Title Page
 Table of Contents

Group Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands to the Secretary of the Interior.
Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015459/00012
 Material Information
Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Alternate Title: Annual report - the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands to the Secretary of the Interior
Annual report, Virgin Islands
Physical Description: 22p. : tab. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Virgin Islands of the United States -- Governor
Publisher: Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Publication Date: 1937
Frequency: annual
Subject: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Virgin Islands of the United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States Virgin Islands
Numbering Peculiarities: Report covers fiscal year.
General Note: Title varies slightly.
General Note: Vols. for 1925/26 issued as Senate document 170, U.S. 69th Congress, 2d session.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00015459
Volume ID: VID00012
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA5018
oclc - 01235215
oclc - 1235215
lccn - 26027791
issn - 0363-3438

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Full Text










Harold L. Ickes, Secretary

Lawrence W. Cramer, Governor

For sale by the
Superintendent of Documents, Washington, D. C.
Price 10 cents


Reappointment of Governor_ _---------------------____- 1
Economic development ---------------------------------
Private development-------------------------------- 2
Congressional legislation --------------------------------- 2
Sugar quota law --_--------------------------------- 2
Rivers and harbors bill------------------------------- 3
Local legislation---------------------------------.------- 3
Fiscal------------------------------------------- ----- 5
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John--------------- 5
Municipality of St. Croix ------------------------- 5
Total revenues_------------------------------_--- 5
Income tax_--------------- 5
Customs dues_------------------------------------ 6
Cost of municipal government ---------------------- 6
Reduction of Federal deficit appropriation ------------- 6
St. Thomas Harbor Board --_----____ ------_ 6
The Federal appropriation -_ _--- -------------- 7
W P A. projects___------------------------------ 7
P W A. Federal projects----------------_--------- 7
P W A. non-Federal projects---------------------- 7
Relief program work accomplishments-------------------- 8
W P. A. projects-------------------------------------- 8
Homesteading- -. 8
Virgin Islands Co ---------------------------------- 8
Roads _---------------_--------------------------- 9
Bluebeard Castle Hotel----------------------------- 9
Survey of Federal archives --------__------------- 10
P V A. projects----------------------------------- 10
Bluebeard Castle Hotel water supply installation _------_ 10
Government House St. Croix, reconstruction------------ 10
St. Croix municipal power plant ----------------_--_-_ 10
Non-Federal projects-------------------------------- 10
Low-costhousing-------------------------------- 11
United States Marine Corps airbase ------------------ 11
Civil Conservation Corps----------------------------- 11
Treasury relief art project_ 12
Federal buildings, Charlotte Amalie --------------------- 12


Virgin Islands Cooperatives------------------------------- 12
Agricultural station and vocational school --------------__ 13
Municipal government department activities ---___ 14
Department of education--- ------------------------_ 14
Health and sanitation_ --------------------- 15
Public welfare ------------------------- 15
Public works department --------------------------_- 16
Libraries _---------------------------------- 16
Police and prison department_ --------------------_-- 16
St.John------------------------------------------- 16
Administration of immigration laws ------------------_- 16
Steamboat Inspection Service ----------------------------- 17
Operation of the organic act---------_------ 17
Conclusion - is



Lawrence W. Cramer, Governor

September 1, 1937

Washington, D. C.
SIR: Pursuant to section 20 of the Organic Act of the Virgin Islands
of the United States, approved June 22, 1936, I have the honor to
submit the following annual report of the transactions of the Govern-
ment of the Virgin Islands for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1937
As a result of the enactment of the Organic Act of the Virgin Islands,
Lawrence W Cramer was reappointed Governor on June 23, 1936.
This reappointment was confirmed by the Senate June 21, 1937.
The economic improvement described in previous annual reports,
and largely traceable to the activities of the Federal Government in
prosecuting a program of economic rehabilitation in the Virgin Islands,
has continued and -as accelerated during this year. Numerous
P W A. W P A., and relief projects, for which funds had been al-
lotted in the fiscal year 1936, were completed during this year. A
summary statement of work accomplished under these various proj-
ects is given under appropriate headings subsequently in this report.
Although no new relief allocations were made during the year, the
projects which were carried forward practically eliminated unemploy-
ment in the island of St. Croix and furnished opportunity for work to
a large percentage of the unemployed in the islands of St. Thomas
and St. John.


The direct expenditure of Federal funds, in addition to accomplish-
ing many desirable public improvements, and reviving the moribund
economy of the Virgin Islands, has benefited generally all elements of
the population. This has led to a pronounced improvement socially.
Unusually heavy rains during the past year have increased the
yield of the basic sugar crop in the island of St. Croix to extraordinary
proportions. Against an average yield of 1 to 1/ tons of sugar per
acre of sugarcane, many fields have this year produced 5, 6, or 7 tons
of sugar per acre. Unfortunately all of the benefits of this high yield
could not be realized due to the inadequacy of grinding facilities and
because of the limitations of the sugar quota which has been applied
to the Virgin Islands under the Jones-Costigan Act. The homestead
program, the Virgin Islands Co., and the municipal fiscal structure
in the island of St. Croix, which depend largely upon the sugar crop,
were all greatly benefited by this high yield.
The most important commercial activity in the island of St. Thomas
has continued to show improvement. The shipping business with its
related coal and oil bunkering business again revealed the fact that
the port of St. Thomas is its most important economic asset. Nu-
merous plans have been prosecuted with vigor for the improvement
of the harbor of St. Thomas.
Private Development.-The recently developed interest on the part
of American capital in the Virgin Islands was indicated during the
year by the establishment by an old and well-known American cor-
poration of its principal place of business in St. Thomas. Several
business ventures have been established in the island of St. Croix.
An increasing interest on the part of American capital in the economic
possibilities of the Virgin Islands is evidenced by the large number
of inquiries and visits on the part of those who contemplate the es-
tablishment of businesses. This tendency, to the extent that it
materializes in a substantial way, is of great importance to the islands
which have been so long neglected by American capital.
Numerous opportunities exist which, if carefully developed, may in
time remove the inhabitants of the Virgin Islands from the category
of an economically stranded population.
Sugar Quota Law.-The legislation now before Congress for the
extension of the sugar-quota system originally established by the
Jones-Costigan Act is of vital importance to the basic industry of the
island of St. Croix. The earlier bill was enacted in the period during
which the Virgin Islands sugar industry had reached its nadir. As a
result, a very limited quota, only slightly in excess of 5,000 tons a
year, was allotted to the Virgin Islands. As a consequence of urgent
representations, the new sugar legislation makes provision for an in-
crease in the sugar quota for the Virgin Islands to a tonnage which


more nearly approximates normal production. If enacted, it will
establish a quota of approximately 9,000 tons of sugar for the Virgin
Islands. This new quota would, during the 3 years for which it is
to be effective, permit the return to levels more nearly approaching
normal production in this basic industry than did the quota estab-
lished under the Jones-Costigan Act. No refined sugar is manu-
factured in the Virgin Islands, and no present plans exist for the es-
tablishment of refining facilities.
With an added sugar quota, there would be opportunity for steady
employment for a substantial proportion of the agricultural workers
in St. Croix, a market for the only cash crop raised by 300 home-
steaders who have been established on the land by the Federal
Government, and prospect of the economic operation of the sugar
factories of St. Croix, including those of the Virgin Islands Co.
Rivers and Harbors Bill.-In accordance with the Rivers and
Harbors Act of 1935, a preliminary examination and survey of St.
Thomas Harbor was made by United States Army engineers. As
a result of this survey there was recommended a project for the im-
provement of St. Thomas Harbor including the deepening of the
entrance channel to an over-all depth of 36 feet and to a width of
600 feet, the extention of the anchorage and maneuvering basin by
135 acres by dredging that area to a depth of 32 feet, and the con-
struction of a breakwater from the eastern edge of the harbor to
Rupert's Rock. These improvements, estimated to cost $743,000,
would add greatly to the safety and convenience of the harbor of
St. Thomas. They would constitute the first substantial harbor
improvement to be undertaken by the United States Government
since the transfer of the Virgin Islands to American sovereignty.
The rivers and harbors bill now before Congress includes authoriza-
tion for this project, and it is confidently expected that an appropria-
tion will soon be made to permit actual work to be undertaken.
Because the harbor of St. Thomas is the only important natural
resource of the island, this step is of greatest importance to the future
economic well-being of the community.

A number of important ordinances have been enacted by the
municipal councils during the year. The municipality of St. Thomas
and St. John by ordinance of May 18, 1937, authorized the St. Thomas
Harbor board to issue bonds in the amount of $750,000 for the pur-
pose of establishing a graving dock. Previously, by act of Congress
of May 23, 1932, the harbor board had been authorized to borrow
$150,000, but this amount proved to be much less than would need
to be borrowed if this project were to be undertaken. A large com-
mittee representing all substantial interests in the island was appointed
by the Governor to make a thorough survey of the graving dock


proposal. A comprehensive and well-considered report prepared by
this committee clearly sets forth the many cogent reasons for the
establishment of this facility in St. Thomas Harbor. Because of the
almost complete dependence of the island either on its shipping
activity or on Federal relief expenditures, it is obvious that every
effort must be made to develop the facilities of the port. Local
opinion is unanimous in supporting every effort to improve this sole
natural resource of the community. In addition to the action of the
municipal council in authorizing the issuance of $750,000 of bonds,
it may be anticipated that the local legislature will set aside the
income from special taxes to assist in the amortization of the costs
of constructing a graving dock. Federal assistance in the form of a
loan and grant is necessary to permit the realization of this develop-
ment which has been under consideration for many years.
In both municipalities, ordinances were enacted to control the
entry into the Virgin Islands of persons afflicted with dangerous com-
municable diseases. These measures were enacted to meet an in-
creasing problem resulting from the influx of American citizens from
neighboring islands, many of whom proved to be carriers of malaria
hookworm, and other diseases. In the island of St. Croix especially,
where this influx was greatest, with a net increase of 802 persons from
immigration during the year, the medical facilities and personnel
have been seriously overtaxed.
Ordinances were enacted in both municipalities to control bovine
tuberculosis. These enactments were made necessary by the imposi-
tion of quarantine regulations in the most important market for
local cattle. Cattle exported from the islands since the enactment
of these ordinances have been tuberculin tested and in no case has a
positive reaction occurred.
An ordinance was enacted by the municipal council for the munic-
ipality of St. Thomas and St. John to eliminate cattle ticks. Similar
legislation has been under consideration in the municipality of St.
Croix. All cattle for export have been dipped and cannot be exported
without a certificate from the veterinarian of the United States
agricultural station declaring it to be free of ticks.
The municipality of St. Thomas and St. John has continued, but
only until December 31, 1937, the suspension of ships dues for vessels
calling at the port of St. Thomas for coal and oil bunkering. This
suspension, which was first enacted in March 1933, has indubitably
contributed greatly to the considerable increase of shipping in the
harbor of St. Thomas since that date. It is anticipated that a further
suspension will be made effective as soon as the present suspension
In accordance with the provisions of the act of Congress of May 26,
1936, requiring the imposition of a real property tax based on actual
value and falling equally on all property of equal value, the munic-


ipality of St. Croix enacted an adequate and satisfactory tax measure.
A similar tax was made to apply to the municipality of St. Thomas
and St. John by Presidential executive regulation, under date of
December 31, 1936, due to the failure of this municipality to enact
a suitable law. In both municipalities archaic and inequitable tax
laws were repealed upon the enactment of these real-property tax
laws. Assessments have been made for the first time in the island
of St. Croix where no assessed value real-property tax had previously
been in effect. New assessments were made in St. Thomas in ac-
cordance with the new law. In both municipalities the taxes levied
will increase the revenues of the municipalities without imposing
undue hardship on taxpayers.
Considerable increase has been shown in the revenues of the mu-
nicipal governments derived from local taxes. This improvement is
greatest in the revenues of the municipality of St. Croix where tax
payments made by the Virgin Islands Co. under the provisions of
the act of Congress of May 26, 1936, have been in substantial amounts.
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John.-The actual revenues of
the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John amounted to $179,640.83,
an increase of 11 percent over the revenues of the preceding fiscal
year. Income tax collections were $35,488.55, an increase of 95
percent over the preceding fiscal year. Receipts from customs dues
were $14,567.47, an increase of 6 percent. Internal revenue taxes
brought in $48,585.53, an increase of 23 percent.
Municipality of St. Croix.-The actual revenues of the municipality
of St. Croix amounted to $178,069.80, an increase of 40 percent over
the preceding fiscal year. Income-tax collections were $12,042.85,
an increase of 74 percent. Receipts from import duty were $15,024.97,
a decrease of 30 percent. Export duty brought in $29,958.01, an
increase of 120 percent.
Total Revenues
1933 1934 1935 1936 1937

Municipality of-
St. Thomas and St. John-...-------.--.--------- $86,524 $105,898 $146,B50 $161,271 $179,640
St. Croix ------.--------.-----.---.---------. 107,440 119,663 136,266 127.167 178,069

The substantial increase in income-tax returns is reflected in the
following table:
Income Taxes

23178-:17-- 2


Because of the provision of the Organic Act of the Virgin Islands
making applicable a uniform import duty to both municipalities
of the Virgin Islands, thus reducing the rates previously in effect
for St. Croix, customs revenues of the municipality of St. Croix
show a decrease from the preceding year. Revenues from this
source in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John continued to
show improvement.
Customs Dues

Municipality of-
St. Thomas and St. John .-........-.. -. ... .
St. Croix .......-- ...-- ... ..--- ... ............

1933 1934 1935 1930 1937

$4,758 $7,590 $9,825 $13,691 $14,567
7,678 13,212 16,743 21,352 15,024

Cost of Municipal Governments.-The cost of the municipal govern-
ment of St. Thomas and St. John was budgetted at $254,600. The
United States contributed a deficit appropriation of $70,000.
The cost of the municipal government of St. Croix was budgetted
at $238,972. The United States contributed a deficit appropriation
of $60,000.
Reduction of Federal Deficit Appropriations.-The established
policy of the Congress in reducing annually the Federal contribution to
the cost of operation of the municipal governments of the Virgin Islands
has been continued. These contributions have been substantially
reduced in recent years as indicated in the following table:

1933 1934 1935 1930 1937

Municipality of-
St. Thomas and St. John---....-... ---.. -..-.. $112,032 $98, 500 $90,000 $80,000 $70, 000
St. Croix.........---------------------------------- 124,355 98,500 94,990 95,000 60.000

St. Thomas Harbor Board.-The financial statement of the St.
Thomas Harbor Board continues to reflect the steady improvement
of shipping activities. The revenues of the St. Thomas Harbor
Board show an increase of 16 percent over the preceding fiscal year.
Collection of ships dues were increased by 21 percent; pilotage fees
increased by 21 percent also. The following table reflects this

1933 1934 1935 1936 1937

Total revenues .....--------.....--------... ---------.. .... $25,144 $28, 018 $2, 80 $27,02 $32, 267
Operating surplus. ......-..-- ... .....-- ..-- ----- 9,106 11,875 9, 375 9. 310 12. 034


The appropriation "Temporary Government for the Virgin Islands
1937" was as follows:
Central Administration ---------------------------------- $125, 000
Agricultural experiment station and vocational school- ------------ 35, 000
Deficit, municipality of St. Thomas and St. John ...-------------- 70, 000
Deficit, municipality of St. Croix ------------_---------....----- 60, 000
290, 000
The Second Deficiency Appropriation Act, fiscal year 1936, appro-
priated $5,000 to provide for the purchase of furniture and furnishings
for Government House, St. Croix.
No new relief allocations were made for the Virgin Islands during
the fiscal year. Relief projects for which allocations were made in the
previous fiscal year were carried on and completed at the close of the
fiscal year. The following relief projects with the amounts originally
allocated were thus completed:
IV P. A. Projects
Homesteads ------------- $151, 200 Administrative expenses-_- $38, 588
Virgin Islands Co -------_ 170,000 Archives----------------- 4, 500
Roads---------- 192,000
Hotel facilities------------ 91, 400 647, 688
Total obligations against the foregoing funds to June 30, 1937 were
reported by the Treasury Department to be as follows:
Homesteads ---------- 148, 723. 57 Administrative expenses $37, 478. 57
Virgin Islands Co ..... 169, 910. 75 Archives-------------- 4, 017. 56
Roads---------------- 191,964.46
Hotel facilities--------- 90, 404. 56 642, 499. 47
The benefits of disability compensation were extended to W P A.
workers in the Virgin Islands. Against an allotment of $500 for
payment of disability compensation there was expended a total of
P W A. Federal Projects.-Only two P. W. A. Federal projects were
active, namely, Federal project 3 in amount of $4,264 for Bluebeard
Castle Hotel, and Federal project 14 in amount of $48,100 for re-
construction of Government House, St. Croix.
P W A. Non-Federal Projects.-Three of these projects, active
during the fiscal year, with total expenditures to June 30, were as

Allocated Expended

Streets and water system, St. Thomas ...----...-----.. .......---------------- $44, 444.00 $42, 645. 80
Surface drains and sewage disposal, St. Thomas ...------ .-----.....---- 50,000.00 44,975.88
Water supply and surface drains, St. Croix- .--.......---------------------. 41,939.00 34,622. 13
Total ..-----............---------------------------------- ----- 136,383.00 122,243.81


Iomesteading.-The homestead program was continued on existing
homestead areas and was successfully administered during the year.
It was extended on two additional estates in St. Croix and one in St.
Thomas. These estates which were purchased at the close of the last
fiscal year total 976 acres. Forty-one additional homesteaders were
given homestead contracts during the year. Land development was
carried on in this area to permit the establishment of 60 additional
homesteaders. Twenty-four homestead houses were constructed.
Roads, wells, water supply cisterns, fencing, clearing of land, plowing
and other land development work was carried on. The high yield
of the sugar crop in St. Croix resulting from extraordinary rainfall
permitted homesteaders to reap unusually large returns from their
planting. Although the crop was less than 75 percent harvested at
the close of the fiscal year, 225 homesteaders on the Whim and La-
Grande Princesse estates had paid $9,224 of the $10,878 due to the
Government as amortizing rentals and for cultivation loans. In
addition $25,851 had at that time been paid to homesteaders. It is
estimated that they are netting more than 75 percent of their gross
income in addition to equities in installments. About 97 percent of
all installments due after 4 years of operation have been paid. With
the addition of the homesteaders who had entered into contracts
during previous years there are now 380 holders of homestead con-
tracts in both islands.
This program is of fundamental importance and is accomplishing
highly desirable social and economic changes in the community. Land
and house purchase contracts are drawn on the basis of a 20-year
amortization period. Unfortunately, all efforts to make financial
provision for the administration and development of this program on
a permanent basis have so far failed. Because of the outstanding
success of this program and because of its obviously beneficial effects
which are being accomplished at a minimum of cost, it is imperative
that a means be found of continuing it on a permanent basis. Even
if no further extension of the program is attempted, steps must be
taken to complete the work of establishing on the land the 380 home-
steaders who now hold homestead contracts.
Virgin Islands Co.-In continuing the development of properties
under its control, the Virgin Islands Co. has, during the year, em-
ployed an average of nearly 1,000 people. It has completed the
modernization of the Central Sugar Factory, increasing its grinding
capacity by approximately 50 percent. This factory has so far
ground 34,250 tons of sugarcane from which it has manufactured
2,750 tons of sugar and 96,146 gallons of rum. It has not yet com-


pleted the harvesting of the entire crop, and will undoubtedly produce
in excess of 1,000 tons of additional sugar before completion of the
harvest. The company has continued to clear and extend the culti-
vation of its land. It has continued its program of rebuilding village
houses for workers and in constructing new housing units for them.
The work of reconstructing its Bethlehem sugar mill, the island's
largest mill, was unfortunately not completed during the year. This
project was scheduled for completion on May 1, 1937, under a contract
with a private construction firm. The delay in completing the re-
construction of this mill has caused considerable loss to the company
which would otherwise have benefited greatly because of the high
sugarcane yield.
Roads.-Substantial progress was made in developing the most
important commercial roads of the island and in opening recreational
and scenic areas. A total of 32.5 miles of road were improved. Of
this 3.7 miles were asphalt penetration surface roads in the island of
St. Thomas, which constitute the most important commercial roads
on the island. Twelve and three-tenths miles were asphalt surface
roads on a water-bound macadam base in the island of St. Croix.
An asphalt seal-coat was laid on two additional miles of previously
constructed asphalt penetration road in St. Croix. The work in St.
Croix consisted of hard surfacing the most important road between the
two towns of the island over which most of the sugar cane of the island
is carried by truck to the sugar mills located on it or near its extremities.
Fourteen and five-tenths miles road of dirt or gravel surface road were
improved in St. Thomas and St. John. One of these includes a scenic
drive of spectacular beauty near the top of the ridge of hills encircling
the town of Charlotte Amalie.
The vigorous prosecution of road construction and improvement is
essential both to facilitate farm-to-market movements and to open
new areas for winter resident development. Request has been made
for additional W P A. funds to continue this road construction work
which lends itself especially to the employment needs of the communi-
ties while at the same time improving the possibilities of private
economic development.
Bluebeard Castle Hotel.-At the Bluebeard Castle Hotel in St.
Thomas there were constructed four self-contained cottage units
adding nine double bedrooms to the capacity of the hotel. In addi-
tion, a multiple unit building' consisting of four self-contained apart-
ments was constructed, adding a total of five additional double bed-
rooms to the hotel. A number of improvements were made to the
existing hotel buildings adding much needed dining-room and living-
room space. A large water storage cistern with a capacity in excess
of 80,000 gallons was constructed. A small P. W A. allotment per-
mitted the installation of a hot water supply system servicing all bath


rooms in the hotel. Essential grading and landscaping work on the
hotel site was begun by the C. C. C. organization.
The operation of the hotel has proved to be less profitable than in
previous years, but the newly constructed cottages have effected a
much needed expansion of the hotel facilities and are much in demand.
Preparations are being made to advertise for bids for the lease of the
Bluebeard Castle Hotel to a private operator.
Survey of Federal Archives.-This project, begun at the close of the
last fiscal year, was completed under the able direction of Mr. Harold
Larson, special assistant, Survey of Federal Archives in the Virgin
Islands, who was loaned by the National Survey of Federal Archives.
Many interesting and historically important documents were found,
collected and cataloged. Certain documents relating to Alexander
Hamilton's domicile in the Virgin Islands and to his antecedents were
sent for preservation to the Federal Archives Building in Washington.
Similarly, an interesting day-book of Johan Lorentz, Governor of the
Danish West Indies from 1690 to 1702, was discovered and sent to
Washington for preservation. Other valuable documents were
collected and forwarded to Washington for more complete cataloging,
translation, and for use of students interested in research.
Bluebeard Castle Hotel Water Supply Installation.-As indicated
above a small allotment was used to install a hot water supply at
Bluebeard Castle Hotel to furnish hot water to all bathrooms in the
Government House, St. Croix, Reconstruction.-The project for the
reconstruction of this historic building was terminated at the close of
the fiscal year. The third floor of one section of this building had been
destroyed by fire in the previous year. The reconstructed portion
of the building has been strengthened and improved structurally and
has been made almost completely fireproof. Architecturally the
appearance of this fine example of Danish West Indian architecture has
not been altered.
St. Croix Municipal Power Plant.-An allocation of $40,750 was
made during the year as a 45 percent grant for the establishment of a
municipally owned power plant in the island of St. Croix. Many
difficulties of planning have been experienced which make it improb-
able that this project can be carried out.
Non-Federal projects.-A 45 percent grant was made to the munici-
pality of St. Thomas for the improvement and surfacing of streets and
the repair and extension of the water supply system of St. Thomas.
Fifty-five percent of the cost of this project was supplied from munic-
ipal funds. The most important streets of Charlotte Amalie have
been surfaced and existing water supply lines have been renewed and


in some places extended. An allocation for construction of drains
and sewers in St. Thomas has permitted the replacement of many
failing sewer lines and some extension of the sewer system. A third
project for the improvement of drains and water supply in St. Croix
has permitted the installation of a salt water supply for fire protection
and for flushing purposes. Fire hydrants were established at all
strategic points in both towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted.
These projects have been successfully completed and will add greatly
to the comfort and safety of the community. Request has been made
for additional funds to continue the improvement of sanitation
facilities which are of basic importance in any program of tourist
In addition to the P W. A. projects mentioned above, all of which
were carried out under the direction of officers and personnel of the
Government of the Virgin Islands, several other P. W. A. projects
were also completed by agencies not under the control of the Govern-
ment of the Virgin Islands. The projects and accomplishments
thereunder are indicated briefly:
Low-Cost Housing.-Three low-cost housing developments were
completed by the close of the fiscal year under the direction of the
P W A. Housing Division. They are located in or adjacent to each
of the three towns of the Virgin Islands. One hundred and twenty-six
family units, with a total of 230 rooms were constructed. Arrange-
ments are now being completed to turn over the management of these
units to the Government of the Virgin Islands which will assume
responsibility for their rental and for their maintenance. It is
believed that this procedure will reduce to a minimum management
costs which, if separately established, would constitute an excessive
overhead burden. These attractive and comfortable housing units
will create a new standard of living accommodations for the low-income
group for whom they were intended.
United States Marine Corps Airbase.-The completion during the
year of a P W A. project for the construction of a Marine Corps
airbase at Lindbergh Bay estate has been important both because it
has given employment to local labor and because it has established
a permanent base for the marine unit stationed at St. Thomas.
Extensive aviation maneuvers were carried on in the winter months
using this newly established air field as a base. Further maneuvers
are planned for the coming year, and it is believed that the facilities
at Lindbergh Bay will continue to attract similar activities in the
future which are of considerable economic importance to the com-
Civilian Conservation Corps.-In addition to the continuance of
two 100-man camps located in the island of St. Thomas and in the
island of St. Croix, there was authorized the establishment of a


"Senior Camp" in St. Thomas permitting the enrollment, under
special conditions, of mature unemployed workmen. The authorized
enrollment in this senior camp is 200, but to date not more than 50
enrollees have taken advantage of the opportunity to participate in
this program.
The major projects undertaken by the C. C. C. personnel were the
opening of the road to East Point Quarantine Station and Morning
Star Beach, the continued improvement of the Crown Mountain
scenic road, the improvement of the scenic St. Peter's Mountain
Road, the construction of temporary drainage outlets at Long Bay,
in St. Thomas; and the continuation of extensive drainage operations
in the swamp areas adjacent to Frederiksted, St. Croix. Further
work was done on the recreational fields adjacent to each of the three
towns of the islands, in reforestation, fire control, and soil erosion
control activities.
Treasury Relief Art Project.-Eight artists were sent down from the
United States for varying periods during the fiscal year in connection
with this project. A total of 486 oil paintings, water colors, and
etchings were completed. Many of these were of a high standard of
excellence and will create interest in the Virgin Islands on the part
of those who will have an opportunity to see them in various exhibi-
tions to which they will be sent. A large number of these pictures
have been made available for the embellishment of Government
quarters and offices in the Virgin Islands.

A contract has been awarded by the Treasury Department, Procure-
ment Division, Public Works Branch, for the erection of a Federal
building in Charlotte Amalie. Work has been started on this project
and is furnishing employment to a small number of skilled and
unskilled workmen. When completed, this building will house the
post office and customs office and will add greatly to their facilities.

Plans long in preparation for the establishment of a Joiners' Coopera-
tive and of a Farmers' Cooperative distribution outlet have ma-
terialized with the successful establishment of these units. The
Handcrnft Cooperative carried on its activities during the year without
any assistance from the Government. The necessary overhead
costs, which include a considerable amount for instruction, have
proved to be too great for that organization to carry out of its own
income. The cooperative continues to furnish an outlet for an
increasing amount of goods, however, and promises to be an important
factor in the economic improvement of the community if further


assistance is given to it. Approximately 700 persons were directly
benefited by the cooperatives; of whom some secured their entire
income from making goods distributed through the cooperative, and
of whom the large majority supplemented their income in this way.
A total of $28,590 worth of goods were sold through the cooperative
in the fiscal year as compared with $26,213 the previous year. Pay-
ments of $14,386 were made to cooperative workers, as compared with
$13,540 the previous year.

For the first 6 months of the fiscal year the staff of the agricultural
station was undermanned due to resignations in the previous year of
the agronomist and of the veterinarian. These vacancies have now
been filled and the normal activities of the station were subsequently
resumed. Cane breeding has been continued but the varieties have
been reduced in number to those which previous years' experiments
have shown to be best adapted to St. Croix, and station acreage has
been reduced in favor of more supervised experimental planting
throughout the island. A substation was established in the Jolly
I-ill (west end) section of the island which is well adapted to fruit
production. The results of experimental planting of citrus and other
economic plants at the Jolly Hill substation are promising.
Although St. Croix cattle have been for years rated as free from
tuberculosis, the fears of neighboring islands resulted in requiring
by law that tuberculin tests be made on all imported and exported
cattle. The burden of this work has fallen upon the veterinarian.
A campaign is now under way to make Puerto Rico, which is the im-
portant market for Virgin Islands cattle, a tick-free island, and this
has imposed on the Virgin Islands the need to take immediate measures
if their cattle are not to be barred from their only export market.
This program is costly and it is improbable that local funds can be
found from private or municipal funds to carry through the 3-year
tick eradication program which must be undertaken.
The director of the agricultural station has been the acting home-
stead administrator, and has devoted a large part of his time to the
very important work of supervising the homestead program. The
homesteaders require much supervision and they constitute a large
and promising field for the station's extension work.
The vocational school has been continued with an average enroll-
ment of 11 boys resident at the station. Their work consists of class-
room study, shop and field work with tractors and farm equipment,
direct individual responsibility for land cultivation, and the study
and practice of animal husbandry Five students were graduated
this year. For next year it is planned to include a limited number of
day pupils to this small number of resident students.


Department of Education.-Efforts were continued, but so far with-
out success, to secure action by the local legislatures for the enact-
ment of revised school laws based on the findings of a comprehensive
survey of the educational system undertaken in the fiscal year 1936.
The enactment of these or comparable ordinances is imperatively
necessary for the sound direction and support of educational advance
in the future. In accordance with familiar American procedure, they
call for the election of school boards whose membership may be ex-
pected to create increasing local interest in and support for educa-
tional activities. Clear and fixed standards of teacher training and
promotion are established in them.
Because of the small population of the Virgin Islands and because
of their slender resources, it is not possible to establish a local normal
school or college for the training of those who desire to enter the
teaching profession. To meet both the needs of the local school sys-
tems for well-trained teachers and the desires of ambitious natives for
higher education, there was adopted some years ago the wise policy
of securing scholarships in American universities for the best qualified
students graduating from the local high schools each year. To date
nine of these scholarship students have completed their collegiate
education in various institutions in the United States with highly
creditable standing and have returned to take positions in the public-
school systems of the islands. In addition to their more adequate
training, these teachers have learned American methods and customs
and have established contacts in the continental United States which
are of value in the process of cultural assimilation. Furthermore, the
understandable unwillingness of local legislators to provide funds for
the employment of "outsiders" in their school systems is being
With the employment of natives in most of the available teaching
positions there has been increasing financial support given the school
Both municipalities have made funds available as scholarship
grants to permit teachers to attend summer school sessions at the
University of Puerto Rico. The Teachers' Association of St. Thomas
has made preparation to conduct a "Summer Institute" for teachers
who desire to take additional subject credits. This Institute is wholly
voluntary and is supported entirely by the Teachers' Association.
The municipality of St. Thomas and St. John has enacted an ordi-
nance establishing a scholarship fund whose purpose it is to assist two
or three of the best qualified students graduating from the local high
school to enter collegiate institutions in the United States. Howard
University has generously granted two tuition scholarships a year for
Virgin Islands students recommended by a local scholarship selection


committee. Steps are now being taken to secure six additional schol-
arships at this university so that there may constantly be two new
students entering it each year for a 4-year course.
Upon joint request of the Governor and of Dr. Arthur D. Wright,
president, Slater Fund, the Carnegie Foundation made a gift of $7,500
to the Slater Fund for maintaining a Jeanes teacher in the municipality
of St. Thomas and St. John. The education-in-living program con-
ducted by the Jeanes teacher provided for from Federal funds in the
island of St. Croix which has proved to be highly important and bene-
ficial can now be extended to include the entire Virgin Islands due to
this generous action on the part of the Slater Fund and of the Car-
negie Foundation.
There is great and pressing need for additional school-room space
both in the grade schools and especially in the high school of Charlotte
Amalie, where 14 graduates of the junior high school could not be
admitted to the senior high school for lack of space and facilities.
There was an enrollment of 3,249 students in the public schools as
compared with 3,244 in the previous year.
Health and Sanitation.-The infant mortality rate has again been
reduced due to vigorous measures prosecuted by the health authorities
in this connection. The infant mortality rate of 106.8 per thousand
children born alive compares with the infant mortality rate of 180.5
for the previous fiscal year. The adult mortality rate was reduced
from 22.4 per thousand population to 21.4.
A serious epidemic of malaria occurred in the island of St. Croix
which was traceable to mosquito breeding in certain low lying areas
adjacent to Frederiksted town which became flooded as a result of
abnormal rains. Prompt and persistent efforts have been made to
improve this condition, and toward the close of the fiscal year there
was a falling off of the number of new cases which indicated that the
control measures undertaken in this area were taking effect. Con-
siderable improvement was made in the sewerage systems of each of
the three towns which will be reflected in future years in improved
health in the communities.
Public Welfare.-In addition to its normal activities, the public
welfare department in each island acted as the relief employment
office for Federal relief projects and administered the distribution of
food sent to the Virgin Islands by the Federal Surplus Commodities
The National Social Security Act does not apply to the Virgin
Islands, and, as a result, the beneficial effects of that great instrument
of social amelioration are unknown to their population. The capacity
of the local communities is seriously overtaxed by the old and dis-
abled persons who must be provided for by them. King's Hill Poor
Farm continues with the very large population of 136. The municipal


"pension" rolls contain the names of 993 persons. The average
monthly payment to these persons is $1.50, which is greatly less than
the bare minimum required for existence. It is probable that only
one-half the number of those who are deserving of these doles are being
provided for even at this tragically inadequate rate.
Public Works Departments.-The routine activities of these depart-
ments were carried out successfully during the year. In addition
the non-Federal P W A. projects described above were supervised
and administered by them. In St. Croix, as a result of a special local
grant, certain minimum repairs were made to the hospitals in Chris-
tiansted and Frederiksted. Unfortunately, funds have not been avail-
able for many years to maintain these hospitals and other municipal
public buildings in a satisfactory condition. It is hoped that with
increasing local revenues, funds can eventually be found to make ade-
quate repairs to municipal structures.
Libraries.-The normal activities of the libraries in each of the
three towns of the islands were continued. Statistical analyses indi-
cate that there was some falling off of attendance and interest in the
Police and Prison Department.-Due to the resignation of the direc-
tor of police in St. Thomas, the appointment of a new director of
police was necessitated at the close of the fiscal year. Provision was
made for five additional junior patrolmen in St. Thomas to meet the
demands of a growing population. No unusual police problems devel-
oped during the fiscal year, but a continued tendency towards juvenile
delinquency was apparent. It has not been possible to establish a
much needed reform school because of lack of funds.
St. John.-A new administrator for St. John was appointed in
January 1937. Routine medical and administrative work was car-
ried on with no unusual developments.

The United States immigration laws were made applicable to the
Virgin Islands by the Immigration Act of 1924. No provision was
made at the time for the enforcement of these laws other than by
local administrative personnel including the municipal police forces.
As a result of representations made by the Governor for better enforce-
ment of these laws, Mr. I. F. Wixon, Deputy Commissioner, Immigra-
tion and Naturalization Service, Department of Labor, and Mr.
George L. Brandt, Visa Division, Department of State, were appointed
to make an investigation and report upon the administration of the
immigration laws in the Virgin Islands. These officers made a thor-
ough examination and submitted a comprehensive report on all phases
of the problem. Outlining certain practical difficulties which might
result from placing enforcement under Federal as distinguished from


local control and the possibility that an act of Congress would be
required to transfer enforcement from the Governor of the Virgin
Islands to the United States Department of Labor, Messrs. Wixon and
Brandt withheld recommendation pending a ruling upon certain ques-
tions of law. After full study of their report, it was decided that the
administration of United States Immigration laws in the Virgin
Islands should be retained under the control of the Governor of the
Virgin Islands and his administrative staff. Following suggestions
made in the Wixon-Brandt report, Congress has been requested to
appropriate funds to permit the Governor of the Virgin Islands
more adequately to enforce these laws.

Under an interpretation of a provision of the Organic Act it was
held that the United States navigation laws apply to the Virgin
Islands. This very beneficial decision has made it possible to enforce
locally Federal laws for the protection of the safety and lives of pas-
sengers on ships plying between Virgin Islands and between them and
nearby island ports. Representatives of the Department of Com-
merce, the Customs Department, and the United States Coast Guard
Service have cooperated in taking measures to protect life and to
insure safety at sea, thus removing a condition which had previously
constituted a serious and grave danger.

During this first year of operation of the Organic Act of the Virgin
Islands, enacted at the close of the fiscal year 1936, there have been
many important changes in political organization all of which have
been smoothly effected.
The new municipal councils took office on January 1, 1937. The
municipal council of St. Croix now consists of nine members, all
elected by the qualified electors of that municipality, replacing the
old colonial council which had a membership of 18 of whom 13 were
elected and five appointed. The municipal council of St. Thomas
and St. John consists of seven elected members and replaces the
colonial council which consisted of 15 members of whom 11 were
elected and 4 appointed.
Preparations are being made for the enactment of a new electoral
law to establish universal suffrage after January 1, 1938, as required
by the Organic Act. The hitherto disfranchised mass of the popula-
tion has already begun to interest itself in political organization in
anticipation of this important democratic advance.
The clarification of the limits of executive and legislative power
accomplished by this act has been instrumental in developing the
spirit of mutual cooperation which has characterized the relationships


of these departments during the year. The veto power was sparingly
used and the new power of the municipal councils to enact legislation
over executive veto was used only once. In this case the President
upheld the action of the Governor. The new power of the legisla-
tures to confirm, and to withhold confirmation, of appointments to
municipal office was wisely used. In only three cases, none of them
important, did the legislatures withhold confirmation of the large num-
ber of appointments made by the executive.
The President and the Department of Justice have acted to appoint
the personnel of the judicial department of the Virgin Islands. That
department is now fully organized in accordance with the provisions
of the Organic Act.
Although the economic improvement which has been effected in the
Virgin Islands in the past 4 years is largely the result of unusual Fed-
eral expenditure, much of which has been of a relief character, signifi-
cant progress has been made in developing their commercial resources.
In St. Thomas the tourist and winter resident trade has been fur-
thered by the construction of Bluebeard Castle Hotel, by road im-
provement, and by the improvement of sanitation. This trade de-
pends on the development of the harbor of St. Thomas as does all
other business in the island. The vigorous prosecution of harbor im-
provement projects, including the establishment of a graving dock, are
of paramount importance if private commercial development is to be
.expected to eliminate the existing disproportionate relief problem.
In St. Croix the development of the sugar and rum businesses
have been greatly advanced by the homestead program, by the estab-
lishment and operation of the Virgin Islands Co. and by the road
improvement program.
These projects have proved to be effective not only in meeting
immediate relief problems but also in strengthening the basic eco-
nomic fabric of the community. The great improvement during the
year in the fiscal situation of the local governments permits the expec-
tation of their achieving self-sufficiency in relatively few years. In
the light of the history of the Virgin Islands this would constitute a
substantial achievement. It is, therefore, evident that the rehabili-
tation program which has proved successful should be vigorously
Respectfully submitted.

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