the amount
of $20,000,000 were issued to finance the purchases, and for other
purposes.









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


,The enlarged and integrated system is comprised of 13 hydro-
plants and three steam plants, covers an area of 2,700 square miles,
and serves a population of approximately 1,600,000. Production dur-
ing the year amounted to 271,294,750 kwh., approximately 12,000,000
kwh. less than the total production for the Island. Of the Insular
total, 39 per cent was produced by fuel oils.
There was a net gain during the year of 2,870 customers' installa-
tions connected to the integrated system. Revenues increased from
$4,599,699 to $5,397,721.

War restrictions imposed a limitation upon expansion. Despite
this, however, construction of the Caonillas hydroelectric plant was
begun. This plant is expected to go into operation in 1947. In
addition, great progress was made on the work of installing Units
No. 2 and No. 3 in the Dos Bocas power house. The temporary
buildings at Garzas and Dos Bocas were dismantled, and the material
moved to Caonillas, where it was used to construct temporary build-
ings for the new project. 'An electric substation was also erected
at the site of the Caonillas dam, and connected to the main power
line.
Power producing capacity of the Island still lags far behind
requirements, largely because the building program of the Water
Resources) Authority has been delayed by the war. This lag was
shown by the shortage in power production, and the consequent, cur-
tailment in power service which took place in April and May, 1944,
as the result of a prolonged drought, beginning in December, 1943,
which was ultimately reflected in the capacity of the hydroplants.
The effect of the drought was heightened by the failure of sugar
mills throughout the Island to produce a promised 2,000,000 kwh.,
and by the increased demand for power in a large manufacturing
plant. Because of the power shortage, it was necessary to stop opera-
tion of the San Juan-Santurce ,street railway for a month, and, for
a time, to suspend electric service during part of the day.

Geological, topographical and hydrographic data were studied,
from the point of view of the future development of a well balanced,
Island-wide power network of inter-connected plants. A number
of surveys of new hydroelectric possibilities in different parts of the
Island were completed. In cooperation with the "Joint Committee
on the Survey of'Southwestern Puerto Rico", a report was prepared
by the Authority on irrigation possibilities in this area.











OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO 57

FEDERAL AGENCIES

AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT AGENCY

(Department of Agriculture)

Final figures for the 1943 sugar cane program of the Agricul-
tural iAdjustment Agency showed total authorized payments of
$13,122,989.69 to 13,728 growers. Preliminary estimates had placed
the number of producers at 15,647 and the amount of payments at
$12,000,000.
Quantitative distribution of 1943 payments is shown in the follow-
ing table:

Number
Payment intervals of Total amount
applications of Payment

Under $250 ............... .. ........ ........................ .. 9, 29 $792,378.66
250.01 500....................................... ........... 1,658 587, 879.93
500.01- 1,000 ....................................................... 1,165 805, 245.04
1,000.01 1, 500 ...................................................... 414 512, 122.64
1,500.01 2,000 ............................ .. ....................... 200 343,580.17
2, 000.01 3,000............. ............... ........... ........ 254 625, 774.87
3,000 01 4,000 .. ... ..... .. ............................ 142 486,961.93
4,000.01 5,000..... ................... ............... .............. 74 335, 739.03
5,000.01 6,000 ......... ............... ........................... 79 433, 616.82
6,000.01- 7,000 ............... ... ............ ... ............ 54 348,115.17
7,000.01- 8,000.... ... ......... .. ......... ........ .. 31 233,780.30
8,000.01 9,000 ................... .............. ............ 32 270,865.30
9,000 01 10,000 ....... .... ..................... ...... ... .. 27 256,416.17
10,000.01 and over ................. ........ ...... .. ........ 167 7,090 513.66
ToTALS. .... ... .................... .. ...... ... 13,546 $13,122,989.69


Sugar cane production for 1943 in land acreage harvested was
310,225, and in tons of sugar cane ground, 8,666,692. The number
of acres planted to food crops in 1943, in fulfillment of the require-
ment that seven per cent of sugar cane acreage be used for this
purpose, was estimated at 40,000, but actually came to 50,425.4 of
which 30,139.7 acres were in legumes.
In the 1943-44 season, 36,362 acres were planted to tobacco, which
was 4357.1 in excess of the allotted acreage. Allotments were issued
for 23,727 farms.

AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

(Department of Agriculture)

The Puerto Rico Experiment Station of the United States De-
partment of Agriculture, in addition to experiments carried on in
cooperation with the Government of Puerto Rico, worked on prob-
lems of vital importance to the nation's war economy.











OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO 57

FEDERAL AGENCIES

AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT AGENCY

(Department of Agriculture)

Final figures for the 1943 sugar cane program of the Agricul-
tural iAdjustment Agency showed total authorized payments of
$13,122,989.69 to 13,728 growers. Preliminary estimates had placed
the number of producers at 15,647 and the amount of payments at
$12,000,000.
Quantitative distribution of 1943 payments is shown in the follow-
ing table:

Number
Payment intervals of Total amount
applications of Payment

Under $250 ............... .. ........ ........................ .. 9, 29 $792,378.66
250.01 500....................................... ........... 1,658 587, 879.93
500.01- 1,000 ....................................................... 1,165 805, 245.04
1,000.01 1, 500 ...................................................... 414 512, 122.64
1,500.01 2,000 ............................ .. ....................... 200 343,580.17
2, 000.01 3,000............. ............... ........... ........ 254 625, 774.87
3,000 01 4,000 .. ... ..... .. ............................ 142 486,961.93
4,000.01 5,000..... ................... ............... .............. 74 335, 739.03
5,000.01 6,000 ......... ............... ........................... 79 433, 616.82
6,000.01- 7,000 ............... ... ............ ... ............ 54 348,115.17
7,000.01- 8,000.... ... ......... .. ......... ........ .. 31 233,780.30
8,000.01 9,000 ................... .............. ............ 32 270,865.30
9,000 01 10,000 ....... .... ..................... ...... ... .. 27 256,416.17
10,000.01 and over ................. ........ ...... .. ........ 167 7,090 513.66
ToTALS. .... ... .................... .. ...... ... 13,546 $13,122,989.69


Sugar cane production for 1943 in land acreage harvested was
310,225, and in tons of sugar cane ground, 8,666,692. The number
of acres planted to food crops in 1943, in fulfillment of the require-
ment that seven per cent of sugar cane acreage be used for this
purpose, was estimated at 40,000, but actually came to 50,425.4 of
which 30,139.7 acres were in legumes.
In the 1943-44 season, 36,362 acres were planted to tobacco, which
was 4357.1 in excess of the allotted acreage. Allotments were issued
for 23,727 farms.

AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

(Department of Agriculture)

The Puerto Rico Experiment Station of the United States De-
partment of Agriculture, in addition to experiments carried on in
cooperation with the Government of Puerto Rico, worked on prob-
lems of vital importance to the nation's war economy.











OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO 57

FEDERAL AGENCIES

AGRICULTURAL ADJUSTMENT AGENCY

(Department of Agriculture)

Final figures for the 1943 sugar cane program of the Agricul-
tural iAdjustment Agency showed total authorized payments of
$13,122,989.69 to 13,728 growers. Preliminary estimates had placed
the number of producers at 15,647 and the amount of payments at
$12,000,000.
Quantitative distribution of 1943 payments is shown in the follow-
ing table:

Number
Payment intervals of Total amount
applications of Payment

Under $250 ............... .. ........ ........................ .. 9, 29 $792,378.66
250.01 500....................................... ........... 1,658 587, 879.93
500.01- 1,000 ....................................................... 1,165 805, 245.04
1,000.01 1, 500 ...................................................... 414 512, 122.64
1,500.01 2,000 ............................ .. ....................... 200 343,580.17
2, 000.01 3,000............. ............... ........... ........ 254 625, 774.87
3,000 01 4,000 .. ... ..... .. ............................ 142 486,961.93
4,000.01 5,000..... ................... ............... .............. 74 335, 739.03
5,000.01 6,000 ......... ............... ........................... 79 433, 616.82
6,000.01- 7,000 ............... ... ............ ... ............ 54 348,115.17
7,000.01- 8,000.... ... ......... .. ......... ........ .. 31 233,780.30
8,000.01 9,000 ................... .............. ............ 32 270,865.30
9,000 01 10,000 ....... .... ..................... ...... ... .. 27 256,416.17
10,000.01 and over ................. ........ ...... .. ........ 167 7,090 513.66
ToTALS. .... ... .................... .. ...... ... 13,546 $13,122,989.69


Sugar cane production for 1943 in land acreage harvested was
310,225, and in tons of sugar cane ground, 8,666,692. The number
of acres planted to food crops in 1943, in fulfillment of the require-
ment that seven per cent of sugar cane acreage be used for this
purpose, was estimated at 40,000, but actually came to 50,425.4 of
which 30,139.7 acres were in legumes.
In the 1943-44 season, 36,362 acres were planted to tobacco, which
was 4357.1 in excess of the allotted acreage. Allotments were issued
for 23,727 farms.

AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

(Department of Agriculture)

The Puerto Rico Experiment Station of the United States De-
partment of Agriculture, in addition to experiments carried on in
cooperation with the Government of Puerto Rico, worked on prob-
lems of vital importance to the nation's war economy.








FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Collaborating with the Office of Economic Warfare of the Foreign
Economic Administration, and the Office of Foreign Agricultural
Relations of the Department of Agriculture, the Station distributed
in the Caribbean area and Latin America more than two million cut-
tings of derris elliptica, a rotenone bearing root used in the produc-
tion of insecticide, and formerly grown in areas now occupied by
the Japanese. The establishment of derris plantations in the West-
ern Hemisphere will insure a supply of rotenone closer to the United
States, and will bring a new non-competitive crop to Latin America.
Working with the Defense Supplies Corporation, the Station is
growing seeds from selected cinchona trees which are high in quinine
content. These seeds were flown out of the Philippines just previous
to the Japanese occupation. Areas available for growing cinchona in
Puerto Rico have been extended through the cooperation of the Fed-
eral and Insular Forest Services, and with funds provided by the
War Emergency Program of the Insular Government and the Work
Projects Administration.
Large quantities of economic plants, with relevant technical in-
formation, were supplied to Latin American countries interested in
the Station's experiments on tropical plants. The Director partic-
ipated in the efforts of the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission
to develop an agricultural program for the Caribbean area.
A food production program, carried on with labor furnished by
the War Emergency Program of the Insular Government, provided
agronomic information and considerable quantities of food crop seeds
for distribution.
Projects were conducted with Insular Government funds on
vanilla, bamboo, essential oils, and other tropical crops. Experiments
to test the relation between the amount of calcium in the soil and
its absorption by the vanilla plant were continued. Observations
show that the best plants grow on soils of 'high calcium content.
An elaborated technique for studying oxidizing enzymes of vanilla
showed that these enzymes form a complex system capable of oxi-
dizing a variety of substrates, including vanilla itself, to quinone
bodies and thence to condensed stable pigments. On the basis of
sensitivity to cyanide, the enzyme system contains a heavy metal.
Since it requires oxygen as an acceptor and is inactivated by carbon
monoxide, the main action of oxidation should be classified as an
oxidase rather than a peroxidase.
Work on essential oils was confined to experiments aimed, at:
(1) determining what parts of the oregano plant should be distilled








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO 59

to obtain essential oil which may have commercial possibilities be-
cause of carvacrol and thymol content; and (2) improving methods
of extracting coffee flower oil.
In view of the considerable interest in bamboo aroused by recent
industrialization, the Forest Service. initiated a program to test bam-
boo as a potential forest crop for Puerto Rico. More than 16,000
plants of different species were distributed by the Station to the
Forest Service for planting in forest areas. In cooperation with the
Soil Conservation Service, a number of test plantings were made on
land classified as unfit for intensive cultivation. Nine months after
planting, they showed a high percentage of establishment. The
Station furnished over 5,000 bamboo plants, in addition to technical
assistance, to the Insular Department of Interior for the develop-
ment of road-side improvement projects. The military forces ob-
tained approximately 10,000 lineal feet of cured bamboo from the
Station for construction purposes. Better methods for the propaga-
tion of bamboo were studied. Various experiments in the use of
bamboo in building construction were undertaken and the use of
common bamboo for concrete reinforcement was found to be un-
satisfactory.
CONCILIATION SERVICE

(Department of Labor)

The Conciliation Service of the United States Department of
Labor settled a total of 195 cases, involving 323,062 workers. Of
the cases settled, 110 were strikes or threatened strikes, 71 were
controversies, two were lockouts, and 12 were special situations.

EMERGENCY CROP AND FEED LOAN OFFICE
(Farm Credit Administration)

During the fiscal year 1943-44 the loans approved and dis-
bursed by the Emergency Crop and Feed Loan Office to the farm-
ers of Puerto Rico for the cultivation and harvesting of crops were
as follows:

Number Average
Crop of Amount amount
loans of loans

Coffee....................................... 429 $295, 645 $689
Sugar.. ...... .............................. ..... 2,401 637,840 265
Tobaoco......................................... 2,301 296,000 128
Miscellaneous crop ......................................... 253 106, 260 420
TOTALs .............................................. 5,387 $1,335,745 $248










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
(Department of Agriculture)

Since the beginning of the rural rehabilitation program of the
Farm Security Administration in Puerto Rico in 1941, a total of
16,272 families have received aid. Of this number, 13,381 cases
were active on June 30, 1944. The dliltff. !.. is accounted for as
follows: 1,074 cases have been paid up; 1,663 have been dropped;
154 are being held for collection only.
During 1943-44, the Administration made 6,207 rural rehabili-
tation loans aggregating $906,915.14. Initial loans totaled 2,268,
and supplemental loans, 3,939. Of the amount advanced in initial
loans ($361,957.14), 40 per cent was for farm operating, 40 per
cent for capital goods for the farm, and 20 per cent to family
living and capital goods for the home. Seventy-two per cent of the
initial borrowers own their own land, 11 per cent have purchase
contracts, and the remaining 17 per-cent are tenants or share crop-
pers.
Loans totaling $288,298 were made to 55 Farm Ownership
clients, thus enabling them to establish their families on their own
farms. -The average Farm Ownership loan was for $5,241. Sup-
plemental FO loans amounting to $4,657 were made for the pur-
pose of providing additional improvements on farms.
The year's collection of principal and interest, including
$18,592.96 paid on Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration
loans, amounted to $1,024,648.69. Rural rehabilitation loan collec-
tions came to $873,737.99, and Farm Ownership borrowers paid in
$132,297.77.
Farm and Home Operations grants in the amount of $29,740.23
were made to 1,489 farmers to assist them in purchasing sub-
sistence supplies until they received revenue from the sale of their
farm produce. Rural water supply projects, completed during the
year with the assistance of the War Emergency Program and the
various municipal governments, benefited 831 families. In addition
to projects of this kind, the installation of sanitary facilities by
individual farmers was encouraged through loans. Attempts were
made to organize health service groups among Farm Security Ad-
ministration borrowers throughout the Island, but the scarcity of
doctors and nurses prevented any real accomplishment along this
line.










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


FARM SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
(Department of Agriculture)

Since the beginning of the rural rehabilitation program of the
Farm Security Administration in Puerto Rico in 1941, a total of
16,272 families have received aid. Of this number, 13,381 cases
were active on June 30, 1944. The dliltff. !.. is accounted for as
follows: 1,074 cases have been paid up; 1,663 have been dropped;
154 are being held for collection only.
During 1943-44, the Administration made 6,207 rural rehabili-
tation loans aggregating $906,915.14. Initial loans totaled 2,268,
and supplemental loans, 3,939. Of the amount advanced in initial
loans ($361,957.14), 40 per cent was for farm operating, 40 per
cent for capital goods for the farm, and 20 per cent to family
living and capital goods for the home. Seventy-two per cent of the
initial borrowers own their own land, 11 per cent have purchase
contracts, and the remaining 17 per-cent are tenants or share crop-
pers.
Loans totaling $288,298 were made to 55 Farm Ownership
clients, thus enabling them to establish their families on their own
farms. -The average Farm Ownership loan was for $5,241. Sup-
plemental FO loans amounting to $4,657 were made for the pur-
pose of providing additional improvements on farms.
The year's collection of principal and interest, including
$18,592.96 paid on Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration
loans, amounted to $1,024,648.69. Rural rehabilitation loan collec-
tions came to $873,737.99, and Farm Ownership borrowers paid in
$132,297.77.
Farm and Home Operations grants in the amount of $29,740.23
were made to 1,489 farmers to assist them in purchasing sub-
sistence supplies until they received revenue from the sale of their
farm produce. Rural water supply projects, completed during the
year with the assistance of the War Emergency Program and the
various municipal governments, benefited 831 families. In addition
to projects of this kind, the installation of sanitary facilities by
individual farmers was encouraged through loans. Attempts were
made to organize health service groups among Farm Security Ad-
ministration borrowers throughout the Island, but the scarcity of
doctors and nurses prevented any real accomplishment along this
line.








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO 61

With the cooperation of the Forest Service, the Experiment
Station, and their various nurseries throughout the Island, the Farm
Security Administration was able to supply a large number of
forestry, ornamental, and fruit tree nursery stock to its clients.
Sixteen Guernsey heifers, provided by the Brethren Service or-
ganization, were distributed to sixteen under-privileged farm families
selected by the Farm Security Administration. The animals were
assigned to FSA borrowers having large families and no other source
of milk. The experience of FSA proves that, with a little super-
vision, such farmers can successfully care for good grade milk stock.

FEDERAL LAND BANK OF BALTIMORE

Despite adverse weather conditions during the winter and spring
of 1943-44, repayment performance of the farmers served by the
Federal Land Bank continued to be satisfactory.
At the end of the year, outstanding loans totaled $11,541,251.44
and were divided as follows: Federal Land Bank loans, $9,422,609.24;
Land Bank Commissioner loans, $2,118,642.20. The net delinquency
on Federal Land Bank loans amounted to $88,796.82, approxi-
mately the same as in the preceding year. On Land Bank Com-
missioner loans, the net delinquency was $8,010.19, as compared with
$6,312.31 for the previous year.
Eight of the Bank's borrowers filed bankruptcy pleas, as com-
pared with six the previous year, and 16 during the fiscal year
1941-1942. On June 30, the Bank held 18 farms for sale. Farms
acquired through foreclosure numbered 18, as compared with 22 the
previous year, and 10 farms were sold for a total of $64,000.
The volume of new loans increased sharply over the preceding
year both in number and total amount. In 1943-4, 283 new loans
amounting to $1,310,500 were made; in 1942-43, 154 loans, total-
ing $637,700. These loans are for 20 years at interest rates of
S4/2 and 5 per cent respectively.
The contractual rate of interest was reduced by Treasury De-
partment contributions to 4 per cent ,on Land Bank loans and 31/2
per cent on Land Bank Commissioner loans.
A net saving to borrowers of $167,469.40 during the fiscal year,
resulted from these reductions.
The law providing for statutory interest reduction on Land Bank
loans expired on June 30, 1944. In its place administrative in-
terest reduction to 41/ per cent was made effective on all Land










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Bank loans, which had been written at rates in excess of 41/2 per
cent in the past. As some of these loans carried rates up to 6 per
cent, savings to borrowers in the future will be considerable.

FOREIGN FUNDS CONTROL

(Treasury Department)
In the course of the year, the Puerto Rico Office of the Foreign
Funds Control of the- Treasury Department issued 1,000 licenses
for general operations and transactions with foreign firms blocked
under the "Freezing Control Order". Approximately 65 firms have
been "blocked" in Puerto Rico, and are operating under licenses.
"Blocking" does not necessarily indicate enemy interest; it may
also indicate substantial continental European interest in the own-
ership or management of the firms, which, for war purposes, it
is desirable to control. The total of all "blocked" interests in
Puerto Rico is approximately $75,000,000.
Coincident with the advance of the armed forces of the United
Nations, steps were taken to relax the regulation with respect to
liberated areas in Italy, Sicily, Corsica, North Africa, Metropolitan
France, and the Baltic countries. Certain types of remittances and
communications with those areas may now be exchanged, subject
to appropriate Treasury license.
The Freezing Control program is now being geared to the re-
sumption of normal relationships at the earliest possible date.

FOREST SERVICE

(Department of Agriculture)

The merging of all Federal forest activities in Puerto Rico under
the Tropical Forest Unit has proven to be logical, effective, and
economical.
The work of the Unit is divided into three main categories (1)
the protection, management, and improvement of the Caribbean
National Forest; (2) research in forest management problems
peculiar to Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Caribbean area; and,
(3) cooperation and liaison work in forestry with Latin American
countries.
The Director of the Unit is also the General Superintendent of
the Insular Forest Service. Although both agencies continue as
separate entities, there is a high degree of coordination in forest










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


Bank loans, which had been written at rates in excess of 41/2 per
cent in the past. As some of these loans carried rates up to 6 per
cent, savings to borrowers in the future will be considerable.

FOREIGN FUNDS CONTROL

(Treasury Department)
In the course of the year, the Puerto Rico Office of the Foreign
Funds Control of the- Treasury Department issued 1,000 licenses
for general operations and transactions with foreign firms blocked
under the "Freezing Control Order". Approximately 65 firms have
been "blocked" in Puerto Rico, and are operating under licenses.
"Blocking" does not necessarily indicate enemy interest; it may
also indicate substantial continental European interest in the own-
ership or management of the firms, which, for war purposes, it
is desirable to control. The total of all "blocked" interests in
Puerto Rico is approximately $75,000,000.
Coincident with the advance of the armed forces of the United
Nations, steps were taken to relax the regulation with respect to
liberated areas in Italy, Sicily, Corsica, North Africa, Metropolitan
France, and the Baltic countries. Certain types of remittances and
communications with those areas may now be exchanged, subject
to appropriate Treasury license.
The Freezing Control program is now being geared to the re-
sumption of normal relationships at the earliest possible date.

FOREST SERVICE

(Department of Agriculture)

The merging of all Federal forest activities in Puerto Rico under
the Tropical Forest Unit has proven to be logical, effective, and
economical.
The work of the Unit is divided into three main categories (1)
the protection, management, and improvement of the Caribbean
National Forest; (2) research in forest management problems
peculiar to Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Caribbean area; and,
(3) cooperation and liaison work in forestry with Latin American
countries.
The Director of the Unit is also the General Superintendent of
the Insular Forest Service. Although both agencies continue as
separate entities, there is a high degree of coordination in forest









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


administration, management, and utilization of the forest lands
owned by the Federal and the Insular Governments.
The total area of Federally, owned forest lands in Puerto Rico
on June 30, 1944, was 31,499 acres, of which 25,251 acres were
located in the Luquillo Unit and 6,248 acres in the Toro Negro
Unit. The ultimate purchase and reforestation of some 90,000
acres of forest lands adjoining these Units, is planned.
The management of these lands by the Forest Service has as
primary objectives the supply of forest products and the protec-
tion of the upper water sheds above important water storage
projects. Conversion of the present natural forest stands and de-
velopment of the many young plantations of forest trees into pro-
ductive forests will yield annually approximately three million board
feet of lumber, 1,500 cords of wood for fuel and charcoal, and
thousands of posts and poles for farm and building uses.
During the year, approximately 1,320,000 board feet of timber,
valued at $21,600 on the stump and $104,000 in final form, were
sold, and 2,433,000 board feet of forest products, valued at $17,150
on the stump and $105,000 in final form, furnished without charge
for military purposes and to settlers in and near the forest.
Substantial progress was made in the establishment of communi-
ties for local people dependent upon the Federal forest lands for
their domestic needs in forest products, and for part time employ-
merit. During the year, 53,000 man days of employment were fur-
nished to people who otherwise would have had little or no cash
income.
In the research field, greater attention was given to the deter-
mination of methods by which a maximum of forest products can
be cut without endangering future productivity. A set of silvi-
cultural rules were formulated, by which dead, over-mature, mature,
and inferior timber can be cut, and the quantity and quality of
the remaining stand can be increased.
A series of surveys of the farming in progress within the Forest
Units was started by the Federal and Insular Services. These
studies indicated that of the 700 families now occupying small par-
cels of land within the Federal and Insular forests, many are on
land unsatisfactory for farming. Efforts were initiated through the
Puerto Rico Land Authority and private land owners to find better
lands for these people.
Trained foresters and technical men from Trinidad, British
Guiana, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica visited Puerto Rico








FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


during the year for conferences with members of the Federal and
Insular Forest Service staff. Cooperative work in the field of Latin
American forestry will be facilitated and enlarged through the re-
cently appointed Subcommittee on,Forestry of the Agricultural
Research Council of the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission.

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
The Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board
handled 47 cases during the year. Of these, 22 involved allegations
of unfair labor practices, and 15 were representation cases. As a
result of the unfair labor practice cases, 91 employees were rein-
stated in their jobs, and received back-pay in the amount of $33,000.
Three of the cases were settled by Board Order following formal
proceedings, and the remainder were adjusted by informal agree-
ment. In the representation cases, seven secret ballot elections were
conducted in which 1,754 employees cast ballots.
In addition to the work on official cases, the Regional Office
worked closely with other Federal and Insular agencies in the con-
sideration of the representation problem in the sugar industry. The
National Labor Relations Board was unable to deal with the sugar
industry, as a whole, because it lacks jurisdiction over agricultural
workers. A special representative of the National Labor Relations
Board came from Washington to assist the Insular Lab.or Relations
Board in conducting hearings on questions relating to this problem.
In cooperation with the University. of Puerto Rico, the Regional
Office started a program -of Labor Institutes in order to spread
information among both workers and employers concerning the laws
and procedures of collective bargaining.

OFFICE OF DEFENSE TRANSPORTATION
The Office of Defense Transportation gave a great deal of at-
tention to a program aimed at reducing the overloading of motor
vehicles, principally trucks. When the ODT began this program,
trucks in general were overloaded by at least 50 per cent. Educa-
tion of truck owners in the proper loading and maintenance of
trucks, and penalties for overloading by as much as 15 per cent,
reduced the average overload for trucks used in transporting sugar
cane, for example, to 2.05 per cent. A check of truck operations,
such as deliveries of sugar to the piers, deliveries of cement and of
Office of Distribution products, showed overloading in a number of
cases, but in no instance was the overload greater than 5 per cent.








FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


during the year for conferences with members of the Federal and
Insular Forest Service staff. Cooperative work in the field of Latin
American forestry will be facilitated and enlarged through the re-
cently appointed Subcommittee on,Forestry of the Agricultural
Research Council of the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission.

NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD
The Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board
handled 47 cases during the year. Of these, 22 involved allegations
of unfair labor practices, and 15 were representation cases. As a
result of the unfair labor practice cases, 91 employees were rein-
stated in their jobs, and received back-pay in the amount of $33,000.
Three of the cases were settled by Board Order following formal
proceedings, and the remainder were adjusted by informal agree-
ment. In the representation cases, seven secret ballot elections were
conducted in which 1,754 employees cast ballots.
In addition to the work on official cases, the Regional Office
worked closely with other Federal and Insular agencies in the con-
sideration of the representation problem in the sugar industry. The
National Labor Relations Board was unable to deal with the sugar
industry, as a whole, because it lacks jurisdiction over agricultural
workers. A special representative of the National Labor Relations
Board came from Washington to assist the Insular Lab.or Relations
Board in conducting hearings on questions relating to this problem.
In cooperation with the University. of Puerto Rico, the Regional
Office started a program -of Labor Institutes in order to spread
information among both workers and employers concerning the laws
and procedures of collective bargaining.

OFFICE OF DEFENSE TRANSPORTATION
The Office of Defense Transportation gave a great deal of at-
tention to a program aimed at reducing the overloading of motor
vehicles, principally trucks. When the ODT began this program,
trucks in general were overloaded by at least 50 per cent. Educa-
tion of truck owners in the proper loading and maintenance of
trucks, and penalties for overloading by as much as 15 per cent,
reduced the average overload for trucks used in transporting sugar
cane, for example, to 2.05 per cent. A check of truck operations,
such as deliveries of sugar to the piers, deliveries of cement and of
Office of Distribution products, showed overloading in a number of
cases, but in no instance was the overload greater than 5 per cent.








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


During the year, District Officers of the ODT made special efforts
to secure back hauls for trucks to points of origin, and thus to pre-
vent empty truck operations. This phase of the work was particularly
successful in Arecibo and Ponce.
The Public Service Commission was requested not to issue certifi-
cates of necessity and convenience, making an operator of a public
carrier eligible for tires, until after investigation by the ODT. Appli-
cations for these certificates, filed with the Public Service Commission,
were sent to the ODT. As of June 30, 1944, the ODT had recom-
mended issuance of 2,879 certificates of necessity and convenience.
This brought the total number of certificates to 3,800, which was still
insufficient to allow proper facilities throughout the Island. At the
time when the tire rationing order went into effect, on July 12, 1943,
only about 1,000 common carriers engaged in the transportation of
passengers held such certificates.
Before November 1, 1943, no concerted effort was made by the
ODT to enforce its orders by penalties. Since there appeared, how-
ever, to be considerable speeding, the ODT secured the cooperation
of the military police in reporting this violation. ODT inspectors
and military police reported 1,300 cases of speeding between Novem-
ber 1, 1943, and June 30, 1944. During the same period, 1,827 viola-
tions of other regulations of the ODT were reported. In 317 cases
of speeding, and in 472 cases of other violations, suspension of gasoline
rationing was recommended.
Properties of the American Railroad Company, which had been
controlled and operated by ODT since May 13, 1943, were turned
back to the owners on June 30, 1944.
During the period of Federal operation, a number of new Diesel
electric locomotives were put into use, and the operation of the road
was reorganized to insure greater efficiency.
Traffic into and out of the piers of Puerto Rico is under direc-
tion of the ODT. As shipping increased, pier congestion occurred
in San Juan. To prevent this congestion, exporters were prohibited
from placing any shipment of merchandise in excess of 2,240 pounds
on a pier without permit from the ODT. This order, however, never
had to be enforced because of the cooperative attitude of shippers.
Every effort was continued to have cargoes so stowed at the point
of loading that they may be unloaded in three different ports-San
Juan, Mayagiiez and Ponce. In the few cases in which this was.
done, a great saving in truck tires and fuel resulted.









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


OFFICE OF DISTRIBUTION
(War Food Administration)
The year's program of the Office of Distribution of the War Food
Administration was three-fold: (1) The importation of foods, feeds,
certain household articles and agricultural production equipment for
distribution through regular trade channels; (2) operation of the
price support program and market news service; and, (3) free distri-
bution of food supplies to milk stations, school lunchrooms institutions
and, for a part of the year, to families eligible for public assistance.
In the first phase of the program, 307,477.62 net short tons of
food products were imported for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
In addition 144,620 net short tons of fertilizer ingredients, and
31,955.15 net short tons of animal feeds, seeds, fungicides, insecticides,
and fumigants were brought in.
Several items formerly on the OD list were returned to private
importers in the course of the year. These items included: butter,
oleomargarine, vegetable oil, onions, tomato catsup, dairy feed,
sausage, safety matches, and ground table salt.
The Marketing Program Section, which is responsible for the
direction and execution of the programs pertaining to the marketing
of local food crops in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, opened
four new collection centers and one new distribution center during
the year, bringing the total number of such centers up to 17 and
seven respectively. Several revisions and refinements to the original
program in regard to prices, eligibility requirements, and grade spe-
cifications were put into effect in March, 1944. Due to a sharp cur-
tailment of the Island's agricultural out-put because of the severe
drought, however, the Price Support Program could not be put into
full operation. Purchases of surplus production of the agricultural
,crops for which there was a' guaranteed price amounted to 123,700.08
-hundred-weight, valued at $283,138.07.
Cooperating with progralis to increase the local production of
food crops, the Office of Distribution sold 1,078,816 pounds of seeds
to various government agencies.
During the year, the Market News Service extended its coverage
to six markets located in different parts of the Island. The infor-
mation gathered by this Service, concerning quantities of food crops
entering the markets, their price, origin, and mode of conveyance, is
expected to serve as the basis for the continuance of an organized









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


and uninterrupted effort.to secure and maintain reliable and complete
information on marketing activities in Puerto Rico.
The Civilian Program Section of the Office of Distribution dis-
tributed $1,178,567 worth of food on a free basis to 69,085 families
representing 386,924 persons. In addition, it supplied 2,023 com-
.munity school lunch units in schools with a total enrollment of
207,798 children. School lunch units received 19,216,960 pounds of
foods, the retail value of which was $3,305,019. Foods distributed
included evaporated milk, wheat flour, cornmeal, rolled oats, canned
tomatoes, oleomargarine, dried beans,, lard, and Vienna sausages. In
connection with this part of the program, the services of a nutrition-
ist were furnished.
OFFICE OF PRICE ADMINISTRATION

The Office of Price Administration, in the course of the year, ex-
panded its Maximum Price Regulation to cover over 10,000 different
brands or grades of commodities, including certain minor crops, mo-
lasses, local poultry, eggs, charcoal, imported and locally manufac-
tured textiles, imported shoes, lumber, fertilizer, toys, and some
durable goods..
That the price control program has been successful in Puerto
Rico is evident from the Cost of Goods and Services Indexes compiled
by the Insular Bureau of Labor Statistics. These Indexes cover the
cost of goods and services customarily purchased by wage-earner
families in Puerto Rico. Using March 15, 1941, as a base, they show
that the cost of food at the end of the fiscal year was only 0.5 point
higher than at the end of 1942. The cost of clothing, which stood
at 154.2 on August 15, 1942, had fallen to 148.4 at the close of the
year. The price index for all items reported on by the Bureau of
Labor Statistics increased only 1.2 points-from 142.2 on June 15,
1943, to 143.4 on June 15, 1944.
To assist in bringing about compliance with OPA regulations at
the retail level, Price Panels were formed throughout the Island in
the fall of 1943, and by June, 1944, 29 such Panels were operating.
In addition to the activities of the Panels in obtaining compliance by
retailers where price violations have been reported, the Panels are
requested to make at least one survey in a different field each month
to determine whether merchants are operating in accordance with the
regulations. A survey made in April, 1944, of 17 selected items in
10,000 foods stores, showed 96.88 per cent compliance.










FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


On February 1, 1944, rent control was. extended to Puerto Rico
and by the end of the fiscal year 65,000 dwelling units, 104 hotels,
and 555 rooming houses had been registered. The rent index drop-
ped 0.8 point during the first month of regulation, and by April, 1944
had been stabilized at 104.9, *',,.. ..li._1- to the report of the Bureau
of Labor Statistics.
The rationing of gasoline, tires and tubes, new passenger auto-
mobiles, typewriters, and bicycles was continued with but minor
,changes. Rationing of gasoline from August, 1943, to April, 1944,
effected a saving amounting to 30.6 per cent of the quantity con-
sumed under normal conditions. Mileage rationing of tires and tubes
was adopted in July, 1943. With the improvement in the production
of synthetic passenger tires, all public vehicles and most private pas-
senger cars were made eligible for first grade passenger tires on June
1, 1944. In the same month, rationing controls on recapping were
relinquished, to become effective on July 1, 1944.
A special problem arose during the year with regard to milk.
Because of decreased production, milk which was usually sold in lower
priced zones was being transferred to higher priced zones, thus creat-
ing a milk shortage in many municipalities. To control the distri-
bution of milk, a Restriction Order was put into effect on September
15, 1943, which provides that milk can be transferred from a lower
to a higher priced zone only upon written authorization of the Office
of Price Administration.
In September, 1943, the Legal Division, which handled enforce-
ment activities, was abolished. A separate Enforcement Division was
established, and organized in six sections corresponding to the various
phases of the work of the Office of Price Administration. A total of
2,214 complaints were received during the year, and convictions were
obtained in all of the 35 cases prosecuted by the United States Dis-
trict Attorney.
Throughout the year an extensive information and educational
program was carried on by radio, in the schools, by civic, labor and
government organizations, and through consumers' committees.

PUERTO RICO RECONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION

As in the two preceding years, the program of the Puerto Rico
Reconstruction Administration was financed principally from funds
allotted by the President out of the Puerto Rico Revolving Fund.
For the year 1943-44 the. money thus made available totaled
$1,505,644.33. This circumstance has limited PRRA's activities.









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


Operation of PRRA's 1,210 urban dwelling units and 6,254 rural
houses, together with 4,891 three-acre parcels on which no houses have
been built, produced rental collections of $335,500. Outlays for man-
agement and maintenance amounted to $245,000. As of June 30,
1944, all of the urban houses and 98.5 per cent of the rural houses
were occupied, and 80 per cent of the parcels of land without houses
was rented. During the year long-term purchase agreements were
made for 287 urban houses and 3,621 rural houses or vacant plots.
Three hundred rural dwellings were constructed on vacant parcels
aggregating 1,500 acres.
The Central Service Farms project, which was carried on with
$335,000 of Federal and Insular funds, stressed the growing of food.
Fifteen thousand acres of subsistence crops and 3,000 acres of cash
crops were planted. Seeds produced from 550 acres of seed beds on
the seven Central Service Farms, were given to resettlers, who also
received assistance in cultivating, harvesting and marketing their
crops.
Resettlers were paid for their labor on the Central Service Farms.
Their work included planting, maintenance of intra-farm roads, and
the operation of 34 rural waterworks systems which serve approxi-
mately 100,000 rural dwellers.
A 25-bed hospital was opened at the La Plata Project, and a
health unit started at the Zalduondo Rural Rehabilitation Unit.
These institutions, adjuncts of the Civilian Public Service Camps, are
giving medical care to many persons for whom such service was not
previously available.
The cost of supervision, organization, and financing of cooperatives
rose to $610,000 this year, occasioned largely by the needs of the
Lafayette Cooperative in refinancing its obligations to the Govern-
ment. The Butyl Alcohol Plant of that cooperative, however, in-
creased its production to its full capacity of more than 5,000,000
pounds of solvents per year, as against 3,500,000 pounds exported the
previous year. The operation of the solvents mill provided substan-
tial profits. Due to the drought and the effects of the earlier fertil-
izer shortage, sugar mill operations both at Lafayette and at Los
Cafios resulted in a loss.
A loan of $50,000 was made to a new cooperative (Cooperativa
de Cosecheros de Cidra) for the growing, curing and marketing of
citron and kindred fruits in distressed coffee areas. Additional loans
of $22,000 were made to four vegetable marketing cooperatives. The
Vanilla Cooperative will sell approximately 5,700 pounds of cured









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


vanilla beans, the largest crop in its history. Approximately 1,600
bales of Sea Island cotton were marketed by the Cotton Growers
Cooperative. Sales of fertilizers, insecticides, feeds, etc., by the So-
ciedad Agricola, a cooperative financed by PRRA, amounted to over
$900,000, as contrasted with $350,000 in the previous year.

SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE

The Soil Conservation Service continued to center its activities
around the production of food and forage crops for local consump-
tion. The seven,months' drought which began in October, 1943,
emphasized the benefits derived from conservation practices, and
consequently placed a heavy demand on the Service for technical
assistance.
Eleven small farm irrigation systems were developed, and 1,092
acres of idle and brush land were placed under cultivation. These
produced, 1,419,432 pounds of food crops and 3,440 tons of sugar cane,
and gave added income and food to 939 families.
The "widespread practices" program, including simple practices
for pasture land, crop land, and wood land, was put into effect on
52 farms comprising 2,511 acres, and resulted in increased food
crops, animal units, and forage. In the Arecibo district, "wide-
spread practices" accounted for additional food crops valued at
$19,100. In the Mayagiiez area, benefits credited to "widespread
practices" included the production of 100,000 pounds of coffee, 250
tons of minor food crops, 6,500 tons of sugar cane, and forage for
250 animal units.
During the year, 310 cooperative agreements, covering 13,136
acres, were signed. This brings the total number of farms under
cooperative agreements to 4,609, and acreage covered to 65,246.
Technical assistance was furnished to ,the Navy Department in
erosion control and concealment of military operations by vegetation.

UNITED STATES EMPLOYMENT SERVICE

(War Manpower Commission)
The Puerto Rican office of the United States Employment Service
was established under the War Manpower Commission primarily for
the purpose of recruiting Puerto Rican workers for war industries
on the Continent. The office at once took over the-program pre-
viously initiated by the Insular Department of Education to the
same end.









FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT


vanilla beans, the largest crop in its history. Approximately 1,600
bales of Sea Island cotton were marketed by the Cotton Growers
Cooperative. Sales of fertilizers, insecticides, feeds, etc., by the So-
ciedad Agricola, a cooperative financed by PRRA, amounted to over
$900,000, as contrasted with $350,000 in the previous year.

SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE

The Soil Conservation Service continued to center its activities
around the production of food and forage crops for local consump-
tion. The seven,months' drought which began in October, 1943,
emphasized the benefits derived from conservation practices, and
consequently placed a heavy demand on the Service for technical
assistance.
Eleven small farm irrigation systems were developed, and 1,092
acres of idle and brush land were placed under cultivation. These
produced, 1,419,432 pounds of food crops and 3,440 tons of sugar cane,
and gave added income and food to 939 families.
The "widespread practices" program, including simple practices
for pasture land, crop land, and wood land, was put into effect on
52 farms comprising 2,511 acres, and resulted in increased food
crops, animal units, and forage. In the Arecibo district, "wide-
spread practices" accounted for additional food crops valued at
$19,100. In the Mayagiiez area, benefits credited to "widespread
practices" included the production of 100,000 pounds of coffee, 250
tons of minor food crops, 6,500 tons of sugar cane, and forage for
250 animal units.
During the year, 310 cooperative agreements, covering 13,136
acres, were signed. This brings the total number of farms under
cooperative agreements to 4,609, and acreage covered to 65,246.
Technical assistance was furnished to ,the Navy Department in
erosion control and concealment of military operations by vegetation.

UNITED STATES EMPLOYMENT SERVICE

(War Manpower Commission)
The Puerto Rican office of the United States Employment Service
was established under the War Manpower Commission primarily for
the purpose of recruiting Puerto Rican workers for war industries
on the Continent. The office at once took over the-program pre-
viously initiated by the Insular Department of Education to the
same end.








OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


After interviews to determine skills and the workers' ability to
meet other requirements, 131 groups of Puerto Rican workers (1,030
in all), left the Island and secured employment on the mainland. Al-
though the results appear generally satisfactory, the program was
discontinued in November, 1943, pending the development of plans
for a large scale importation program which would give greater pro-
tection to workers and to their dependents.
In March, 1944, the larger program was initiated. Work con-
tracts were negotiated between Continental employers and the Insular
Department of Labor with the cooperation of the War Manpower
Commission. Among other things, the contracts specified that the
employer would advance the cost of boat transportation from Puerto
Rico to the Continent; that he would pay, without reimbursement,
all other costs of transportation, subsistence, and emergency medical
care from the port of entry to the place of employment and from
there back to Puerto Rico upon the legal termination of the contract;
that he would deduct 25 per cent of the gross earnings of the worker
for transmission through the Insular Treasury and Department of
Labor to the worker's dependents; and that Puerto Rican workers
would receive treatment and working and living conditions equal to
those afforded other employees in the same occupation and phase of
employment.
A total of 1,988 unskilled workers left San Juan under this pro-
gram. Of these, 1,038 were employed by the Baltimore and Ohio
Railroad Company, 332 by the Edgar F. Hurff Canning Company,
418 by the Campbell Soup Company, and 200 by the Utah Copper
Company. This program was discontinued on June 30, 1944, upon
refusal of Congress to authorize recruitment of workers in Puerto
Rico.
WAGE AND HOUR DIVISION

One hundred and twenty complete plant inspections, involving
15,901 employees, were made by the Wage and Hour Division in the
course of the year. Resulting restitutions amounted to $129,694.54 in
back wages due 10,605 employees of 99 firms found in violation of
the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The Division also investi-
gated 200 complaints which did not require complete plant inspec-
tions.
The Mayagiiez office, in addition to inspection work, checked 4,709
needlework embroidery designs, and computed the wages due to home-
workers on each design. This office also passed judgment on 12,871










72 FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT

cases involving requests of employers for authority to make deduc-
tions from homeworkers' pay for poor work or damaged goods.
Special Industry Committee Number Three for Puerto Rico was
formed by the Administrator, as provided for in Section Five of the
Fair Labor Standards Act. The committee was in session from March
15 to April 19, 1944, and recommended minimum rates of pay as
follows:

Sugar-------------------- ---------- 35 cents per hour
Industrial Alcohol ----------------------------- 40 '" "
Rum ------------------------------------40 "
Banking, Insurance, Finance ----------------- 40 "
Shipping- 40 "4
Leaf Tobacco ---------------27 "
Needlework-------------------------.- 15 to 27 cents per hour
Leather Goods-----------hand sewing------ 15 cents per hour
other, operations--------- 24 "
Cigars and Cigarettes ------30 "
Bay Rum, Bay Oil, Aromatic Alcohol---- 25 "
Vegetable, Fruit and Fruit Juice Canning------ 16 "
Vegetable Packing ----- --- ------- 15 ". "
Newspaper Publishing and Graphic Arts------------- 40 "
Paper Box Manufacturing ------ ------------- 40 "
Cement -------------------------- 40 "
Manufactured Coconut -------------------------- 28 "
Hairnets------------ -------- -- --- 271/2 cents per hour
Art Novelties ---------------------------------- 15 cents per hour
Full Fashioned Hosiery------------------------- 30 "'

WAR PRODUCTION BOARD

The volume of requests for priority assistance and information
relative to War Production Board regulations increased by approxi-
mately 60 per cent over that of the previous fiscal year.
In order to make possible maintenance and repair of existing
buildings (industrial and residential), and to provide for essential
new construction, authority was granted to import 32,000,000 FBM
of lumber. Construction projects were authorized in the sum of
$10,118,708-$7,855,220 representing Insular Government projects;
$1,687,129, commercial and industrial work; $57,334, residential
building up to April 30, 1944, when the Federal Housing Adminis-
tration was delegated to process residential construction of five or less
family units. Establishment of several concrete block-making plants
was authorized to assist in the conservation of lumber.









OF THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO


A "Hurricane Stockpile" of galvanized, corrugated steel sheets,
lumber, locks, hinges, and other material, was made available over and
above supplies normally earmarked for the Island.
Foundries were helped to obtain materials for maintenance and
repair of sugar mills and other industrial facilities. The cement
plants, railroads, tramway, bus lines, telephone and telegraph utili-
ties, and distilleries, were given full cooperation to assure continued
operation. In some instances new equipment was authorized for
replacements.
To assist agriculture, authorization was given for 63 track laying
tractors, 84,000 eye hoes, 96,000 machetes, and 1,000 dozen spades
and shovels. Emergency assistance was granted to enable the im-
portation of twine for tobacco harvesting.
Tire recappers and retreaders were brought together, and a plea
for 24 hour utilization of equipment and manpower resulted in 15 to
20 day service being reduced to three days, in the five major plants.
Special authorization permitted the cracker container manufac-
turers to purchase and use 2,200 tons of reject blackplate for cracker
containers.-
Molasses control provided equitable distribution of 25,400,000 gal-
lons to farmers for cattle feed and to distilleries for production of
industrial alcohol and rum. Another 16,000,000 gallons was shipped
to the continental United States for use in war production programs.
Wider powers, delegated to the local office, eliminated a large per-
centage of Washington actions, thereby saving time and inconvenience
for the local government, industry, and the public at large.

WAR SHIPPING ADMINISTRATION
During the first six months of 1944, the War Shipping Adminis-
tration provided transportation facilities for 58 per cent of the
962,250 short tohs of sugar on the Island for shipment in 1944. In
the first half of 1943 only 23.72 per cent of the export sugar stocks
had been shipped. It is expected that practically all of the avail-
able warehoused sugar will have left the Island by the time the next
grinding season starts.
Adequate shipping space was also provided by the War Shipping
Administration for other commodities produced and manufactured
in Puerto Rico, such as rum, tobacco, canned fruit, needlework, cot-
ton, alcohol, and hides.
Upon the recommendation of the War Shipping Administration,
the Treasury Department waived the Coastwise Laws to permit the









74 FORTY-FOURTH ANNUAL REPORT

use of vessels of 50 gross tons and over, of foreign registry. This
was particularly helpful to the rum industry. Distilleries might have
been forced to close had they not been able to use foreign ships to
bring empty bottles down, and carry filled bottles back.
In May, 1944, a United Seamen's Service Club was established in
San Juan to provide residential, recreational and health facilities to
the merchant seamen coming to Puerto Rico. Merchant seamen
stranded in Puerto Rico are now looked after by this Club, and are
repatriated as promptly as possible by the San Juan office of the War
Shipping Administration.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
R. G. TUGWELL,
Governor.































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