Front Cover
 Title Page
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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/UF00015459/00010
 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: 1934
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: UF00015459:00010

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1935
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Full Text


HAROLD L. ICKES, Secretary









For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C. - Price 5 cents

The President's visit .-------------------------------------------- 1
General trends of the year..--------------------------------------- 1
Legislation ----------------------------------------------------- 2
Fiscal------------------------------------------------------- 2
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John ----------------------- 2
Municipality of St. Croix----------------------------------- -- 3
St. Thomas Harbor Board ----------------------------------- 4
The Federal appropriation------------------------------------- 4
The national-recovery program -------------------------------- 5
Activities under the national recovery program--.--------------------- 5
Emergency conservation work------------------------------------ 6
Public works -------------------------------------------------- 7
Recovery activities ------------------------------------------ 7
Normal activities ------------------------------------------- 8
Fire departments -_--------------------------------------------. 8
Health.------ ----------------------------------------------- 8
Malaria------------------------------------------------------ 9
Antityphoid campaign- -------------------------------------- 9
Filariasis -------------------------------------------------- 9
Communicable diseases-------------------------------------- 10
Public health ------------------------------------------------ 10
Hospital service------------------------------------------- 11
Health institutions ----------------------- ------------ 11
Education _--------------------------------------------------- 12
Enrollment ----------------------------------------------- 12
School buildings ------------------------------------------- 12
Curriculum------------------------------------------------ 12
Vocational institute ---------------------------------------- 12
Scholarships in United States universities------------------------ 13
Adult education _------------------------------------------ 13
Nursery schools -------------------------------------------- 13
Health and welfare work through the schools --------------------- 13
Local attitudes toward education------------------------------- 14
Public welfare _-------------------------------------------------- 14
Emergency relief activities ----------------------------------- 15
Public beach house-------------------------------------------. 15
Botanical garden, St. Thomas ----------------------- ----- 16
Public libraries -------------------------------------------------- 16
Police and courts _--------------------------------------------- 16
Banking ------------------------------------------------------ 17
Industry and agriculture------- --------------- ---------------- 17
Tourist trade, St. Thomas --------------- -------------- -- 17
The Bluebeard Castle Hotel------------------------------ 17
Improving hotel and recreational facilities-------------------- 18
Harbor trade, St. Thomas --_------------------------------.. 18
Shipping ----------------------------------------------. 18
Bunkering of ships------------------------------------ 18
Dredging_ --------------------------------------------- 18
Steamship and air service- -------------------------------- 19


Industry and agriculture-Continued. Page
Bay rum and bay oil .----------------------------------- ---- 19
Sugar and rum_ --------------------------------------- -- 19
St. Croix---- ----------------------------------- 19
The Virgin Islands Co--------------------------------- 19
Private operators ----------------------------------. 20
Total sugar and rum production------------------------ 20
St. Thomas ..- .. --------------------------------------- 20
Cattle ----------------------------------------------------- 20
Winter vegetables --------------------------------------------- 21
Homesteading ..-- --------- ------------------------------- 21
St. Croix ---------------------------------------------- 21
St. Thomas----------------- ------------------------ 22
Homestead housing--------------------------------------- -- -- 22
Handicraft ----------- ---------------------------------------- 23
Hooked rugs.... ------------------------------------- -- -- 24
Pottery ...------------------------ ------------24
Mahogany craft .-------------------------------------- --- 24
Jams and jellies.----------------------------------------- 24
Labor---------------------------------------------------------- 25
Organization of labor boards..--------------------------------- 25
St. John --------------------------------------- ----------26


August 31, 1935.
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, 1935.


The outstanding event of the year was the visit of President
Franklin D. Roosevelt, arriving at St. Thomas on the U. S. S.
Houston on July 7, 1934, and proceeding the next day to St. Croix.
Governor Pearson welcomed the President on board the Houston at
St. Thomas, and together they headed a long parade of cars con-
taining the members of the Colonial Council, Government officials,
and press representatives. The President visited a number of im-
portant governmental activities in each island, and at receptions
at the Government houses in St. Thomas and in Christiansted,
St. Croix, prominent citizens and officials were introduced to him.
To commemorate his visit, he placed a marker on a homestead house
in each island and at the new Bluebeard Castle Hotel in St. Thomas.


Despite a considerable reduction in activities of the National Re-
covery Program, improved private business, added to the several
emergency activities still being carried on, resulted in a fair measure
of employment during the year. Operations of the Virgin Islands
Co., with an average of 1,400 field and industrial workers in St. Croix
during half the year, greatly improved the employment picture.
The benefits to business accruing from the recovery activities of
the preceding year, when the program was at its peak, as well as
from other improvements in the economics of the islands, are evi-
denced by the income-tax collections this year. Totaling $28,970.25
for the two municipalities, they are more than double the collections
in the previous year.
The health record for the year has been equally gratifying, with
the lowest death and infant mortality rates on record for all time in


the Virgin Islands, and with malaria and typhoid under complete
control. In educational and welfare activities and in the promotion
of handicraft industries, homesteading, and other agricultural activ-
ities progress has been marked.

Appropriate legislation was passed by the Colonial Council of
St. Thomas and St. John to facilitate the liquidation of the National
Bank of the Danish West Indies and to enable transfer of funds to
the new Virgin Islands National Bank. A revolving fund for the
purchase and sale of drugs and medicines by the commissioner of
St. John was constituted with a loan from the hurricane-loan fund of
$200. An amendment to the ordinance for the recording of vital sta-
tistics, to provide for more accurate records, was passed. The collec-
tion of ships' dues on vessels discharging coal and fuel oil at St.
Thomas for the bunkering of ships calling at the port, suspended 2
years before by ordinance of the council, was further suspended for
a period of 2 years from July 1, 1935, to July 1, 1937, in order to place
the port of St. Thomas in a favorable position to compete with other
West Indian bunkering stations and thus bring added business to
the port.
Legislation enacted by the Colonial Council of St. Croix included
extension for 1 year of the ordinance of 1933 imposing certain excise
taxes; an ordinance imposing certain additional excise taxes; an ordi-
nance authorizing and providing operating capital for government
liquor stores; an ordinance to control the sale of rum in St. Croix;
an ordinance regulating advances from the immigration fund for
assistance of planters and of other activities in promotion of agri-
culture and industry; and an ordinance for protection of wildlife.

The actual revenues of the municipality of St. Thomas and St.
John during 1934-35 showed a 38.5-percent increase over those of the
preceding fiscal year and 69.5-percent increase over those of 1932-33.
The following are the revenues collected during the last 3 fiscal years:
Fiscal year:
1932-33 ------------ ------------------------ $86, 524.10
1933-34--------------------------------------105, 898. 76
1934-35--------------------------------- -- 146, 650. 02
The increase in revenues during 1934-35 is accounted for princi-
pally by an increase of $19,000 in internal-revenue taxes, due to the
fact that this tax was in force during the entire fiscal year, whereas
it had been in force during only the last 5 months of the previous


year. In addition, the income-tax collections were about twice those
of the preceding year, $14,572.73 as compared with $7,198.54, due
largely to increased business attributable to the emergency activities;
customs dues increased by 29.5 percent, or $9,825.32, as compared
with $7,590.78, due to import duty on liquors; and the real-property
taxes increased by over $5,000, primarily because of the settlement of
10-year-old tax arrears on property in St. Thoms Harbor used by
the United States Shipping Board as a bunkering station during the
war. (These arrears were deducted from settlement made during the
year by the Shipping Board of rental claims for the property.)
The cost of the municipal government was approximately $234,000,
with actual expenditures of $209,024.70 and unliquidated obligations
estimated at $25,000. The expenditures, however, include a sum of
approximately $8,000 set aside in the internal-revenue tax special
fund, in accordance with the terms of the ordinance levying that tax,
for the purpose of road improvements in the municipality.
The major objects of expenditure actually made to June 30 are:

Amount percentage
of total ex-

Education. ....------- .... .--- ...... -...-.-- --------------.--. ... $51, 387. 98 22
H e a lth .. .. . .. ... .. .. ... .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. ... .. .. 4 4 0 4 5. 2 1 19
Health----------------------------------------------------------- 744,045.21 19
Public works.--..---------........................------------ 37,970.63 16
Police and prison ...............-..................------------------..-------................-------------.... 20,415.61 9
Welfare and poor ------........------......--------------------------.............. 9,914.95 4

Including the estimated obligations, the Federal Government will
pay 37 percent and the local government 63 percent of the cost of
operation of the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John during
the fiscal year 1935, when the difference of approximately $87,000
between local revenues and expenditures is met by Federal appro-

The actual revenues of the municipality of St. Croix during the
fiscal year 1934-35 showed an increase of 13.9 percent over those
for the preceding fiscal year and 26.8 percent over those for the
fiscal year 1932-33. The following are the revenues collected during
the last 3 years:
Fiscal year:
1932-33 -- ---------- ---------- $107, 440. 57
1933-34 ------------------------- -- 119, 663.25
1934-35------------------------- ------ 136,266. 58
The increase in revenues during the fiscal year 1934-35 is ac-
counted for principally by an increase of $8,000 in income taxes and


a loan of $9,000 from the immigration fund to permit the purchase
of modern fire equipment.
The cost of the municipal government was $229,022.43. The
major objects of expenditure were:

Amount percentage
of total ex-
Health--.......-- ___....._..... ___________-------_ ___ __ ______ $54,850.40 24
Education-.--.--.. ------ ----------------............_______ -___..- 46,237.84 20
Public works---.-----...--------.... ............-------- -... 39,451.53 17
Police and prison.... ....-----------..-------------------................ 27,383.18 12
Welfare and poor ...-..------..-----------.-... -------------........ 21,457.74 9

The Federal Government paid 41 percent and the local govern-
ment paid 59 percent of the cost of operation of the municipality
of St. Croix during the fiscal year 1934-35, when the difference of
$93,775.58 between local revenues and expenditures was met by Fed-
eral funds. Of this sum, $82,600 was covered by the annual congres-
sional appropriation for the municipal deficit, and the balance was
met by transfer of funds within the appropriations of the Interior
Department to offset partially the loss in revenue attributable to
the operations of the Virgin Islands Co. and the fact that the prop-
erties purchased by the United States in connection with the rehabili-
tation program paid no taxes to the municipality.
The loss of municipal revenue due to Federal ownership of prop-
erties in St. Croix incident to the rehabilitation program seriously
complicates the budgetary problems in that municipality, and early
relief is necessary. Legislation has been introduced in Congress to
accomplish this purpose.

Revenues of the board during the fiscal year totaled $26,860.57,
as compared with $28,018.58 the preceding year and $25,144.69 in
1932-33. The operating surplus of the year, $9,357.42, compares
with $11,875.69 the preceding year and $9,106.28 in 1932-33.

The appropriation "Temporary Government for the Virgin Is-
lands, 1935 ", as contained in the Interior Department Appropriation
Act, was as follows:
Central administration --------_______________---------------_ $117, S40
Agricultural station and vocational school --- ---------____________ 29, 96S
Deficit, municipality of St. Thomas and St. John--_______________ 90, 000
Deficit, municipality of St. Croix ----------------______________-___ 82, 600
Special projects- ----------------------________________________ 14, 350

Total _----------_________ ___________________- 334,758


The appropriation was supplemented by the following special
For Federal salary restorations-------------- ----------- $8,980.06
Transfers from other Interior Department appropriations:
For maintenance costs of central administration and
agricultural station and vocational school---------- $7, 895
To offset loss of municipal revenues, St. Croix, due to
Virgin Islands Co. operations--------------------- 12,390
-- 20.285. 00

Total ----- ----- ------------------------ 29, 265. 06
The total Federal appropriations made available for the Virgin
Islands as above was $364,023.06, the lowest figure since 1930.


Grants under the National Recovery Program for the Virgin
Islands during the year totaled $376,680, as follows:
Federal Emergency Relief:
To Virgin Islands government----------------- $162,700
To Virgin Islands Co ------ --------- 160, 000
----- $322, 700
National Industrial Recovery ---------- ----------53, 980

Total--...------------------------------------------ 376,680
Expenditures under the Recovery Program during the year totaled
$893,513.84, as follows:
Federal Emergency Relief:
St. Thomas and St. John------------------- $104,202.88
St. Croix-------------------------------- 75,637.16

Total, Virgin Islands government--_--------- 179, 840.04
The Virgin Islands Co----------------------- 22,041.91
$-201, 881. 95
National Industrial Recovery:
Virgin Islands government------------------- 135,790.49
Virgin Islands Co------------------------- 555, 841. 40

Total------------- ----------------------------- 893, 513.84
The excess of expenditures over grants was covered by balances
brought forward from grants during the preceding year.


The major employment under the Recovery Program has been
furnished through projects that will prove of lasting benefit. In
all three islands there has been much activity in road and street


construction, construction of new and remodeling of old public
school buildings, repairs to other Government buildings, and drain-
age and filling of swamps and other projects for malaria and
filariasis control and sanitation.
In addition, the individual economic problems of the two prin-
cipal islands were given special attention. In St. Croix, the major
emphasis was placed upon the rehabilitation of the sugar and rum
industry on a P. W. A. allotment on which the Virgin Islands Co.
was organized. In St. Thomas, where the hope for economic re-
covery lies largely in development of tourist trade, the program
included construction of automobile roads, of a tourist hotel, and
of tourist beach houses. Also, aid was furnished the new home-
steading project and the native handicraft industries, and projects
were set up for producing mattresses and other items for relief
The program was financed by monthly grants of $11,000 for the
entire Virgin Islands, exclusive of grants to the Virgin Islands Co.
and special grants for working capital for cooperatives. The
monthly grants proved wholly inadequate to provide work relief
for all persons in need. In St. Thomas, where the need was greatest,
only 332 persons out of a total of 2,034 eligible employables, or 16
percent of the total, were given work in the week with greatest
employment under the program during the year. As a result of
the inadequacy of grants, it was necessary to rotate the workers,
laying them off for several weeks after one week's work. Even
under this plan, in no month was it possible to give work assign-
ments to as many as 50 percent of the employables registered. As a
result of Virgin Islands Co. operations during the planting and
reaping season, the relief needs of St. Croix could be more ade-
quately taken care of during those periods, but otherwise the same
need was felt there as in the other two islands.
A total of 353,563 pounds of foodstuffs and 38,410 cans of milk
were distributed during the year to the most needy cases on the
relief rolls. The total receiving food relief in St. Thomas and St.
John was reduced from 4,682 persons in the preceding year to 2,965
in June 1935, with an even greater decrease in St. Croix.
Cash relief was resorted to for only a small percentage of the
relief work, with a total distributed of $1,232.87 in St. Thomas and
St. John and $733.37 in St. Croix.


The Emergency Conservation Work was inaugurated in the Virgin
Islands on January 29, 1935. Two camps were established, with 100
young men enrolled in St. Croix and 60 men in St. Thomas. En-


rollment in the St. Thomas camp has since increased to 100. Sub-
stantial and well-equipped camp buildings have been constructed,
the necessity to provide against hurricanes making it desirable to
provide sturdy housing units. The enrollees (limited to the ages
between 18 and 25 years) are benefiting by improved food and living
conditions and by trained supervision and direction of the healthy
outdoor work.
The projects include reforestation, soil-erosion control, roadside
planting, work on parks, fire trails, etc. In St. Thomas some of the
more interesting items accomplished are 4 miles of fire trails around
an important watershed area for protection of a reforestation project
there, fencing of this area, establishment of a forestry nursery with
a quarter million tree seedlings, and construction of a small reservoir
for the camp water system. In St. Croix, swamp drainage ditches
were completed in the vicinity of the camp, 2 miles of fire trails were
built around the Whim homesteading estate, and 5 acres of the Fred-
ericksted Park were partially reclaimed.


The public-works department in both municipalities continued to
carry a great load in directing construction work under the National
Recovery Program in the Virgin Islands, in addition to their normal
activities. The overload was estimated at 9 or 10 times the normal
volume of work.
Outstanding items in this program accomplished by the public-
works departments were the construction of the Bluebeard Castle
Hotel at St. Thomas (with 26 rooms and 16 baths, garage, servants
quarters, laundry building, and an extensive water-storage system);
construction of a tourist beach house (with 22 rooms, a pavilion,
showers, and toilets) at Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas, in addition to
the public-beach house erected there earlier; construction of E. C. W.
camps in both St. Thomas and St. Croix; construction of 7 new
school buildings (total capacity, 600 pupils) besides major repairs
and renewals to the other schoolhouses in the 3 islands; hard sur-
facing of 3 principal streets in the towns of St. Croix and of 4 city
streets and those surrounding the ball field in St. Thomas; repair
of dirt roads in the country districts; and drainage of swamps.
Much of this work was begun in the preceding fiscal year and com-
pleted during the year under report.
The important work of filling the large swamps at Lindbergh Bay
and Long Bay, St. Thomas, was undertaken by the United States
Army Engineering Service, using the Army dredge Houston. The


former was completed before June 30, but the latter was still under
way at the close of the fiscal year.

Regular maintenance work of the departments includes upkeeping
of all Government buildings, both Federal and municipal owned;
repair of streets and roads; maintenance of public reservoirs and
wells and of public sewer system and surface drains; street cleaning
and garbage collection; maintenance of public parks and ceme-
teries; public surveys and land records; supervision of street light-
ing performed under contract by private companies; and operation
of the municipal telephone systems in St. Thomas and St. Croix.
In St. Thomas, because of prolonged droughts, it was necessary
to issue approximately 6,000,000 gallons of water from the Gov-
ernment reservoirs constructed a decade or more ago to provide a
reserve supply of water for such emergencies. The sewer system
operated by the public works department is flushed by sea water
from a small reservoir on a hill behind the town which is filled
by a pumping unit on the seashore. Heavy expansion of the system
served by this reservoir necessitates replacement of the water and
sewer lines by larger ones. For this, funds are much needed. This
salt-water system has proven valuable besides for fire protection,
with hydrants located all over the city.

During the year two new, modern fire engines were secured for
the two towns of St. Croix similar to the one secured the year before
for St. Thomas. There were no serious fires during the year in any
of the islands. Only two houses, both small, were lost by fire. In
St. Thomas the fire department is operated by the public works
department. In St. Croix it is a separate unit.

The following statistics concerning the death and infant mortality
rates indicate an upward trend in health in the Virgin Islands:
The death rate for the calendar year 1934 shows the lowest annual figure
on record for the Virgin Islands, 19 per thousand of population. This is a
little more than half the annual average of 35.4 per thousand for the 7 years
(1911-17) immediately preceding the transfer, and 17-percent decrease from
the annual average of 23.1 per thousand during the period 1918-30. In 1933
the rate was 21.9 per thousand.
The infant mortality rate of 97.4 per thousand children born alive during the
calendar year 1934 is the lowest rate in the Virgin Islands on record, and
compares with an annual average of 320 per thousand for the 7 years (1911-17)
immediately preceding the transfer to United States sovereignty, and with an
annual average of 183 per thousand during the period 1918-30.


The decrease in the infant mortality rate has been accompanied
by an increase in the birth rate, which in 1934 was 29.8 per thousand
of population as compared with 25.2 per thousand during 1918-30
and 26.3 per thousand in 1933.


Malaria was reported last year to be the outstanding health
problem in the Virgin Islands. This year it was under complete
control, with a total of only 37 cases in all the Virgin Islands during
the entire fiscal year, as compared with a peak of 894 cases in
St. Croix during fiscal year 1931-32 and 521 cases in St. Thomas and
St. John during fiscal year 1932-33. This fiscal year there were
8 cases in St. Thomas, 29 in St. Croix, and none in St. John.
The campaign against the malaria carrier, the anopheles mos-
quito, was carried on with vigor during the year. The most impor-
tant features in this campaign are the filling of the Lindbergh Bay
and Long Bay Swamps in St. Thomas, the first of which was com-
pleted during the year, and the latter shortly after. The filling of
these swamps, which eliminated the most serious malaria menaces in
the island, was made possible through a P. W. A. grant, and was
carried out by the United States Army dredge Houston and directed
by officers of the United States Army Engineering Service. Drain-
ing and oiling of lesser swamps in all three islands continue. Con-
stant vigilance is still needed in this work for the effective control of
malaria in the islands.


In St. Thomas and St. John 5;160 persons between the ages of 3
and 50 years, or more than half the entire population, were inoc-
ulated with typhoid antitoxin during the year, making almost com-
plete the immunization of the element of the community most sus-
ceptible to the disease. The result is that since July 19, 1934, not
a single case of typhoid fever has been reported in the municipality.
(In the preceding fiscal year there were 14 cases; this year there
was 1 case.) There have been no cases of typhoid fever during
the year in St. Croix, where an inoculation campaign among the
school children was conducted 2 years ago.

In the study of filariasis, the most prevalent disease in St. Croix,
1,800 school children of all ages were given blood examinations.
Over 275 gave positive reactions, though they showed no external
signs of the disease. Over 80 percent of the applicants examined
for E. C. W. enrollment likewise showed clinical signs of the disease.


Though it causes few deaths, filariasis is to be blamed for a great
amount of sickness and disability in St. Croix. The chief municipal
physician is making an earnest effort to develop some method of
eradication or control of the disease, and for this purpose is enlist-
ing the aid of foremost United States authorities on the subject.

There have been no serious epidemics in the Virgin Islands during
the year. In St. Thomas and St. John a number of infants and
children fell victims to a wave of respiratory and gastro-intestinal
diseases occurring the latter part of the fiscal year. In St. Croix
an acute respiratory infection introduced from Puerto Rico affected
a large number of people but caused no deaths. Three cases of
infantile paralysis (anterior poliomyelitis) occurred in children in
St. Croix, resulting in two deaths. There have been no further
In St. Croix the recent large immigration of Puerto Rican peas-
ants has introduced new menaces to the health of the islands. Two
meriting special attention at the moment are the hookworm disease
and schistosomiasis, both very prevalent in Puerto Rican immigrants
to the island. The health department in St. Croix is making con-
tinued efforts to minimize this danger, and recommends examination
of all immigrants before admission.
The chief municipal physician reports earnest attention to the
problem of leprosy in' St. Croix, which shows a higher incidence
in St. Croix .than in any other United States possession. The
American mission to lepers and the Leonard Wood Memorial for
Leprosy has given invaluable assistance in the past. The aid of
the United States Public Health Service has also been enlisted, and
it is hoped that they will cooperate further in the very necessary
effort to combat this scourge.


For both St. Thomas and St. Croix, improved sewer systems are a
necessity. The health department earnestly recommends appropri-
ations for this purpose.
The department also earnestly calls on all citizens to aid in the
effort to control and eradicate disease by whole-hearted cooperation
with the sanitation department in the attempt to control breeding
places of mosquitoes and flies. The citizenry are called upon to join
in an active campaign for this purpose, the main points of which
must consist in the elimination of unprotected sewage containers and
prompt disposal of garbage for fly control, and elimination of stag-
nant water not screened or otherwise controlled against mosquito


breeding. The work of the health officers can be successful only
with the cooperation of citizens. In cases of failure to give such
cooperation, the health department recommends decisive action by
the courts, and where adequate laws do not now exist for this
purpose the legislature is called upon to enact them.
The department also makes a plea for improved handling of milk
by producers and vendors in the islands. Lack of sanitation in this
respect is the cause of much disease in the communities.
For control of tuberculosis, appropriations are sorely needed to
provide isolation wards, and for purchase of X-ray plates in large
numbers to permit regular and extensive X-ray examinations of all
tuberculosis contacts among the children.
Child health is one of the major problems. Periodical medical
examinations of school children, with follow-up and treatment for
defects found, are continued. Undernourishment is the greatest
single evil disclosed by these examinations. The need calls not only
for continuation of the present hot-lunch program but for an
increase so as to provide for all indigent school children.
Free dental service rendered by the municipal dentists has been
an invaluable contribution to the health of children as well as
indigent adult sufferers.
Overcrowded homes, with sometimes as many as 10 persons living
and sleeping in one poorly ventilated room, are another great evil.
A housing program for elimination of this menace is urged.
The public health nursing service provides care for indigent sick
in their homes, carries on infant welfare and prenatal work through
clinics as well as through home care, and in addition is attempting
health education among the poorer people. In St. Croix, school
health nurses have done special work among the children.

Hospital service (both for medical work and surgical treatment)
has been fully maintained throughout the year through the three
hospitals of the islands. In addition, several clinics have functioned
in outlying districts. An increasing number of people is taking ad-
vantage of the hospital service. In St. Thomas, 36,923 consultations
or treatments were given to out-patients as compared with 24,404
last year, though hospitalization totaled only 17,681 sick days as com-
pared with 18,309 last year.

The health institutions in St. Croix (the leper colony, the insane
asylum, and the poor farm) functioned normally throughout the
year. The leper colony has been given much attention of late years


and the inmates are now housed in a modern village colony. Some
of the old buildings have been torn down and replaced by modern
concrete structures, and the old buildings remaining have been placed
in excellent repair. Besides improved care for the lepers, entertain-
ment is furnished for the shut-ins through moving pictures and
occasional musical events made possible by a piano donated to the
Distinctive features of the educational work carried on during the
past year are summarized in the following paragraphs.

With an enrollment of 3,460 in the public schools, the total is 25 less
than the preceding year. Yet there has been an increase of 47 in
high-school grades, where the total this year is 638. Attendance was
96.43 percent of the enrollment, which is 2 percent better than the
preceding year.
As a result of P. W. A. grants, most of the school buildings are
now in good condition. Seven new buildings have been completed,
and others have been extensively repaired. The school-housing pic-
ture is marred, however, by the incomplete structure at Dober School,
necessitating the continued use of the old school condemned years ago
and by the need for permanent high-school quarters in St. Thomas
in view of the fact that the Marine Barracks building (until lately
in use as the high school) will be used again for military purposes in
connection with the development of a marine air corps base at St.
No major changes were made in the academic curriculum. Con-
tinued emphasis was given to home-economics courses for girls and
manual-arts training for boys, the principal vocational subjects
taught. Classes in housekeeping, based upon the duties of a general
maid, were introduced for the benefit of over-age girls in elementary
grades. Classes in basketry were added to the schools in St. John,
the center of the industry, and to two rural schools in St. Croix.
Commercial classes (bookkeeping, shorthand, and typewriting) in-
troduced in the St. Thomas High School made a good start.

Established in 1932 and supported by Federal funds, the Voca-
tional Institute is a boarding school, with 33 boys in residence during
the year. In addition, an academic class attended by day students,


and designated as the Senior High School of St. Croix, was con-
ducted at the institute and furnished the academic training of the
vocational students.
During the year greater emphasis was placed on agriculture in
the Vocational Institute than heretofore. The orientation courses of
the first-year students-harness making and shoe repair, carpentry
and cabinetmaking, auto and farm mechanics-contribute toward
the general development of the individual student, fitting him for
the local farming situation. Second- and third-year students were
afforded actual participation in agricultural projects by taking part
in the work of the agricultural-experiment station.


New York University, Swarthmore College, and Hampton Insti-
tute granted scholarships to three outstanding students, the awards
being made through the education department on the basis of merit.
There are now 13 scholarship students from the Virgin Islands in
colleges in the United States.

With funds provided by the Federal Emergency Relief Adminis-
tration, classes were reopened in four centers in October and carried
on for 19 weeks. Forty classes met twice a week with 1,162 students
enrolled. New courses included basketry, bookkeeping, shorthand,.
and printing.
Nursery schools are much needed in the Virgin Islands to take care
of preschool children from needy homes. On account of the loose
family ties, a large percentage of the children must look to their
mothers alone for support. These must take daily employment,
either in the fields or in domestic service, leaving their children to
the care of aged relatives or neighbors.
Following demonstration nursery schools conducted the previous
year, in which local persons were trained by experienced continental
nursery-school teachers, schools were established in November 1934
in each of the three principal towns, with native teachers. This was
a promising undertaking, but was short lived due to the withdrawal
of Federal funds. Resumption of this activity is recommended.

Besides the health work (medical and dental examinations and
treatments) carried on in the schools through cooperation of the
health and education departments, health training is given emphasis


in the effort to correct unhealthy practices and diet among the chil-
dren, and in the hope through them to reach their homes. One
Jeanes teacher in each island helped much in this and in general
community work.
With funds contributed by the Golden Rule Foundation, hot
lunches were continued for the needy school children in St. Thomas.
Failure of the councils to provide funds adequate for the educa-
tional program advocated by the administration is really the out-
standing problem of the education department. This failure is
probably due as much to lack of appreciation of or agreement with
the purposes of the program as to lack of available funds. Without
local popular and financial support, there can never be the necessary
continuity of purpose.
The most outstanding need of the moment, then, is to work out
a fundamentally sound educational program of a type which would
meet with such wide local approval as would insure adequate appro-
priations in the future. It should not be too much to hope that an
agreement as to educational policies and purposes having been
reached, the community in general will feel the responsibility of
meeting the cost of the program, even at the expense of added appro-
priations from local revenues.
It seems that, for the present, success in this direction can come
only if leaders in community thought are convinced that the educa-
tional program as planned can be of real value in the struggle to
improve economic conditions in the islands. Cultural values are not
now widely accepted locally as justification for the costs involved.
It seems desirable that this local opinion should be so modified that
it will recognize the value of and give support to some degree of
cultural training, but until it is modified the situation as it is must
be faced.

Together with the greatly increased volume of work incident to the
Emergency Relief Program, the public-welfare department carried
on its usual activities in the two municipalities.
The largest single item in the normal work of the department was
assistance to the poor, consisting of (1) direct relief in the form of
pensions and (2) care of aged poor at the poor farm at Kings Hill,
St. Croix. In St. Thomas and St. John, pensions totaling $7,539.33
were distributed to 368 persons from municipal and trust funds.
These pensions were inadequate both from the standpoint of the
amount of individual grants and the number of persons assisted.


The majority of the pensioners received $2 a month, and none re-
ceived more than $3 a month. Most of these must pay a rent of $2
to $3 a month, so that, on the average, the pensions can do nothing
more than provide shelter. As many on the pension lists have
dependents, two or three in some cases, the need for increased bene-
fits is evident. The total grants and the general situation in St. Croix
closely approximate those in St. Thomas and St. John.
To improve the pension system, the welfare department has pre-
pared a model pension law, which it is hoped may be furthered. An
attempt was also made to have the Virgin Islands included in the
National Security Act, which was denied by Congress on the grounds
that the Virgin Islands do not pay taxes to the Federal Government.
Inclusion of the Virgin Islands in some part of the fine benefits avail-
able under this act is a great need.
The department makes an earnest appeal also for appropriations
for a housing program to relieve overcrowded and unsanitary living
conditions, for trained social workers to make possible vigorous up-
lift work among the lowest income group, and for establishment of
conimunity centers.

The welfare department in both municipalities has functioned as
a relief and employment agency of the Emergency Relief Program,
receiving and investigating all applications for aid, selecting, and
assigning workers to the work-relief projects, and making direct
cash, food, and commodity grants as needed. In St. Thomas alone,
the investigational work entailed about 4,000 office interviews and
approximately 5,500 visits to the homes of applicants by the depart-
ment's social investigators. Distribution of food necessitated the
establishment of a food-distribution center in each island.
The department conducted a sewing project in each island, which
together turned out 10,353 towels, 2,064 sheets, and 971 pillowcases,
besides a quantity of clothing, all of which were distributed to needy
families. At a mattress project in St. Thomas, 519 mattresses were
produced with F. S. R. C. material and relief labor, and these were
distributed among the poor in all three islands. Increasing profi-
ciency of the workers on this project is evidenced by reduction in
production costs per mattress from $10.26 at the start to $4.08 at the
end of the year.

The Public Beach House at Lindbergh Bay, St. Thomas, was
formally opened on July 19, 1934. The occasion was marked by
athletic sports and by ceremonies in which a large crowd participated.


Since its opening, 6,000 persons have used its facilities at the 5-cent
fee charged. It has been a self-supporting project throughout the
year and met a great popular need.


Consisting of 22 acres of the federally owned Lindbergh Bay
estate, the development of the botanical garden was initiated on a
fund subscribed by a dozen public-spirited citizens and is under the
direction of Mr. M. Petit as a volunteer service. Emergency allot-
ments have aided in the work this year. An asphalt road to the gar-
den was built and two houses (for the director and foreman) are
nearly complete. Concrete benches, tables, flower pots, garden beds,
and a lily pond have been installed, and 532 trees, shrubs, and flower-
ing plants have been added to the garden during the year. A total of
1,658 visitors, including 80 percent tourists, visited the grounds dur-
ing the year.
Despite inadequate appropriations, the libraries have kept up the
remarkable progress recorded during recent years. The three public
libraries in the islands circulated 77,661 books, which is 3.53 circula.
tion per capital, the highest figure on record in the Virgin Islands
and about one and one-half times the per capital rate in continental
United States. In St. Thomas, where library facilities are best, the
circulation rate was 4.82 per capital.
Though the service rendered by the libraries is evidently proving
increasingly popular, local financial support is notably lacking. The
progress achieved is largely the result of aid in past years through
the Carnegie Corporation in developing a sound library system in
the islands, but unless increased local support is given in subsequent
years the service will inevitably deteriorate.


The local unrest incident to the political activities in connection
with the Senate investigation in the Virgin Islands did not cause
any appreciable increase in police cases. In St. Thomas and St.
John there were 633 cases, as compared with 508 the preceding year;
but a very small percentage of these was of serious nature, as evi-
denced by the fact that only 6 resulted in sentences of more than
30 days. In St. Croix there were 391 cases, as compared with 364
cases the preceding year.
Crimes of violence were few. The total for all 3 islands was
3 cases of assault with intent to kill and 2 cases of murder.


Of a total of 89 criminal cases docketed in the district court for
all 3 islands, 62 were found guilty, 18 were acquitted, and 9 are
still pending.

The Virgin Islands National Bank, organized to take the place
of the retiring National Bank of the Danish West Indies, com-
menced operations on May 1, 1935. The special currency issued by
the Danish bank had already been replaced by United States cur-
rency July 1, 1934.
The new bank has a capital of $175,000, of which $124,000 is pre-
ferred stock subscribed by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation,
$1,000 subscribed by the president of the bank, and $50,000 in com-
mon stock subscribed by Virgin Islanders. The board of directors
is composed entirely of residents of the Virgin Islands. Deposits
as of June 30, 1935, were over $800,000, which will be substantially
increased when the former bank has finally liquidated its affairs.
Late in the fiscal year the Virgin Islands National Bank was desig-
nated a general depositary of Federal funds.


To provide a sound economic basis for the general improvement
in living conditions desired for the Virgin Islands, the Government
is actively cooperating with private initiative in addition to itself
initiating a large-scale program for the purpose.
General improvement all along the line is evidenced by the details
quoted under the several headings following.


Eighteen tourist ships visited St. Thomas during the year, with
about 8,000 transient tourists. Already 17 ships are scheduled for
the coming year. The regular weekly boats from New York brought
full passenger lists to add to the tourist totals. Remaining in port
about 4 to 8 hours, it is estimated that the average expenditure per
tourist in the island is approximately $5. A large share of the in-
come from transient tourists is in the form of taxi hires for sight-
seeing. Low prices as a result of low local duties result in sub-
stantial sales of liquors, perfumes, etc. Sales of native handicraft
are an important item.
There is a small but gradual increase in the number of winter
residents. This is creating a demand for small modern furnished
The Bluebeard Castle Hotel.-Formally opened on Christmas Day,
1934; 825 tourists from the S. S. Statendam visited the hotel for the


occasion. The pageant Bluebeard's Wife was presented by high-
school students, and the celebration included a formal dinner under
the patronage of His Excellency the Governor and Mrs. Pearson,
attended by representative people of the island. The guest of honor
was Miss Joanna C. Colcord, member of the Advisory Council for
the Virgin Islands, appointed by the President.
Up to July 1, 1935, the Bluebeard Castle Hotel had entertained
192 guests, with gross receipts of $16,162.75 and net receipts of
$2,448.55. It opened with eight rooms. With completion of addi-
tional units, it now has accommodations for 52 to 56 guests.
Improving hotel and recreational facilities.-A new and larger
hotel to be built from Government funds is projected for St. Thomas
in conjunction with a program of tourist promotion. The finest
beach in the island has been developed by addition of beachhouse
facilities, to be followed by other recreational features. The filling
during the year of a large swamp adjacent to this beach greatly
improves the locality.

For centuries St. Thomas has depended for its existence chiefly
upon the activities of its harbor-and it still does. The relative
number of entering ships determines not only employment on its
docks and in its bunkering operations, but directly affects merchants,
taxi drivers, truckmen, provisioners, farmers, and cattlemen. War-
ships, colliers, freighters, passenger vessels, or tourist ships, all con-
tribute their quota to St. Thomas' economic welfare.
Shipping.-During the year, 549 ocean-going ships, with a total
gross tonnage of 2,568,452 tons, entered the harbor. This is 38 ships
more than last year and 44 ships more than the past 15-year average
of 505. Of the total this year, 349, or 64 percent, were foreign mer-
chant ships.
Bunkering of ships.-This important activity showed 37-percent
increase this year, when 279 ships took bunkers of coal or oil, as
compared with 203 the previous year, 182 in 1932-33, and 185 in
1931-32. This increased patronage is due largely to the removal of
certain harbor dues, which places the port on a favorable competitive
basis with other West Indian bunkering stations. Although ma-
chinery loading is far less expensive, about one-fourth of the coal
sold was loaded by hand, affording much-needed employment.
Dredging.-Incident to the filling of the Long Bay Swamp as a
sanitation project, the harbor channel at the West Indian Co. dock
is being dredged to a depth of 37 feet. This will prove of great
benefit to shipping. Another sanitation project adjoining the harbor
will permit the widening and deepening of the western outlet of the


harbor known as the Haul-Over The harbor master urges appro-
priations in the near future for dredging of the other main channels.
Steamship and air service.-Two regular steamship lines out of
New York continue to call at St. Thomas on their way to and from
the islands to the south. The weekly steamship service with Puerto
Rico, with New York and Baltimore connections there, also continue.
Two boats plying between European ports and the west coast of the
United States via Panama Canal provide monthly service in both
Weekly air service connecting St. Thomas with the mainland, via
San Juan, and with the islands to the south and the mainland of
South America, continued throughout the year.

Exports of bay rum from St. Thomas dropped 49,735 gallons in
1934-35. The reasons for this are twofold-a decline in its general
use and competition with low-priced northern mixtures of alcohol
and imported bay oil or synthetic essences. The market and profit
limitations of this commodity do not at the moment warrant the cost
of promotion on any scale that would materially increase production.
There is, however, a possibility of development of the bay oil of
St. John, which island produces the finest quality known. Its prod-
uct commands a premium on the United States market, yet only a
small fraction of its possible output is now produced and marketed.
Government aid for promotion of this industry seems justified and
is recommended.

The year's greatest economic development in the Virgin Islands
has been in the rum and sugar industries in St. Croix. From 1930
and until last year, the largest sugar mill there stood idle and thou-
sands of cane acres remained uncultivated. Unable, despite repeated
attempts, to get private interests to undertake the development so
vitally necessary, funds for that purpose were finally secured from
the Federal Government, and the Virgin Islands Co. was organized.
The Virgin Islands Co.-Two sugar mills, 3,000 acres of land, and
a commercial rum distillery which had just been completed, with its
40,000 gallons of rum on hand, were purchased by th6 Government.
Operation of these properties has been entrusted to the Virgin Is-
lands Co., a nondividend corporation established with Federal funds,
with a view to applying all profits or savings to the benefit of the


One mill has been renovated and operated this season, and the other
is to be shortly rehabilitated. Two thousand acres of land have been
cleared or cleaned, and 700 of these acres have been put into cultiva-
tion. Rum totaling 220,000 gallons has been distilled and warehoused
for aging, together with the 40,000 gallons purchased. Twenty-six
million pounds of cane were purchased from 650 growers (chiefly
homesteaders and renters) for $34,000. For the past 6 months an
average of 1,400 field and industrial workers have been employed by
this Government project, which to June 30 spent $809,000 in this
work of industrial restoration.
Private operators.-Meanwhile, the privately owned La Grange
Sugar Co. continued to operate in the west end of St. Croix, making
sugar only, while three small, privately owned rum distilleries of old
repute were put into operation., Their combined production during
the year was approximately 30,000 gallons.
Total sugar and rum production.-Records show the year's total
rum production of about 250,000 gallons to have been considerably
larger than the rum exports from St. Croix of any year in the last
half century.
Dry weather reduced cane production by about 25 per cent. This,
together with the increased percentage of cane juice distilled for
rum, decreased sugar production from 4,088 tons in 1934 to 1,670
tons in 1935.

Two distilleries in St. Thomas exported during the year 20,272
gallons of rum produced locally. Most of this was distilled from
St. Croix molasses, but sugarcane produced by homesteaders in St.
Thomas found a ready market at one of the local rum distilleries
equipped with grinding machinery.

In all three islands, the greater part of the land is given over
to cattle raising. Most of this grazing land is unsuited for other use.
Exports of cattle from St. Thomas and St. John decreased from 669
head in 1933-34 to 581 head in 1934-35. Exports from St. Croix dur-
ing 1934-35 were the highest in 15 years-1,690 head as compared
with 1,149 the preceding year. Prices during the year dropped as
low as 21/2 cents a pound, at which price profitable production is not
possible; but during the last 4 months the market improved until
prices reached 5 cents per pound and better, with considerable de-
mand. Puerto Rico is virtually the only market for Virgin Islands


The third year of tomato growing for the northern winter market
proved a failure. Variable weather throughout the planting and
growing season, together with certain pests, increased costs and de-
creased yields to the end that losses were suffered. The first year
showed profit on small acreage; the second year showed an even
break on larger plantings. Every crop in these islands is subject
more or less to these same variations, and success can be determined
only by averages. Few men, however, can or will take the risks
particularly attendant upon the more perishable products subject
not only to weather but to the uncertainties of the New York com-
mission market.
There were also two unsuccessful attempts made by northern seed
houses to multiply here, during the winter, their seeds of the pre-
vious summer. These experiments met with the same unfortunate
weather conditions as did tomato growing; but the advantages of
double seed multiplication in a single year are so obvious and the
possibilities so great that such experiments will inevitably continue
and ultimately succeed.
The past year witnessed the best progress yet made in the home-
steading program in St. Croix. By June 30, 1935, Federal home-
steaders had increased to 255. Of these, all but 34 are the original
allottees. Their plots comprise over 1,400 acres, of which 1,010
acres are under cultivation for the 1936 crop. The average home-
steader is already cultivating 50 percent more land than he had
as a renter. A few are lone women who have shown unexpectedly
good results.
The average homestead consists of slightly less than 6 acres, and
the average price for a plot is $210, requiring an annual payment
of $16, including interest, on a 20-year payment plan. For those
desiring them, houses are built on separate contracts on similar
terms. Cultivation aids, including tractor plowing, stumping, etc.,
are also rendered by the Government, repayable in installments.
The installments of all kinds due the Government for 1934 and 1935
totaled $10,652.07. Of this, $9,485.47 has been paid and most of
the balance will be paid during the next few months.
For the grinding season ended June 30, 1935, 211 St. Croix home-
steaders sold cane to mills and distilleries valued at $18,985.98, of
which $6,414.50 went for homestead installments, leaving $12,571.48
net to homesteaders. The first 50 averaged $177.07 gross from their
sugar crop ($134.58 after paying installments), which may seem woe-
fully low to those not familiar with local conditions, but which must


be compared with the $75 which the average St. Croix field laborer
earns by about 25 weeks' work in a year. In addition, the home-
steader had the benefit of provisions grown on his plot.
Federal homesteading in St. Croix has been supplemented by two
municipal projects which add nearly 100 small farmers to the number
who are working toward the partial independence of land ownership.
Negotiations are under way for the purchase of 630 additional
acres to provide for another 60 to 70 families.

Homesteading in St. Thomas differs greatly in character, purpose,
and results from that in St. Croix. With 90 percent of its people
concentrated in its harbor-minded town, there is no great land
interest and unfortunately little good soil. However, with the de-
cline of harbor activities, the need to promote such little agricul-
ture as is possible encouraged the purchase of the Lindbergh Bay
estate for the joint purpose of tourist development and a home-
steading project.
Of the over 60 plots, totaling 300 acres, most are now under con-
tract, and 123 acres are in cultivation. A tractor, a plow, and expe-
rienced direction, have been provided to aid these new farmers.
Cultivation includes vegetables and fruits, grass, and lately sugar.
cane for the small mill of a local rum distiller.
Adverse weather conditions and inexperienced workers have com.
bined to make a poor financial showing for the year, with many fail-
ing to meet installments due. In all worthy cases, the Homestead
Commission has exercised its authority to postpone payments when
default is not due to neglect. Replacement of those found unsatis-
factory is gradually resulting in an improved homestead colony,
from whom better results can be confidently expected.

The housing operations incident to the homesteading program
have been eagerly welcomed by homesteaders. Over 50 houses are to
be provided in St. Croix, and about half that number are already
completed. In St. Thomas, nine families are already living in their
new homes. These are 2- to 4-room houses of concrete or stone con-
struction. With 20 years to pay, the installments are no higher than
previous rental costs.

In all phases of land development, the agricultural experiment
stations in St. Croix and St. Thomas have rendered valuable exten-
sion and advisory service as well as direct aids. They have cooper-
ated particularly in homestead development, where many of the new


farmers had had inadequate land experience and where mechanized
cultivation was new to all of them.
Special service is being rendered the reviving rum industry by
experiments to determine the most desirable types of cane, fermenta-
tion methods, etc. The principal crop experiments of the year con-
cerned development of improved forage crops. The station in
St. Croix maintains a plant-quarantine service to protect agriculture
in the island. At the station in St. Thomas, quarantine cultivation
plots for sugarcane and cotton are maintained where new varieties
imported into the islands are tested out for disease before being
allowed to enter St. Croix and endanger the industry there.
The veterinary service of the stations has been active in promoting
improved breeds of cattle, pigs, goats, and poultry, and in the con-
trol of disease among all kinds of livestock. Treatment and control
measures for equine epizootic, prevalent in preceding years, resulted
in decrease from 797 cases last year to 217 cases this year. Officials
of the stations continued to inspect and certify all livestock for export
and import. Increased exports of cattle resulted in increased activity
under this heading.

In the previous annual report, the most successful year yet enjoyed
by the Handcraft Cooperatives of St. Thomas and St. John was
recorded. It is gratifying to be able to report this year sales nearly
two and one-half times those of last year's record high. With
F. E. R. A. aid this year reduced to teaching projects only, the
cooperatives have made splendid progress on their own capital.
The scope of their service has been expanded, their activities have
increased, their operations have been profitable, and their financial
condition at the end of the year is more sound than ever.
Handicraft sales have increased sixfold, from $3',978.52 in 1931
to $23,371.67 (exclusive of rugs) in 1934-35. Export and tourist
sales represent 91 per cent of this record total. Sales for the first 6
months of 1935 exceed the entire sales of 1934. In addition, rug
sales for the year totaled $5,487.10. The $4,000 loan from the mu-
nicipality of St. Thomas and St. John, with which the cooperatives
were originally financed, has been repaid all but $577, and the co-
operatives today have a net worth of $6,070.66, represented by cash
and inventory.
Over 300 men, women, and girls have been employed by the coopera-
tives on a whole or part-time basis during the past year. The cooper-
atives have paid out in wages or for outright purchases of local
handicraft, $15,916.39, in addition to $4,639.20 paid in wages through
the hooked-rug division, making a total of $20,555.59 added to the



income of the poorer people of the island through this activity.
Federal aid to accomplish this end totaled only about 12 percent of
the increment to the people. Operating expenses charged to the
cooperatives represented but 11.3 percent of the total sales.
Both increased tourist sales and increased exports to the United
States account for the improved handicraft trade. Sales activities
on the mainland are being actively pushed, principally through a
New York representative. Organized production has so improved
,during the past year that the demand has been met, though this is
considerably greater than it has ever been before. Workers are
being trained and added as fast as possible to meet the added demand
which it is believed can be created once the output warrants it.
Hooked rugs.-During the year, nearly 4,000 rugs totaling over
25,000 square feet have been produced. The pay rolls of this divi-
sion, $4,639.20, have been helpful in meeting employment needs
among women. But, as a commercial enterprise, from a cash-profit
standpoint, this activity has not been successful because Japanese
rugs have flooded the United States market at prices below local
costs for raw materials and labor. Under these conditions, a strike
for higher wages by local hooked-rug workers during the year could
have no result other than the replacement of the strikers by others
willing to work at the existing rates. At these rates, earnest workers
earn the equivalent of local wage rates for similar labor.
The competition with low-priced Japanese rugs entering the
United States market is a grave problem affecting the very exist-
ence of this activity. It is earnestly hoped that the President will
move to protect this local industry in common with the industry
in other parts of the United States, by providing a protective tariff
on this item.
Pottery.-This division of the handcraft cooperatives has been
temporarily suspended. With increasing business in sight, the half
dozen trained workers demanded consecutive increases for their
products until they were no longer salable, the factory closed, and
the workers returned to the unemployed class.
After considerable research, a native clay has been found that
appears suitable for a more desirable development of this activity.
For this purpose, funds are needed to provide a modern kiln and
the services of a capable potter to instruct deserving native workers.
Mahogany craft.-Modern woodworking equipment for establish-
ing a woodworking factory in St. Thomas has been secured on a
F. E. R. A. grant for capital for a cabinetmakers cooperative.
Involved organization details have unfortunately delayed actual
establishment of this cooperative.
Jams and jellies.-The cooperatives have been inactive in these
items during the past year. A private project in St. Thomas, set


up by an experienced man from the States, has created an outlet
for preserved native fruits marketed in attractive native basket con-
tainers. The demand exceeded the supply, and the project demon-
strated possibilities for development of a new local industry using
local products almost exclusively. This project is worthy of every
encouragement possible.

Increased employment resulting from the activities of the Na-
tional Recovery Program led to labor troubles in both St. Croix
and St. Thomas during the fiscal year. In March 1935 labor trouble
in St. Croix was settled by an arrangement through which the min-
imum agricultural wage was raised from 45 cents to 60 cents a day,
which was accepted by the Virgin Islands Co., the largest employer
of labor in the island. In St. Thomas labor troubles occurred at
the Army engineering project for filling of the Lindbergh Bay
swamp. Coming from a similar project in Puerto Rico, the dredge
was followed to St. Thomas by some of the workers who had been
employed on the Puerto Rican project. Following their general
practice of paying the prevailing wage of communities in which
they undertake work, the Army project in St. Thomas was initiated
at the prevailing wage rate here for similar labor, which was 15
cents an hour, as compared with 25 cents an hour paid on the Puerto
Rican project. Incited by the Puerto Rican laborers, a strike was
organized on the Lindbergh Bay project, with a demand for 25
cents an hour, the strikers resorting to intimidation to prevent re-
placement from the long list of unemployed workers available
through the public-welfare department.
After 3 days of unsuccessful negotiation, the Governor inter-
vened, and on May 10, 1935, announced an increase in the general
Government wage scale for manual labor in the municipality of St.
Thomas and St. John of 5 cents an hour, thus permitting the
dredge authorities to raise their rate to 20 cents an hour. This rate
was accepted by the strikers, and work proceeded normally there-
after. Later, a general increase in the Government wage scale was
made also in St. Croix, including a further increase in agricultural
wages (these had been raised only a few months before) from 60
cents to 75 cents a day. Strikes by bakers and by coal workers in
St. Thomas, influenced by the strike on the Government project,
were promptly settled, with some increase in wages.


In announcing the increase in wage rates, the Governor appointed
a labor board for St. Thomas, stating its purpose to be the constitu-


tion of an acceptable board of reference for all labor disputes in the
island, to avoid lockouts and strikes, and to mediate between em-
ployers and laborers. The board consists of eight members-the
Government secretary, the commissioner of public welfare, the as-
sistant commissioner of public works, the manager of the West
Indian Co., which is the largest private employer of labor in the
island, and four members from labor groups.
The Governor moved to appoint a similar board in St. Croix, and
the labor members were chosen by the labor unions of the island.
But up to the close of the fiscal year, the members representing the
employers, the Government, and outside interests had not been se-
lected, so that the St. Croix labor board is not yet operative.
The labor board in St. Thomas, from the date of its constitution,
May 13, was active until early July in quieting disturbances and in
announcing principles of relationship between employers and em-
ployees, investigating the cost of living, classification of skilled
labor, and other germane subjects. The solution of labor difficulties
in the Virgin Island involves many baffling problems, including the
determination of living costs, the need for increasing the wage scale
in order to improve living standards, and at the same time to ad-
just this need against the economic necessity of keeping to a wage
scale that can be maintained in competition with neighboring low-
cost-labor countries. Increases in the wage scale are further ham-
pered by the present low earning power of the average native la-
borer. Hardship results for the private employer when the Gov-
ernment raises arbitrarily its wage rates, as has been seen in the case
of the sugar growers and operators in St. Croix. It is easy for the
Government thus to render operation of private property impossible.

The small island of St. John, with less than 800 inhabitants, is a
part of the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John. The commis-
sioner for St. John directs all activities in that island in cooperation
with the heads of the various municipal departments located at St.
The commissioner, who is a medical doctor, organized during the
year a small emergency hospital, with 6 beds, located at Cruz Bay,
one of the two small settlements on the island. A nurse was added
to the commissioner's staff to help in this work and to do visiting
nursing service to the people scattered over the countryside. In
addition, a revolving fund was set up to provide medicines to be kept
in stock there for sale; heretofore, patients had to wait until such
items could be secured from St. Thomas. Dental service was given
through regular visits of the municipal dentist from St. Thomas.


A community club was organized by the commissioner as a means
of spreading information about health, social, and educational mat-
ters, and of bringing the people together to talk over their problems.
A circulating library made available through the St. Thomas Public
Library proved popular. Small musical events were promoted.
The main dependence of the small population is on the burning
of charcoal, raising of cattle, and basket work for the handicraft
cooperatives in St. Thomas, the latter assuming major proportions in
the last 2 years. Bay-oil production, once very important in the
economy of the island, is now dormant. Because the high quality of
bay oil produced in St. John commands a premium in United States
markets, there are possibilities in the industry that should be vigor-
ously developed.
Respectfully submitted.