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 Annual report of the Governor of...

Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015459/00008
 Material Information
Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Alternate Title: Annual report - the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Portion of title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands to the Secretary of the Interior
Annual report, Virgin Islands
Physical Description: v. : tab. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Virgin Islands of the United States -- Governor
Publisher: for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
Place of Publication: Washington
Creation Date: 1932
Frequency: annual
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Virgin Islands of the United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage: United States Virgin Islands
Numbering Peculiarities: Report covers fiscal year.
General Note: Title varies slightly.
General Note: Vols. for 1925/26 issued as Senate document 170, U.S. 69th Congress, 2d session.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01235215
lccn - 26027791
issn - 0363-3438
System ID: UF00015459:00008

Table of Contents
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        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1933
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Full Text

HAROLD L. ICKES, Secretary







* ::'. : *. **
. ........


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, DR. - Pri e 5 eent


Summary of work__ ------------------------------------------- 1
Exports and imports------------------------------------------- 3
The proposed organic act----------------------------------------- 4
Hotel and tourist trade------------------------------------------- 5
Homesteading-------------------------------------------------- 5
Cattle raising--------------------------------------------------- 6
Proposed drydock for St. Thomas----------------------------------- 6
Fresh vegetables------------_-- -- -------------------------- 6
Social welfare-------------------------------------------------- 7
The banking situation-------------------------------------------- 7
Review of United States sovereignty-------------------------------- 8
Tax revision needed ----------------------------------------- 9
Department of education----------------------------------------- 10
Department of handcraft .-------.----. --------------------------- 11
Judiciary department ------------------------------------------- 11
The agricultural station------------------------------------------ 11
Federal appropriation--....--------------------------------------- 12



August 31, 1933.
Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.
SIR: I have the honor to submit the following report of the Gover-
nor of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1933.
A brief summary of projects begun, continued, or completed shows
the principal activities which have engaged the time and effort of
the Virgin Islands administration:
At the request of the Governor, and with the approval of the
Department of the Interior, five bills were introduced into Congress
at the second session of the Seventy-second Congress.
Coastwise shipping law.-Following the adoption of a resolution
by the St. Thomas Harbor Board urging that the United States
coastwise shipping laws be amended to exclude the Virgin Islands
from their application, there was introduced into the Seventy-second
Congress, first session, a bill to suspend their application to the
Virgin Islands. The bill was passed by the Senate and passed favorably
and reported by the House Committee on Merchant Marine, Radio,
and Fisheries, which held extended hearings on it. But in the pres-
sure in the closing days there was no action by the House. The bill
was reintroduced and favorably considered in the second session of
the Seventy-second Congress, but was not reached on the calendar.
Extending the provisions of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation
to the Virgin Islands.-A bill to extend the provisions of the Recon-
struction Finance Corporation to the Virgin Islands was introduced
into both Houses (H.R. 13657 and S. 5126). The bill was favorably
reported by the Senate Committee on Banking, but was not con-
sidered by the House committee.
Transshipment of liquors.-Identical bills (H.R. 14140 and S. 5034)
were introduced into both Houses to permit admission under bond of
intoxicating liquors into the Virgin Islands for transshipment. This
legislation would have given the Virgin Islands the same status as
that given the Canal Zone by the National Prohibition Act. The
bill was favorably considered by the Senate committee after a hearing,
but did not reach a hearing by the House committee.
The load line law.-Identical bills (H.R. 13813 and S. 5037) were
introduced into both Houses to make the load line law applicable to
16210-33 1



the Panama Canal Zone and thus remedy the disadvantageous posi-
tion in which the port of St. Thomas was placed by reason of the
application of the law to St. Thomas and not to the Panama Canal
Zone. Hearings were held by the Senate committee, but none by the
House committee.
A civil government for Virgin Islands.-Identical bills (H.R. 14319
and S. 5457) were introduced into both Houses of Congress to provide
a permanent form of civil government for the Virgin Islands to take
the place of the present "Temporary government for the Virgin
Islands" created by the act of Congress of March 3, 1917. Joint
hearings were held by the Committees on Insular Affairs, but no
report was agreed upon by the committees.
Of the above legislation, all but the load line law should be rein-
troduced at the next session of Congress. The load line law as
recently agreed to by international convention appears to give to the
port of St. Thomas such advantages and limitations as given to the
Canal Zone.
Four additional scholarships have been secured for Virgin Islands
teachers to study in the United States under pledge to return to
teach in the Islands. The eight scholarships now secured within the
past 2 years are: Hampton Institute, 2; Howard University, 2;
Tuskegee Institute, 2; Spelman College, 1; Moorhouse College, 1.
The improvement in school work done by teachers is shown by an
increased enrollment of 7 percent, most of which is of pupils above the
required school age.
As there is now a 12-year high school in St. Thomas, some teachers
who have not before had the privilege have enrolled in the high school
for further study. As the first problem of improving the educational
system is to give the teachers opportunities for study and training,
this fact is significant.
Hot lunches for needy school children have continued throughout
the year, through funds made available by the Golden Rule Founda-
tion, and assistance from local sources, especially from the products
of the school gardens.
Rhythm bands have been conducted in every school, using a few
donated instruments, but using mostly instruments which the children
have made-drums, cymbals, fifes, etc.
Extension work for adults was begun in several schoolhouses.
Saturday classes for teachers were carried on.
A dozen additional pianos were given by persons in New York,
brought to the islands freight free, and given to schools and community
The government has acquired title to the famous Bluebeard Castle
estate and plans have been prepared for building a hotel on that site.
The Lindbergh Bay estate in St. Thomas has been acquired for
homesteading, surveyed in parcels of from 2 to 10 acres, roads built,
and all of the plots settled by homesteaders on the selective plan. At
least a part of each plot has been put into cultivation.
Whim and La Grande Princesse estates in St. Croix have also been
acquired, surveyed into plots averaging about 6 acres each, roads



built, homesteaders selected for the 1,400 cultivatable acres, and the
homesteaders assisted and instructed in improved crop production.
Thus the plans developing through two years have been put into
effect. Men and women (many of the homesteaders are women)
who before could only rent are now able to acquire their little farms
by annual payments at one third of what they previously paid in rent.
The number of ships of over 100 tons register calling at the port of
St. Thomas was 472, compared with 460 of the previous year; with
a gross tonnage of 1,850,827, as compared with 2,002,098 of the
previous year. Ships bunkered with coal and oil were 182, compared
with 185 last year, and 267 the previous year.
Cattle exports increased 6 percent in number, but the price was
30 percent below last year's level.
The number of transient tourists fell off greatly when only three
tourist ships called, as compared with 11 which called last year. The
number of winter residents, however, remained about the same.
Bay rum exports increased by 20,000 gallons.


1932-33 1931-32 1930-31

Imports into the Virgin Islands:
Total foreign and domestic 1 -..-... ...--------------...... .. $1,350.319 $1,415,915 $1,769,420
Less bunker coal and oil ..----------------------- 323, 960 389, 111 567,746
Net foreign and domestic i .-----.. .......----------.. 1,026,359 1,026,804 1,201,674
Including cattle (1,094 head) a... .----------. (880) 12,807 (660)11,418 7,575
Including other edible livestock and poultry (4,580 head) -.-- 5,934 6, 523 --.........
Including other foreign foodstuffs 4...--.......................... 96, 804 75, 413 116, 470
Including cigars and other tobaccos .......- ---.. ----- 30, 897 31, 895 41, 214
Including foreign dairy products 4------....------ ----- ---- 14,190 9.481 ..........--
Including foreign fish products ---------------------------- 4,569 2,344 .........-
Including charcoal (9,604 bags) 3 ---------------------------- 5, 143 5,174 7,289
Post-office money orders issued largely for mail-order merchandise,
not above included---....--....--...----------... ---------.. 151,074 199, 008 -..........
Warehouse entries-----..............................------------- 112,690 134, 932 -..........
Warehouse withdrawals-------........ ----------------------------- 91, 815 121,693 ............
Exports from the Virgin Islands:
Total foreign and domestic ..------...-...... .--------. -- 597, 146 458,694 656, 532
Total native products -.--_. ---- ---------------- 437,705 338.804 (6)
Including sugar- ...--------- ---- --------.. ---- 305, 794 171,123 300,339
Including cattle (1,957 head)------------- -------------- 43, 335 56, 197 85,309
Including hides and skins--...-------.--------- ---------- -- 3, 614 (6) (6)
Including bay rum (78,803 gallons) ------------..------- --- 43, 568 39,341 85, 624
Including other alcohol products ---.---------- -- ------ 6, 668 3, 945 24, 958
Including vegetables .----.----------- ---------------- 18, 302 None None
Including other native products .------- .. ---- -------..---. 15,144 23,815 (6)

Total United States exports to Virgin Islands (including bunker coal):
1932 .------------------------------------------------- $929,980
1931 ... ......................................... ---------------------------------- 1,250,000
1930 ---------------------........ ---.................. ----------------------------- 1,673,000
1929-- ...-- ...----------..................----- ------- ------------------------------ 2,298,000
1928. ..........-----------... .----------------------------- 2,277,000
Total United States imports from Virgin Islands:
1932 ..............................------------ ------------------------- 405, 163
1931 ..........................------------- -----.. ---------------------------------. 409,000
1930 ---- ---... ...........------------------------------------------- ----------- 768,000
1929 .......................................-------- -------------------------------- 603,000
1928----......................... .-- ------------------------ 1,195,000
1 Merchandise entering through the mail not included in these figures.
2 Bunkers are deducted for true comparison of imports and exports because the sale of coal and fuel oil to
ships does not show among exports, which they virtually are.
3 Almost entirely from the neighboring islands of the British West Indies.
4 Detailed figures of imports from the United States are not kept in the Virgin Islands, but are kept by
the Department of Commerce in Washington, and are available in the annual reports of that Department.
5 Includes returned and reshipped goods, but not sales of bunker coal and oil.
6 Figures not available.

The St. Thomas Improvement Committee has raised locally suf-
ficient money to fence and clear, and maintain for the first year,
17 acres recently made available for a public park of the botanical
garden type. The Lindbergh Bay Beach Club has been organized
and has leased the desirable beach on Lindbergh Bay fenced the
property and cleared the bush.
A social survey of the Virgin Islands was made during the year,
following which it is hoped to secure public support for the program
growing out of this survey. The program includes a girls' home and
and orphan boys' farm, where they may be cared for and directed
until private homes can be found for them. The program includes
also public bathing beaches and a recreational park as a memorial
to Alexander Hamilton.
The school gardens were continued throughout the year, and a large
increase in the number of kitchen gardens was secured.
After committees from the Colonial Councils of the municipalities
of St. Croix and of St. Thomas and St. John had fully discussed the
matter, and after each had written drafts of a new organic act, a
bill prepared with the advice of the Solicitor of the Interior Depart-
ment and approved by the Secretary of the Interior, was introduced
into both Houses of the Seventy-second Congress, second session, and
public hearings were held by the joint Committees on Insular Affairs.
After 15 years the Virgin Islands are still "The Temporary Govern-
ment of the Virgin Islands", which would indicate that they have
only a step-child relation to Uncle Sam's family. It was expected
that the temporary act passed hurriedly in 1917 would soon be re-
placed by a permanent law. But the years have dragged on, and
though an attempt was made to pass a permanent organic act in
1926, the attempt failed.
Some of the leading provisions of the proposed act are:
Universal suffrage.-At present there is only male suffrage in the
Virgin Islands, and that for persons of 25 years. The suffrage is
further limited by a property qualification which makes it impossible
for most of the people to vote. Because of these limitations, only 1
out of 22 of the population can qualify as a voter.
Limiting the Governor's veto.-At present any act of the Colonial
Councils may be disapproved by the Governor. The new act pro-
vides that when any bill has been disapproved by the Governor, the
Colonial Council concerned may repass the bill by a two thirds vote,
and when so passed, the bill will be transmitted to the President of
the United States for final action.
Virgin Islands statutes retained.-The proposed act provides that
the body of laws and ordinances developed during the history of the
islands shall remain in force, except such as are in conflict with this
act or with the laws of the United States.
The statutory laws of the United States hereinafter enacted shall
not apply to the Virgin Islands, except when specifically so provided.
Taxes and internal revenues, etc., to be imposed and collected by
the local governments.


Delegate to Congress.-The new act asks for an island delegate to
(Congress to be elected by a majority of all the voters.
This act should be reintroduced at the next session of Congress.

The -scarcity. of proper hotel accommodations in St. Thomas has
:been of long standing and wide recognition. The rehabilitation plan
.drawn for the islands in 1931 called for hotel improvement either by
new construction or by remodeling. None of the appropriated funds
were made available for this purpose until the spring of 1933. Nego-
tiations were then concluded for the purchase of the Bluebeard Castle
property, which comprises 54 hilltop acres along the eastern bay and
includes the historic Bluebeard Castle. That the Virgin Islands have
the scenery, climate, and health conditions to attract tourists seems
to be the unanimous opinion of those who visit the place.

Sixty families have been allotted small homestead plots provided
by the Federal Government for that purpose at Lindbergh Bay
,estate, St. Thomas. This land was purchased in October 1932 and
was allotted in January 1933 after proper survey. Under the home-
stead plan these plots which vary from 3 to 8 acres are being sold on a
:20-year plan which amortizes principal and 4 percent interest.
The six estates known collectively as "Whim", and located in the
*southwest portion of St. Croix near Frederiksted, contain 1,450 acres
-of land, of which about 850 were found to be well suited to horticul-
ture, although they have for many years been in pasture. One hun-
,dred and forty-five homesteads of slightly varying size were laid out
*on these 850 acres, together with suitable roads. By February first,
,most of these plots were in the hands of homesteaders to whom they
had been.allotted by selection and drawing from nearly 300 applicants.
.At the close of this fiscal year the 135 homesteaders have more than
400 acres of growing cane with several hundred additional acres
plowed and planted or ready for other crops.
'The cost of this land, its surveys, roads, plowing, cane tops, seed-
lings, and implements which have also been supplied, will average
less than $240 per 6-acre plot, and the amortization of that amount
.at 4 percent requires an annual payment of only $18.26, whereas
the customary rental charged natives for 6 acres of comparable land
is about $50 a year and has until recently been $72 a year.
On the 712-acre estate known as "La Grande Princesse", located
:in the northeastern section of the island near Christiansted, and also
purchased in the fall of 1932, nearly 500 acres were found suitable
for homestead allotment. The acre price of Princesse land, together
with development and aid, is about 50 percent higher than land on
the Whim project.
In these homesteading projects lies St. Croix's chief security for the
future. When, as here, the 1930 census shows only 193 farms, in-
cluding 77 of less than 10 acres, and only 91 owners and part owners,
and yet 1,749 'of the 3,269 total workers are engaged in agriculture,
the economic conditions and dangers are obvious. Those dangers
became realities in 1930 when the West Indian Sugar Factory closed
,and the Red Cross had to feed thousands for months. The wider


ownership of land and its cultivation for subsistence as well as for
commercial crop is imperative for St. Croix's economic safety even if
sugar development progresses.
Most of St. Thomas' best land is given over to cattle raising.
Although no definite figures are available, it is estimated that 2,278
head reported in the 1930 census have probably grown to over
3,000 head at the present time. Though our production has been
normal, shipments to Puerto Rico (our only market) have been
fewer because the offered price was in many cases not acceptable.
About 40 percent of St. Thomas' cattle are kept chiefly for milk
production for the local market; the remainder is raised for the beef
market here and in Puerto Rico.
Of St. Croix's land, 80 percent is given over to the raising of cattle
and is owned by a score of men. Under the conditions that have ob-
tained in the sugar industry, particularly during the past few years,
this seems to be the safest use which estate owners have been able to
find for their land; but such use presents an economic problem in that
cattle raising employs so little labor, and cattle lands pay only about
one quarter the acre tax of cane lands.
In the spring of 1932 the St. Thomas Harbor Board was authorized
to issue bonds for the building or purchase of a drydock to replace
the one which sank in 1928 and to restore the docking service which
St. Thomas had afforded for many years prior to that time. Plans
and estimates for construction and operation of a graving dock that
will accommodate any ship likely to call upon its services have been
prepared. If this project should proceed, the normal business
definitely in sight for such a dock would need to be supplemented
only by a few of the smaller government vessels that might be sent
here; and in addition to these the very existence of such a modern
dock here would undoubtedly attract additional business. The
construction of the dock would answer the immediate and future
employment problem of St. Thomas.
During previous years occasional small shipments of tomatoes or
other green vegetables have been made to the New York market
during the winter season, but in the fall of 1932 the first real coopera-
tive action was undertaken when 26 men combined to grow and
market tomatoes of a specific variety under a definite contract with
a New York commission merchant. With guidance and material aid
from the agricultural experiment station, some 70 acres were planted
and more than 7,000 lugs were shipped, despite the fact that only
about two thirds of the members of the association went through with
their part of the project. The high yield was 184 lugs per acre.
Despite certain failures and handicaps, natural to this experimental
phase, and that the planting was not so timed as to take available
advantage of normal price fluctuation by months, the project proved
profitable for the majority of the growers.


Present estimates indicate that the acreage planted to tomatoes for
the coming season will be practically treble that of the past. This,
together with the lessons learned last fall, gives promise of a con-
siderable measure of success and indicates that St. Croix may now be
launched upon a new industry of considerable proportions. It is to
be remembered, however, that the increased tariffs placed upon im-
ported vegetables about 2 years ago is responsible for this experiment
and will be necessary for its continued success.

During the Danish administration individuals and societies in Den-
mark took a vital, substantial, and continuing interest in the welfare
of Virgin Islanders. Public funds, trust funds, legacies, and the like
were established by the government, by individuals, and by organiza-
tions. In St. Croix there are 12 such funds, with a total capital of
$237,000. In St. Thomas there are 11 such funds, with a total capital
of $114,000. These funds are administered by the government.
In St. Croix a valuable building with grounds, which the Danish
society previously operated as an orphans' home, is now available for
charitable use.

At the time of the change in sovereignty, 1917, the United States
Congress continued a charter granted by the Danish State to the
National Bank of the Danish West Indies. That charter expires
June 20, 1934, when a new bank must take its place.
The official currency of the Virgin Islands is the franc, of which
5.18265 are equivalent to $1 United States currency, on a gold basis.
The only bank of issue for this currency is the National Bank of the
Danish West Indies, which was granted this exclusive privilege. At
the time of an examination of this bank by H. N. Stronck, national-
bank examiner, February 22, 1932, the note issue amounted to
961,480 francs, or approximately $184,000 (U.S.) of which approxi-
mately $139,300 (U.S.), or 75.4 percent, is covered by the bank's
initial fund, as against 37.5 percent required by the terms of the
On February 22, 1932, the bank's deposit position was:
Savings deposits ------------------------------------------ $764, 640. 52
Certificates of deposit ------------------------------------- 147, 770. 68
Checking accounts---------------------------------------- 279, 856. 74
Total deposits-------------------------------------- 1, 192, 267. 94
Its earning-assets position was as follows:
Bonds and securities------------------------------------- $1, 151, 292. 14
Real-estate mortgage loans------------------------------ 87, 375.22
Loans secured by personal and other security ---------------- 90, 392. 81
Discounted bills----------------------------------------.. 90, 711. 55
Cash credits-------------------------------------- 25, 579. 17
Earning assets-----------------------------------.. 1, 445, 350. 89
The time is now very short, and the need imperative for a new
bank to be established. The administration is at work on this
problem, is hopeful that the necessary work be completed in time.

In reviewing the results of the 16 years of United States sovereignty
since 1917, the following items are important:
The death rate has been reduced from an average of 35.6 per
thousand during the years 1909 to 1917 to an average of 22.8 per
thousand during the years 1918 to 1923. The death rate in 1933
was 20.6 per thousand.
The average annual expenditure for health and sanitation has been
increased from $61,791.72 during the years 1909 to 1917 to $144,256.56
during the years 1918 to 1933, an increase of 133 percent. The
expenditure for health and sanitation in 1933 was $107,326.82.
Despite a decrease of 15 percent in the population of the Virgin
Islands from 1917 to 1930, there has been an increase of 15 percent in
school attendance.
The average annual expenditure for education has been increased
from $17,153.57 during the years 1910 to 1917 to $73,889.07 during
the years 1918 to 1933, an increase of 330 percent. The expenditure
for education in 1933 was $94,481.40.
The average annual amount of savings deposits increased from
$359,180.19 during the years 1909 to 1917 to $885,103.96 during the
years 1918 to 1933, an increase of 150 percent. Savings deposits in
1933 totaled $865,931.65. These figures do not include time
deposits of approximately $87,000.
Trade with the United States increased from an annual average of
$1,217,700 during the years 1909 to 1917 to $3,129,558 during the
years 1918 to 1931, an increase of 150 percent. This does not include
money orders issued annually to an amount of $452,412, although it
is estimated that 90 percent of such money orders are sent for mail
orders of merchandise.
The exportation and sale of bay rum has increased from an annual
average of 20,889 gallons during the years 1909 to 1917 to 81,270
gallons during the years 1918 to 1933, an increase of 289 percent.
In the years from 1909 to 1917 the annual average number of ships
paying pilotage was 380, paying an annual average of $6,223.08. In
the years from 1918 to 1933 the annual average was 370 ships, paying
$11,567.61, an increase of 86 percent in the amount paid. The figures
for 1933 are 343 ships paying $8,583.50.
In St. Croix the average annual direct and indirect taxes from
1908 to 1917 was $154,650.33, or $10.08 per capital, while for the 10
years from 1922 to 1931 the average was $111,544.73, or $9.77 per
capital, or an average annual decrease of $43,105.60, or 28 percent.
In St. Thomas the percentage was approximately the same. The per
capital tax in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John, based on
actual collections for 1933, was $8.16, while that for St. Croix was
Any study of the accomplishments of the American administration
during the past 16 years and of the benefits which have inured to the
people as a result thereof must take into consideration the negative
side-that is, those benefits which Virgin Islanders have lost during
that period whether attributable to the American occupation or not.
It is true that large congressional appropriations have been made for
the cost of the government, for municipal deficits, for essential
public-works projects, and recently for an important rehabilitation
project. On the other hand Danish paternalism, while not including

financial contributions as extensive as the Federal appropriations
have been, included the promoting of industrial and commercial
enterprises of major proportions either through private capital with
government backing or with financial assistance of the government,
and the creation of special funds whose uses were limited by charter
to public aid and relief of the needy.
During the American occupation, although not directly attributable
thereto, the Virgin Islands have lost the commercial activity of the
Hamburg American Line, whose West Indian headquarters were
located at St. Thomas. Ships of this company and of other com-
panies such as the French Line, the Danish lines, etc., employed native
labor extensively in cargo-checking and incidental work. The un-
certainty of the time of application of the coastwise shipping laws of
the United States to the Virgin Islands has operated, it is believed,
to the detriment of the Port of St. Thomas by deterring foreign
companies from making any investments of a permanent or extensive
nature. In similar manner, the load line act has operated to the
detriment of the Port of St. Thomas. Liquor transshipment, with
St. Thomas as a transshipping center, has been made impossible
because of federal prohibition. The islands, too, have suffered from
too frequent changes of governmental control due to the policy, under
the naval administration, of assigning officers for 2 year periods of
service in the island government.
Since the United States sovereignty of the islands, wise and generous
appropriations have been made to provide a government, increase
the standard of living, meet the municipal deficits, and provide certain
essential projects. But no private United States capital has been
invested in the islands and, intensified by the world depression which
affects the people here as elsewhere, the economic conditions require
some major projects in order that there be something like a fair chance
for the people of the islands to make a living.
It is an unfortunate but important fact to note that though the
United States has now governed these islands for 16 years, there is
not now $20,000 of private American capital invested.
Like other laws in the municipalities of St. Croix and of St. Thomas
and St. John, the tax laws are different in the two municipalities.
In the municipality of St. Croix the direct taxes include ground and
building; percentage (4 percent of actual annual rental value of
buildings); immigration (10 cents an acre of land in cultivation);
quarter percent (one-fourth of 1 percent of recorded face value of
mortgages); income; horse, carriage, and boat; automobile; and road
taxes. The indirect taxes in the municipality of St. Croix include
import and export duty; gasoline; ships' dues; stamp; vendue;
cranage, etc.; court fees; burgher briefs; and passport fees. Under
sundry revenues are included fines and confiscations; revenues from
prison trades; returns from sanitary work; corporation fees; and
telephone charges.
In the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John the sources of
revenue are essentially the same, though a few items are different
and the rate is different in many items. The rate of the real property
tax in St. Thomas cannot be greater than 1 percent. In St. Croix
the property tax rate for the 10-year period 1908-17 is 1.22 percent.


In the 10-year period from 1922 to 1931 the property tax rate is 1.17
The tax laws in both municipalities are in serious need of revision,
in order that they may be more collectible. As an illustration of the
inequity and unwisdom of the land law in St. Croix, there may be
cited the case of certain small holders to whom a tract of 30 acres was
sold in 1932. The estate owners from whom the land was purchased
paid an annual tax of $7 for the area, which was then in bush. When
the small holders purchased, cleared, and cultivated the same 30
acres, the annual tax was increased to $24. Similarly, in the town of
St. Croix, the ground and building tax falls with equal rate upon each
square ell of building space, regardless of whether the building is in
the most convenient and most valuable district of the town, or
whether it is on an inaccessible hillside within the town limits. The
exemptions under the ground and building and percentage taxes
operate, as does the difference in land-tax rates in the country districts
between the cultivated and uncultivated land, to keep property in
idleness or to reward owners for holding property for speculative
purposes. Land in cultivation is taxed 70 cents an acre, regardless of
its value, while pasture land is taxed $0.133 per acre and waste land is
taxed 1 cent an acre.
Congressional committees and special observers who come from the
United States to report on the islands have unanimously pointed out
the inequality of the taxes in the Virgin Islands and the necessity for
their revision.
Since the general opinion of observers is that improvement in the
Virgin Islands will depend upon education, effort is directed toward
improving the school system and toward providing opportunity for
adult education.
The school system.-In the school system, improvement is to be
noted, as the following facts, reported by the director of education,
There were 120 teachers and 3,411 pupils enrolled, with an average attendance
of 94.82 percent. Besides these, there are 1,208 children enrolled in private
There is a marked improvement in the work of students and teachers. The
results of achievement tests, teachers' examinations, and competitive scholarship
examinations, all showed a decided improvement over similar tests of past
An increased attendance of 212 for the year, mostly of pupils above school age,
indicates that the school system is increasingly interesting and attractive to
children and to parents.
To improve the quality of teachers, who have no opportunity in the Virgin
Islands to take special training for their work, a summer school has been con-
ducted in recent years, and Saturday classes for teachers have continued through-
out the year. In addition, scholarships in the States have been secured, where
now there are eight Virgin Islanders studying, under pledge to return to the
islands to teach. The 1932 summer school offered opportunities in both the prin-
cipal islands for all teachers. There was nearly 100 percent attendance.
Occupational training.-The very definite attempt which is being
made to give practical education through occupational training is
indicated by the following mentioned in the director's report:
School gardens are grown by practically every school, where the produce is
used for school lunches, which are prepared and served by the children. Occupa-
tional opportunities in the Senior High School in St. Thomas have been greatly
increased in- cooking and general domestic science, in woodwork (especially


cabinetmaking), in basketry, and in pottery. The Vocational Institute in St.
Croix (senior high school) has required training on the agricultural station in
poultry, dairy, planting and harvesting fruit and grain crops, making their own
shoes, in automotive mechanics, and in carpentry. Walks, flowerpots, and part
of the building, is the result of the boys' work under the direction of their
Extension work from agricultural station.-A tabulation of figures
shows the variety and quantity of the extension work done by the
staff of the agricultural station, and indicates the emphasis placed on
the adult education. Experimental work has been reduced to the
minimum: Demonstrations planned on farms and in homes, 123;
individual consultations or visits to farms, 2,148; agricultural con-
ferences held, 84; "Method" demonstrations given, 158; number of
agricultural meetings held, 223; attendance at meetings (total),
11,831; bulletins and pamphlets distributed, 1,981; and sheets of
mimeographed matter distributed, 45,356.
Despite the general depression and the decrease from 12 to 3 tourist
ships visiting St. Thomas during the season, the department of hand-
craft has carried on satisfactorily. The new line of pottery has found
sales outlets in 2 of the largest department stores in New York,
and 1 in Chicago. The general handcraft line is selling at the Cen-
tury of Progress in Chicago, and a shipment of 18Y2 metric tons of
Virgin Islands fish pots was sold to the Government of American
Samoa. Part-time work has been furnished to 436 people.

The District Court for the Virgin Islands, and the police courts at
St. Thomas, Frederiksted, and Christiansted, report a normal year.
There was no charge of murder or voluntary manslaughter. No case
of drunkenness was brought into the courts. The largest number of
cases were for disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, and prac-
tically all cases were of minor offenses.
The director of the station reports that the work of the station staff
was largely directed toward such major projects as shown in the
emphasis on research, on extension especially, and on such advice as
would be made immediately available to the farmers. The extension
work is given in some detail under the head of adult education else-
where in this report.
Rainfall was 66.43 inches at the station in St. Croix, which is 23
inches above the 80-year average. The price of farm labor was re-
duced by from 10 to 20 percent. Farm prices were approximately
two thirds of pre-war prices, and the cost of living nearly one third
higher. Farm prices for sugar dropped 25 percent during the past 3
years, while that of cattle dropped 50 percent during the same period.
At the same time, payment of debts, mortgages, interest, local taxes,
etc., little or not at all. To pay $100 of such obligations, the farmer
must exchange produce which 3 years ago would have been worth
approximately $250. The work of the station, therefore, has been
directed to securing greater yield at less production cost. To this end,


the station has introduced a number of vegetables-varieties that
grow better in the islands, or are more profitable to grow. Better
growing methods have demonstrated a lower production cost int
growing cane.
The station operated on a 60-percent reduction compared with the-
previous year, and the staff was given triple duties-the station, ex-
tension service, and the vocational institute-where all members;
taught classes and directed the students' work in the station fields..
In the vocational institute, the staff members taught 15 courses.
The "Field Day" demonstration had an attendance of about 5,00(y
persons, who examined the exhibits of farm produce, school and indi-
vidual handwork, and listened to members of the staff in demonstra-
tions of various farm and home projects.

The Federal funds available for 1933 were derived from a direct
appropriation of $412,000 and the unobligated balances of the 1932'
appropriation amounting to $225,971.10, which made a total appro-
priation of $637,971.10, which is summarized as follows:
Central administration: For salaries of Governor, staff, other em-
ployees, maintenance and repairs of government houses, St.
Thomas and St. Croix, and other Federal property; interisland
transportation between St. Thomas and St. John; office supplies
and expenses-----......-----..----..----------- $150, 613. 00'
Salaries and expenses of agricultural station and vocational school- 47, 320. 00~
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John--..-------.. -- 112, 032. 00'
Municipality of St. Croix ------------------...------- .. 124, 355. 00'
Homestead project, St. Thomas and St. Croix ---------------- 97, 000. 00
Hotel project, St. Thomas-------------------_-----_------- 60, 436. 22"
Construction and maintenance of roads and buildings, and pur-
chase of equipment, St. Thomas and St. Croix ---------------- 30, 763. 78-
Malaria eradication, books, translations, interisland radio, summer
school, purchase of supplies, and traveling expenses to United
States -..----- ---- ------------------------------ 15, 451. 10
Total----.--.--------------------------...---.. 637, 971. 10I
The retrenchment in all Federal appropriations during the month
of May and the establishment of a cash withdrawal basis for 1934
expenditures immediately affected the 1933 appropriation. The
$40,000 available for the hotel project was impounded as part of the
program to balance the National Budget. The municipality of St.
Croix lost $14,355 for operating expenses because revenues were
insufficient on a dollar-for-dollar basis to take advantage of this
amount and which was administratively impounded and not available
in 1934. The municipality of St. Thomas and St. John lost $2,032
for the same reason. Salary impoundments together with other un-
expended balances not possible of proper utilization before June 30,
1933, made a further reduction of $24,811.12 in the Appropriation
for 1933. These reductions aggregated $81,198.22 and reduced the
appropriation from $637,971.10 to $556,772.88, which represents the-
total Federal expenditures for 1933.
Very respectfully submitted.
PAUL M. PEARSON, Governor.