Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents

Group Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands to the Secretary of the Interior.
Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015459/00023
 Material Information
Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands.
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Virgin Islands of the United States. Governor.
Publisher: for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
Publication Date: 1947-1948
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00015459
Volume ID: VID00023
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aaa5018 - LTQF
01235215 - OCLC

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
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Full Text



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Annual Report

Governor of the Virgin Islands


Secretary of the Interior

Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 1948

J. A. KRUG, Secretary



United States Government Printing Office, Washington : 1949

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D. C.
Price 10 cents

The Community 100 Years After'Emancipation ------------- 1
Public Finance and Taxation_ ---------------------- 4
Agriculture--------------------- -- ------------- 5
Commerce and Shipping------___----------------------- 6
Education---------------------------------------------- 7
Health and Sanitation___-----_------------------------ 9
Police and Prison Administration --------------- 9
Public Lending Program------------------- 10
Public Utilities ------------------------------------------ 11
Social Welfare------------------------ --------------- 12
Tourism_ -------------------------------- 12
Deactivated Military and Naval Property -------------------- 13
Legislation ---------------------- ----------- 13
Conclusion -------------------------------------------- 15

Annual Report of the Governor

of the Virgin Islands


T HIS report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1948, is concerned
principally with significant current developments in government
and in community life in the Virgin Islands of the United States.
An elaboration of a number of the items here mentioned, as well as a
considerable body of general and background information, appears
in the 1948 report on the Virgin Islands of the United States prepared
by the government of the Virgin Islands in cooperation with the
Department of the Interior, and transmitted by the United States to
the Secretary-General of the United Nations, pursuant to article 73 (e)
of the charter. That report has been published and is available
through the Department of the Interior.
The Community 100 Years After Emancipation
In 1848 human slavery was abolished in the Virgin Islands, then a
possession of Denmark. During the first 6 months of 1948 the Virgin
Islands celebrated the completion of a century of freedom. The cele-
bration was high-lighted by a visit of President Truman on February
22 and 23, and by messages from President Truman and the King of
Denmark, as well as the presence of the Ambassador of Denmark to
the United States, at the climactic conclusion of the celebration on
July 3, 1948, the one-hundredth anniversary of the emancipation
proclamation. On so significant an anniversary, it seems appropriate
that this report contain at least a summary presentation of the status
of the Virgin Islands and their 30,000 inhabitants after 100 years of
Persons born in the Virgin Islands of the United States are citizens
of the United States. Written into the Organic Act or territorial
Constitution of these islands are the basic provisions of the Bill of
Rights of the United States Constitution. Universal suffrage is ap-
plicable to the election of a local legislature which enjoys legislative


authority essentially as broad as that of the legislatures of the several
States of the Union. Out of 22 principal officers of the executive
branch of the government of the Virgin Islands, 17 are Virgin Islanders.
Only in the denial of representation in the Congress, in the with-
holding of the privilege of participation in the election of the President
and Vice President of the United States, and in the selection of their
Governor by Presidential appointment rather than popular election,
are citizens of the Virgin Islands less favored politically than citizens
of a State. From a different approach, the citizens of the Virgin
Islands enjoy a somewhat more privileged political status than do the
citizens of the District of Columbia, the National Capital..
Services of government to the people in the Virgin Islands compare
very favorably with those ordinarily found today in outlying posses-
sions of metropolitan countries, although the need for improvement
and expansion of such services is very great and very obvious. The
government makes essential medical services and hospitalization avail-
able at moderate cost to the entire population, and to the needy
without charge. Public health measures have served to reduce the
death rate from 41.5 per thousand to 15.9 during the 30-year period
from 1917 to 1947. During the same period the infant mortality rate
was reduced from 328.9 to 88.9. No epidemic has occurred for many
years. Informed persons come to live in the Virgin Islands with no
less assurance as to general conditions of health than in the case of
migration within the continental United States.
Education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and
15. As a result, more than 85 percent of the people are able to read
and write. About 100 students now graduate each year from the
senior high schools. This means that between 10 and 15 percent of
the youth of the community are receiving the benefit of 12 years of
formal education. Annual public expenditure for education has now
reached the level'of $95.46 per child, of which $30.36 represents the
cost of providing a daily lunch for each child.
Local social legislation has followed the pattern of the continental
United States. The local government administers a system of com-
pulsory workmen's compensation insurance. Minimum wages and
maximum hours in most categories of employment are controlled by
legislation. To the extent possible, with very small resources, loans
from public funds are provided for small business ventures, small agri-
cultural enterprises, and the construction of homes. Public assistance
is provided from local funds to students of promise, including veterans
who seek advanced training in mainland educational institutions.
Such data reveal and demonstrate an important national policy.
Our conception of the status and rights of the individual and the


organization, responsibilities, and services of government makes no
distinction between outlying and dependent areas on the one hand,
and the metropolitan area of the United States. In practice as in
theory, we rejected the notion of a double standard of human rights
and public responsibilities, a superior one for the metropolitan area
and an inferior one for offshore possessions.
Economic progress has not kept pace with political and social
advancement during this first century of freedom in the Virgin Islands.
The abolition of slave labor and the competition of larger and more
productive areas have reduced the once profitable and dominant
sugar industry to a level of bare subsistence. Where slave labor once
raised sugarcane all over the islands and even on steep hillsides, only
S a few thousand acres of the better land are now devoted to this crop,
and even here the operation yields very small profit.
The decline of sugar has meant a general and continuing economic
decline because no adequate substitute for the sugar economy has
been developed. Recurrent periods of drought and poor soil are
fundamental handicaps of agriculture.
Lack of natural resources or other special advantages has prevented
the islands from being attractive to new industry. Capital invest-
ments are small. Today the total assessed valuation of all real
property, agricultural, industrial, and residential, in the Virgin Islands
is only about $11,000,000.
Although a significant increase of local production for local use is
possible and would be very advantageous, the community must con-
tinue to depend upon the outside world for much of its essential food,
clothing, and materials. Until this unavoidable expenditure abroad
is balanced by the creation of marketable wealth or value at home,
the community cannot prosper.
Three approaches, each complementary to the other, are being made
to this problem. The development of tourism as a major industry is
in progress. By 1950 tourism should be a major favorable factor in
the local economy. Second, the production of specialty crops for
export is the subject of continuing experimentation. Every success-
ful effort along this line is a significant gain. Third, the promotion
of new industry must be carried on both through modern methods of
advertising the community and through devising and offering special
public assistance to new enterprises.
At the end of a century of freedom from chattel slavery, these are
paths to economic emancipation. But the goal is yet in the distance.
We have yet to achieve the freedom from want which is so important
a part of our contemporary conception of freedom.


Public Finance and Taxation
During the fiscal year 1948, the financial situation of the Virgin
Islands remained unsatisfactory and precarious. In the last few years
current revenues have been insufficient to cover current expenditures,
and demands have been met only through the use of reserves which
were established during the war years. These reserves no longer exist.
The total budgeted expenditures of the local government for the
fiscal year amounted to $1,422,626.23, as against $1,523,651.18 for
the previous year. Revenues collected from local taxation in the two
municipalities totaled $1,087,056.02. The balance to make up the
total receipts included transfers, contributions, loans, and a Federal
deficit appropriation of $140,000.
The budgeted expenditures of the municipality of St. Thomas and
St. John alone were $965,733.23 as against $1,104,283.18 for the pre-
vious fiscal year. This reduction, in spite of mounting costs, was made
possible partly through administrative reorganization of various
agencies, boards, and commissions, including the consolidation of
certain governmental services and the elimination of several positions.
There were significant changes in three major sources of revenues
in the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John. Income-tax collec-
tions decreased from $511,870.18 for fiscal year 1947 to $417,698.91
for fiscal year 1948, while collections from customs decreased from
$49,775 to $28,000. However, collections from trade tax increased
from $58,457.36 to $176,073.05, offsetting the losses in revenue from
income tax and customs. The reduction in income-tax collections
was due chiefly to the decline in the production of alcoholic beverages
for export to the United States, while collections from customs were
adversely affected by a marked decrease in the importation of molasses
used by the distilleries.
Revenues in St. Croix remained stable, if woefully inadequate, at
a level of about $265,000. Even with a Federal subsidy of $140,000,
this sum is insufficient to maintain services at an acceptable level.
Although there were small declines in the majority of revenue sources
in the municipality of St. Croix, these were offset by the following
increases: Real-property tax yielded $62,407.39 as against $57,342.66
for the previous fiscal year, and income-tax collections were
$103,069.94 as against $86,232.22 for 1947.
In an effort to bolster the declining revenues of the local govern-
ment, the trade-tax law of the municipality of St. Thomas and St.
John was revised to include taxes on luxury items heretofore not
specially taxed, and the excise tax of St. Croix was amended in order
to yield more revenue. The results have been gratifying. An increase
of $117,615.69 over the collections from the St. Thomas trade tax
during fiscal year 1947 was obtained. Collections from the excise


tax of St. Croix also increased $13,851.95 over the previous year,
although the new rates were in effect only part of the year. Pros-
pective schedules are being drafted and studied with a view to the
adoption of a uniform modern statute for business taxation for the
entire Virgin Islands.
During the year activities of the Soil Conservation Service and
Farmers' Home Administration were resumed in the Virgin Islands.
The Production and Marketing Administration established an office
for conservation payments for the first time. A soil- and water-
conservation program for the Virgin Islands has been developed, and
the Farmers' Home Administration has taken a very active part in
improving the water-supply system in rural areas.
In St. Croix the agricultural station was particularly active in
vegetable production, soil and water conservation, and pasture im-
provement. Vegetables were produced and transported to the United
States by airplane on a profitable experimental basis. This experi-
ment resulted in the organization of the St. Croix Fruit & Vegetable
Co. which plans to plant over 250 acres of vegetables during the coming
winter season. Pasture-improvement demonstrations were successful
in the most difficult areas of the island. In a single year a demonstra-
tion pasture was changed from over-grazed hurricane grass to an
adequate growth of guinea grass.
The agricultural station also propagated and distributed 103,100
vegetable slips, 2,667 assorted ornamentals and 391 coconut seedlings.
A total of 3,316 farm visits were made,, 47 farmers' meetings held, and
96 public meetings attended related to extension services. A farm
survey for the island of St. Croix was completed and has provided
information necessary for planning and executing an island-wide
agriculture improvement program.
In St. Thomas the agricultural station completed a land-use map
of the island, showing the land uses of the present time, and classifying
the land according to its capability. This is the first step toward
preparing an agricultural development plan for St. Thomas and St.
John by which an effort will be made to better utilize the limited
agricultural resources of the municipality. The nucleus of an exten-
sive orchard project has been established. Several varieties of citrus
trees, including lime, orange, and grapefruit, special mangoes, bananas,
breadfruit, and plantains have been planted at the station in order to
develop material for future propagation work.
During the year, 171 pounds of vegetable seeds and 24,000 vegetable
slips were sold to farmers. Over 1,600 ornamentals were sold for
landscape work. Approximately 1,000 slips of bull tyre palms have


been started to provide a local supply of fiber for the handicraft
Plant quarantine was extended to St. Thomas to prevent the intro-
duction of harmful plant diseases and insect pests. The work of
inspecting imported fruits, vegetables, and plants has been assigned
to the station.
Informal discussions with the Department of Agriculture have been
initiated by the government of the Virgin Islands and the Department
of the Interior with a view to the ultimate coordination of all Virgin
Islands agricultural activities under supervision of the Department of
Commerce and Shipping
A much larger amount of money is sent from the Virgin Islands in
payment for food, clothing, and other commodities produced abroad
than comes from the outside for things that are produced and work
done in the islands. During the calendar year 1947 goods valued at
$9,031,743 were imported into the Virgin Islands, while exports were
valued at only $2,183,744. The correction of this unfavorable situation
continues to be a major economic objective.
The Government-owned Virgin Islands Company produced 4,350
tons of sugar this year, 1,400 tons more than last year. Employment
was provided for about 1,000 persons during crop time and half that
number during the rest of the year. In addition, the Company
processed the cane of about 600 independent cane farmers. Its rum
operations, however, were severely restricted by the continuing general
inactivity of the rum market. A still better sugar crop is predicted
for 1948, but rum sales remain very uncertain. In St. Thomas the
unfavorable rum market also curtailed the exportation of alcoholic
beverages. As a result only 224,236.86 proof gallons of alcoholic
beverages were exported from the Virgin Islands this year as compared
with 390,880 last year.
The lack of United States dollars in many countries seems to have
affected shipping in the Virgin Islands adversely by discouraging a
number of ships of foreign registry from calling that usually came to
St. Thomas for bunkers and refueling. In addition, difficulties have
been experienced in obtaining adequate regular supplies of fuel for
the bunkering and refueling trade. In these circumstances, a slight
decline in shipping as compared with the preceding year was experi-
enced. The transshipment of bauxite at St. Thomas continues to be
a substantial commercial activity. The number of tourists coming to
the Virgin Islands by water was also reduced when the Alcoa Line
replaced a 90-passenger ship with 2 slower ships capable of carrying
only 12 passengers each,


Despite the slight decline in shipping as compared with last year,
the general prospects for the development of commercial activities to
surpass the level of the period immediately preceding the war years
are good. Ten years ago, during the fiscal year 1937-38, 743 ships
with a gross tonnage of 2,951,913 called at St. Thomas. During the
current fiscal year 417 ships with a gross tonnage of 2,435,760, entered
the port of St. Thomas, a difference of only about 500,000 gross tons.

One of the noteworthy developments of the year was the establish-
ment of a veterans' education program in the Virgin Islands, through
the collaboration of the local government and the Veterans' Adminis-
tration. The program of instruction includes elementary education
and secondary subjects for resident veterans. Nearly 300 veterans
are enrolled in these courses in the Virgin Islands. The municipality
of St. Thomas and St. John has also made special provision by legis-
lation for the payment of transportation of veterans who enroll in
institutions in the United States. In addition, scholarships of $250
each for vocational training in the United States were provided from a
municipal appropriation made available for that purpose.
The cost of education and related services to school children,
including school lunches, in St. Thomas rose to the unprecedented
amount of $95.46 per pupil as compared with $79.62 for the preceding
year. In St. Croix the cost per pupil also increased from $52.59 in
1947 to $57.51 this year. The high cost of equipment, consumable
supplies, and services contributed largely to the increase in the cost
of education. Another factor has been the increase over a 10-year
period of the average salary per teacher in St. Thomas from $58.63 to
$100.73. In St. Croix the average salary per teacher increased from
$57.54 to $78.19 during the same period.
For the fiscal year 1948 there were 2,574 pupils enrolled in the
public schools in St. Thomas, as compared with 2,624 in the preceding
year. Of this number, 766 were enrolled in junior and senior high
school grades, as compared with 785 in 1947. In St. Croix there was
an increase in enrollment from 1,570 in the preceding year to 1,686
in 1948. Enrollment in the junior and senior high schools in St. Croix
was 496, an increase of 135 over the enrollment of the preceding year.
Through administrative reorganization in St. Thomas, the public
library was placed under the administrative jurisdiction of the depart-
ment of education. The division of public playgrounds, formerly in
the social welfare department, was eliminated, and the recreational
areas and equipment transferred to the department of education
under the supervision of the physical education staff.


Observing its tenth anniversary, the Teachers' Institute sponsored
one of the most successful summer sessions, in which four selected
extension courses were offered by the Polytechnic Institute of Puerto
Rico, and college credits were given to qualified registrants. The
Junior Art League established in the schools this year should prove
to be a valuable medium for developing and sustaining interest in
art activities. In addition to the regular classroom activities in art,
the schools engaged in an impressive number of extracurricular
For the first time the kindergarten program in St. Thomas bene-
fitted from the full-time services of a trained supervisor. Through
"in-service" training measures, a marked advancement was shown in
greater adherence to practices recommended by authorities in this
field. There were 288 children enrolled in 9 kindergartens in St.
Thomas and St. John.
The school-lunch program heretofore confined to the elementary
schools was extended to include the Charlotte Amalie High School.
With 23 schools included in the operation of this service, the number
of children participating increased from an average of 1,800 daily to
more than 2,200. An aggregate of 400,583 lunches were served with
an over-all cash cost of $66,441.18, exclusive of contributions of food
from the United States Department of Agriculture, estimated at
$12,000. The average cash cost per meal was 16% cents.
A vocational department was added to the high school in St. Croix.
Started on a small scale, it is expected that this department will
expand as additional funds for vocational training are made available.
Although continuous and concerted efforts have been made through
the years to obtain Federal funds for vocational training in the Virgin
Islands, Congress has failed to include these islands in its program of
assistance to States and Territories for vocational training.
The school-lunch service in St. Croix was successfully operated
throughout the year with an average daily participation of 1,179
pupils in 10 schools. The sum of $3,048.72 was contributed by the
children themselves to the program. Besides, fresh vegetables pro-
duced in the rural-school gardens aided in providing a balanced meal
at low cost. Some of the schools produced more vegetables than they
could consume, and donated the surplus to other public institutions.
The department of education is working toward the equivalent of
2 years of post-high-school training as a minimum standard for
teacher training in the Virgin Islands. This training should include
one or more years in institutions beyond the Virgin Islands. While
teacher-training courses offered locally are of benefit, teachers fail
to acquire the professional zeal and inspiration which is developed
in professional institutions abroad that are closely in contact with


demonstration schools. However, the attainment of this objective
would require a substantial annual appropriation for teacher training
to be applied as scholarships for selected teachers to be sent abroad.

Health and Sanitation
A steady increase in Federal funds made available through grant-
in-aid programs has greatly assisted in the development of an exten-
sive public health program in the Virgin Islands, most notably in the
fields of maternal and child health and care for crippled children.
The Virgin Islands also became eligible for the benefits of the Hospital
Construction Act in June 1948. One of the objectives of Federal
grant-in-aid programs is the stimulation of spending of local funds
in extending the public health services. Despite the economic con-
dition of this territory, all requirements of matching Federal funds
with local expenditures have been met.
A general program of immunization against typhoid fever was suc-
cessfully carried out in the Virgin Islands. In addition to the here-
tofore inaugurated mosquito control program for the elimination of
filariasis, the Lederle Laboratories, in cooperation with the territorial
government, conducted a program of treatment of filariasis with the
new drug Hetrazan, assisted by the local health department. The
work was undertaken to prove the efficacy of the drug in a highly
endemic area. Results will be recorded and reported.
In January 1948, a program of mass X-rays was initiated as a feature
of tuberculosis control in St. Thomas. A total of 1,925 pictures has
already been taken and read. Up to the end of the fiscal year, the
results continued to emphasize a lower incidence of tuberculosis in St.
Thomas than would be expected for a similar community in the
United States.
While the bacteria count of milk in St. Thomas is still high, it is
expected that with the installation and operation of a modern pas-
teurizing plant early in the near future, a healthy and wholesome
milk will be available for general consumption. Improvement in the
sanitary handling of meat can also be expected when a modern abat-
toir is completed during the next fiscal year. However, additional
legislation controlling the handling of meat will also be necessary in
order to raise the process to a satisfactory level of sanitation.

Police and Prison Administration
Under the leadership of a new director of police, a native of the
Virgin Islands recently retired as an officer of the United States Army,
a juvenile-aid bureau was established in the St. Thomas police depart-
ment for the purpose of carrying out a broad program for the preven-
tion and reduction of juvenile delinquency. Over 500 youngsters


have enrolled in a police athletic league sponsored by the juvenile-
aid bureau. During the year this bureau, with the cooperation and
assistance of the department of social welfare, handled 84 cases of
juvenile delinquency. The first policewoman in the history of the
Virgin Islands was appointed, and assigned to the juvenile-aid bureau.
The St. Thomas police department secured conviction in 775
complaints of a total of 1,033 cases filed in the courts. Most of the
complaints charged violation of traffic regulations, disorderly conduct,
assault and battery, and similar misdemeanors. There was a de-
crease of 17.6 percent in felony complaints as compared with the
preceding year. Fourteen such complaints were processed, in
comparison with 17 in 1947. Of a total of 67 criminal cases referred
to the bureau of investigation, 48 resulted in the apprehension of a
person believed to be the offender, while 19 were still pending at the
close of the fiscal year. The police department, assisted by 25 members
of the home guard, furnished a guard of honor for the President of the
United States and members of his immediate staff when they visited
St. Thomas on February 22.
There were 166 arrests made by the police department in St. Croix
during the year, most of which were for disturbance of the peace and
violation of traffic regulations. The police force also provided a guard
of honor for the President and his party when they visited St. Croix
on February 23. Efforts are being made to establish a police athletic
league similar to the one recently started in St. Thomas. At Rich-
mond Penitentiary the prisoners produced charcoal and white lime
which were sold. There were 20 prisoners at Richmond at the close
of the fiscal year, 13 from St. Thomas and 7 from St. Croix.

Public Lending Programs
The insular government has made a small but significant beginning
in facilitating the construction of homes, providing water supply
facilities for householder, helping the small farmer start his crop, and
establishing small industries. Despite the fact that very little money
is available for such programs, assistance on a small scale has been
given in the form of loans based on proper and sufficient security.
During the fiscal year 1948, 7 loans totaling $2,807.20 for the con-
struction of cisterns were made in St. Thomas, under the water supply
ordinance. At the same time, 12 mortgage loans totaling $5,080 were
made from trust funds to property owners for the purpose of repairing
their houses.
Under the home-loan ordinance a total of 32 loans have been made
since 1944, aggregating $56,000. These loans have been granted with
proper security for the purpose of assisting persons who are desirous
of building their own homes. In order to encourage the establishment


of small native industries, during the fiscal year 1948, 7 loans totaling
$5,050 were granted under the native industries and small businesses
Many important services are furnished farmers in St. Croix through
the agricultural development revolving funds. These services include
plowing, pasture clearing with bulldozer, and the supplying of seeds,
slips, fruit trees, and livestock. In St. Thomas similar services were
rendered by the station through the special revolving fund for poultry,
livestock, and seed development.
Public Utilities
In the reorganization of departments, boards, and commissions, the
telephone board was abolished, and the control and operation of the
municipal telephone system of St. Thomas transferred to the St.
Thomas Power Authority, which was created in 1945 to manage and
operate municipal-owned public utilities. The existing telephone dis-
tribution network, which was installed many years ago, needs to be
replaced and the system modernized in order to meet the increased
demands for telephone service on the island of St. Thomas.
Upon the transfer of the properties and facilities of the deactivated
United States naval submarine base to the municipality of St. Thomas
and St. John on January 1, 1948, the large Navy power plant was
placed under the control of the power authority. Using this facility
as a source of power, the task of converting the island of St. Thomas
from direct current to alternating current was begun. In April
1948, the San Jose project, a chemical warfare unit of the United
States Army, took over the operation of the naval submarine base
and all related facilities including the power plant. A satisfactory
temporary agreement has been worked out between the Army and
the authority, pending the execution of a formal contract, whereby
the Army is supplying alternating current to the authority at pro-
duction cost for distribution and sale to consumers.
In the process of conversion, the old direct current distribution
system in the island was purchased by the municipality from the
West Indian Co., Ltd. Direct current is now being purchased from
the West Indian Co. Ltd., by the power authority, and resold
to consumers who are still on the direct current system, while
consumers in that portion of the island that has been converted are
being supplied with alternating current. Conversion has been a
slow process due to the difficulty of obtaining supplies and equipment,
and also because of the need to raise more capital. At the close of the
fiscal year approximately 17 percent of the total conversion had been
completed. However, it is expected to complete the conversion during
the next fiscal year.


In St. Croix the conversion of the electrical energy in the two
towns to 110 volts alternating current with the Rural Electrification
Administration plant as the source of power, has been progressing
satisfactorily. Large portions of both towns have already been
changed over. It is expected that conversion will be completed during
the next fiscal year.
Social Welfare
Since the passage of the territorial Social Welfare Act of 1943,
welfare services have been organized on an insular basis, with two
municipal departments as integral parts. Singleness of purpose and
coordination of effort have resulted.
The child welfare division of the insular department had its first full
year of operation, financed in part by grants under title V of the na-
tional Social Security Act. To improve the professional caliber of its
services, this division has provided scholarships in professional social
work to two Virgin Islanders who are under contract to return to the
islands for staff assignments.
The total of public assistance expenditures in St. Thomas for the
fiscal year 1948 was $38,681.40. During that same period some
assistance was provided in 425 cases. Grants to the needy averaged
only $6.77 per case per month.
During the year the supervision and control of the juvenile school
for boys was transferred to the social welfare department, and assigned
to the child welfare division. Six boys from St. Croix were admitted
to the juvenile school under enabling legislation passed by both
municipal councils. The Queen Louise Home for the Aged operated
at its full, but limited, capacity of 20 inmates. The Corneiro Home,
which was bequeathed to the municipality under a trusteeship, was
opened under emergency conditions to admit 11 indigents who were
desperately in need of shelter and care. However, proper repairs
must be made before the home can be put into full use.
By June 1948, the child welfare division in St. Croix had 206
children under its supervision. There were 141 at home with their
parents, 38 in homes of relatives, 20 in foster homes, and 7 in institu-
tions. During the year 469 needy persons received monthly grants
averaging only $2.50 each. It is obvious that much more money is
necessary in order to provide even minimum necessaries for the
indigent in St. Croix.
There have been favorable developments in tourism and related
real-estate activity throughout the Virgin Islands. During the year
two small hotels in St. Croix and one in St. Thomas were completed
and placed in operation. In St. Thomas at the close of the fiscal year


plans were completed and ground cleared to start the immediate con-
struction of a large hotel and 25 resort cottages. Efforts are also
being made, in St. Thomas, to have a well-located site, recently re-
turned from the United States Army to the municipality of St. Thomas
and St. John, leased or sold outright for the development of additional
tourist accommodations. The interest of visitors in St. Croix as a
place to live gained considerable impetus. A number of old estates
were purchased to be rehabilitated for personal use, and a few of them
for development and resale.
A tourist development board created for the municipality of St.
Thomas and St. John in 1947, has been active to the extent possible
with limited financing during the fiscal year publicizing the islands,
making arrangements for sightseeing tours, and entertaining visitors
to the islands.
Deactivated Military and Naval Property
On December 31, 1947, the United States Navy removed its per-
sonnel and ceased operations of the submarine base and the Marine
Corps air facilities at Bourne Field in St. Thomas. At the same time,
the United States Army ceased operations of the airport at Benedict
Field, St. Croix. These properties and facilities were transferred to
the respective municipalities of the Virgin Islands, where they are
located, for use and operation. The Navy has retained the right to
require the immediate return of the facilities in St. Thomas in event
of a national emergency.
The St. Thomas Development Authority was created by legislation
to manage and operate the property and facilities at the submarine
base and Bourne Field, including the public airport. The property
has been made available for tourist development projects and com-
munity facilities. Most of the facilities have been advertised for
lease. The low cost housing division, Lindberg Beach area, and
recreation hall at Bourne Field are being operated successfully by the
development authority as a housing and recreational facility.
In April 1948, the San Jose project, a permanent installation of the
United States Army Chemical Service, was transferred to St. Thomas
from Panama. Most of the former naval submarine base has been
turned over to this Army project, as well as Fort Segarra at Water
Island. Employment has been provided for about 200 civilians of
the local community.
The Eightieth Congress considered but failed to enact several bills
of major importance to the Virgin Islands. After extensive hearings
the Committee on Ways and Means refused to report to the House of
Representatives the administration-supported bill to give to the


Virgin Islands the revenue derived from United States internal-
revenue taxes on Virgin Islands rum and other locally produced
alcoholic beverages. Congress adjourned with this legislation, pro-
posed as the financial foundation for vital improvement of local
governmental services, still held in the House committee although it
had passed the Senate a year earlier.
A bill to recharter The Virgin Islands Company and to expand its
functions of economic rehabilitation in the Virgin Islands passed the
House, but unyielding Senate committee objection forced a compro-
mise which served only to continue present operations of the Com-
pany for 1 year. Even less consideration was accorded a bill to
authorize the Virgin Islands to be represented in Congress by a non-
voting resident commissioner as is done in the case of other territories
and possessions. This measure failed to receive even committee
approval in either House of Congress.
Action on certain appropriations for the Virgin Islands was more
favorable. Approximately $1,000,000 was appropriated for water-
front development as part of the $10,000,000 Virgin Island postwar
public-works program heretofore authorized by Congress. However,
companion legislation to provide funds for badly needed dredging of
the excellent natural harbor of St. Thomas was rejected by the House
of Representatives. The critical financial plight of the local govern-
ment after the defeat of the heretofore mentioned rum revenue bill
was relieved in some measure by an appropriation of approximately
$500,000 for general purposes of local government.
A Building Code for the Virgin Islands was a principal enactment
of the 1948 session of the local legislative assembly. This measure is
essential to orderly and safe development during the period of postwar
building and community expansion.
In the area of political advancement the legislative assembly pro-
vided for a referendum to be held at the November 1948 local elections
on questions of basic importance in any revisions of the present
Organic Act or Constitution of the Virgin Islands as passed by Con-
gress in 1936. The voters are to be afforded an opportunity to ex-
press their views on the merits of the present system of Presidential
appointment of their Governor as contrasted with popular election.
Various aspects of the suggested unification of the quasi-independent
political districts of St. Croix and St. Thomas and St. John are also
presented for referendum.
Also deserving of mention are local enactments for public operation
of the two Virgin Islands airports, for the retirement of municipal
employees and for the transportation of veterans at public expense
to the mainland for vocational and academic training.



The American people are rapidly discovering the Virgin Islands.
Such popular periodicals as Esquire, Holiday, Look, Saturday Evening
Post, Town and Country, and Vogue are among those which have
published Virgin Islands articles or have prepared materials for pub-
lication during the last 12 months.
The Sunday supplements and feature sections of many newspapers
have publicized these islands. Visits of the President and other
distinguished persons to the Virgin Islands have been featured in
the press throughout the Nation.
In these circumstances, it seems clear that large-scale tourism and
business promotions of various types are ahead. Such increased
interest in the community means greater responsibility on the part of
the local citizenry and upon local and national government to safe-
guard basic community values. The influx of large numbers of per-
sons from the mainland for various purposes and with diverse ideas,
some constructive and others hurtful to the community, is bound to
bring problems which have not heretofore been acute because of our
isolation. Opportunities and pitfalls are inevitable in a period of
expansion and exploitation. The community and its leadership will
be tested as never before to maintain values of character, integrity,
and human dignity in the Virgin Islands.

Passenger arrivals and departures, plane and boat, 1947

Arrivals I Departures 2

By plane By boat By plane By boat

Citizens Aliens

January ------------- 1,371 67
February..------..-- 1,512 69
March ..---- 1,712 65
April. ----. 1,639 236
May------- 1,454 276
June ..--- 1,372 223
July..-- -- 1,563 178
August .. ------ 1,573 181
September---- 1,,258 158
October ....----- 1,145 158
November---....-- 1,122 148
December.......----- 1,621 163
Total--...---. 17,342 1,922

1 Total arrivals, 31,150.
2 Total departures, 30,909.

Citizens Aliens Citizens Aliens Citizens Aliens

151 491 1,447 89 144 445
192 403 1,606 79 208 473
177 611 2,059 79 150 513
236 501 1,405 222 251 483
870 797 1, 562 236 536 303
326 580 1,494 224 351 607
410 451 1,739 177 542 582
497 569 1,556 201 466 495
366 504 1,339 148 369 515
320 528 1,191 182 323 516
227 422 1,164 150 241 307
1,448 819 1,372 162 1,478 728
5,210 6,676 17,934 1,949 5,059 5,967


Rainfall in inches, 1947-48 1

Month Thmas St. Croix Month Thas St. Croix

July 1947------------------- 0.46 1.12 February _---- 3.06 1.85
August ---------.---..----- 3.24 1.83 March _--- 1.01 1.55
September ---. ---........... 10.44 14.35 April ----- 1.78 2.78
October .... ---- 6.08 6.57 May -------- 2.62 4.41
November ----.. --. 2.03 2.79 June ------ 2.47 2.19
December..... ...------ 2. 66 2. 23
January 1948..... ..........- 3.89 1.82 Total --.- 39.74 43.49

11947-48 average for Virgin Islands, 41.62 inches.

10-year rainfall record

Year Inches Year Inches

1939 --------------------............... 32.32 1944 --- -----_ _..._ ...-------- 46.42
1940... _.--------. __ ______. -------- 38.51 1945 _---------- 36.40
1941---..--------..........---_-- ----- 34.60 1946------------ ...------......... 32.52
1942- .. -----.. .....-..- ----.--.... 47.81 1947. ----------------------------- 33.71
1943..-----.--------... -.........---. 47.53 1948. __-------------------------- 41.62

Police department statistics, 1947-48

Type of complaint St. Thomas St. Croix

Assault .-----------... .--.. --- 7 0
Assault and battery ....-.................---------------.. 97 2
Aggravated assault and battery ------------------------------- 22 3
Assault with intent to kill ------------ ------ - ---- ------- 0 1
Burglary-------------.----------------------------- ---- ----------- 5 2
Carrying of concealed weapon ----- ------------- ----------- 0 4
Disorderly conduct ------- --.. -- __. ___- __ ..----- -- 257 1
Disturbance of the peace -------------------------------- 0 110
Embezzlement ------------------------------- 1 0
Gambling. .--.-----_____--------------_--_- 18 2
Grand larceny .__________ ----. --------------- 3 0
Manslaughter, involuntary ------ --------------- --- ---- 1 0
Petit larceny .----.-...----- -- ------.___-_-__-- -- -. 42 6
Possession of property unlawfully obtained ----------------------------- 0 6
Possession of unlicensed guns---------------------- -__- 0 3
Slander ----------------------------- 28 0
Statutory rape ................. ..--- .......... ....... -4 0
Trespass _..- ___ ___ ------------------- 35 0
Violation of automobile ordinance -------------- -------------- 134 10
Violation of game ordinance-------- ---------------------- 0 2
Violation of liquor ordinance--------------- 0 2
Violation of police regulations ------------------------------- 212 7
Violation of prostitution ordinance.. ---------------_ 4 0
Violation of sanitary regulations ............-------------- 49 0
Violation of school law ---.---- ------------..... .....------- ...- 8 0
Violation of venereal disease ordinance --.---- ---------.-----_ ----_ 10 5
All others ..---------.._. ..- .. .._. ----------- 96 0
Total_...---- ----------------------- 1,033 166


Education statistics, 1947-48

IslandSt. Thomas St. Croix

Number of schools:
Public ...- -
Parochial------______. .--
Private -----------
Total-------.. --------------

School population:
Public ---...--.....-.
Parochial -------------------
Private ------- --------
Total ......... ------------------

School enrollment:
Grades 1 through 6.-------------
Grades 7 through 9-... ---- _----------
Grades 10 through 12.. ----- -----
Total (public only) .--_...----------.--------
Number of pupils per classroom teacher:
Rural elementary ------- -- --- ---
Urban elementary ----............ ---.--.
High school ----------- _-----_--_--------
Average salary of teachers (public school):
Elementary. ---- -------------------
High school -------------------

Teachers' training:
College trained ...-..----....... ------
High school ---------------------------
Others_____--- ___----------
Total number of teachers ...------. --------...

Total cost of education:
Municipal appropriations -..-. -------
Federal appropriations ....-.....-------------
Total --------------------..
Cost of education per pupil in public schools --..---- ----..
Aid to college students --------------.__-.
School lunches:
Number of schools participating ----- --------
Number of employees...........----------.----
Total salaries paid--- ----------------
Total lunches served---------------------------------
Average daily participation----------------------------
Amount contributed by participating children -.--..---------
Amount contributed by municipalities:
Cash contribution-...------------
Other contributions....---- -.--------
Federal contributions:
Cash- ---..------ ----- -
Other ---------.....---------
Total cash contributions from Federal and municipal sources,
and children-........ --------------

18 13 31

1 2,574 1,686 4,260
495 1,064 1,559
269 23 292

3,338 2,773 6,111

1,790 1,290 3,080
570 258 828
214 138 352
2, 574 1, 686 4, 260
25 31 -----
38 30 -- --
32 22 ..-. --..-.
$1,051.91 $819.01
$1,631.06 $1,265.43

21 11 32
59 40 99
22 7 29
102 58 160

2 $161,446. 53 $73,320.00 $234, 766. 53
5,712.96 15,513.25 21,226.21
167, 159.49 88, 833.25 255, 992. 74

$5, 664. 13
400, 583

3$, ,350.00
$26, 582.85
4 $12,000.00


$57. 51
$1, 176. 50
198, 793
$4, 860.00


6, 840. 63

I Exclusive of kindergartens, of which there were 9 in St. Thomas and St. John with 10 teachers em-
ployed, and a total enrollment of 288 children.
2 Does not include expenditures for school lunch service or kindergartens. Expenditures for kindergar-
tens, $6,908.80.
a Value of services and facilities contributed without charge by department of education and other local
4 "Free food." Value of commodities contributed without charge by the United States Department of


Institutional statistics, department of health

Beds ....--------......... -------
Average occupancy _.. -------------
Peak occupancy.-----------------
Minimum occupancy ---
Number of physicians ..--..--
Number of graduate nurses. -----
Average salary ---------------------------
Average number of student nurses...------
Average salary of student nurses .------
Number of student nurses graduated -----
Other employees ---------------
Total salaries ---------------------------
Equipment ... ..------------------------
Subsistence -----
Maintenance ...-----------
Health project ----------------
Average ration rate per day ----------
Total budget (municipal) ------------
Cost per patient per day --------
Receipts (bills sent) --....-----
Actual cash receipts ----------
Births in hospital ---- -------
Births out of hospital ... ----------
Deaths in hospital ---------
Admissions to hospital.. --
Sick days in hospital ------
Admissions to clinic -----------
Dispensary treatments..-----

Christian- Frederik- Leper asy-
sted sted lum

$23, 857. 34
$12, 027
$8, 264. 66

$45, 957
3 $4, 630. 30
1, 740

$25, 273
$10, 931. 73
$7, 100
$0. 38

14, 900



$3, 516
$9, 014. 73


12, 069

I Part time.
2 Including 3 paid from grant-in-aid funds.
3 Total for Christiansted and Frederiksted.

Summary statement of Federal appropriations and grants-in-aid administered by
government of Virgin Islands

Title 1947 1948

Annual appropriations:
Central administration ----------------------------------------- $228, 015 $216,100
Agricultural station, Virgin Islands .---. ---.. -. ----- 45, 300 46, 300
Deficit appropriation, St. Croix ..--_. -------- -- 135,200 140,000
Grants-in-aid to States and Territories:
Tuberculosis control fund------------------- 24, 075 16, 465
Venereal disease control fund -------- ---------------- 11,976 13. 696
General health control fund --------------- 11,648 8,506
Maternal and child health services ---.....------------.-....-...- 26, 189 30,891
Crippled children ---------------- 13,624 30, 707
Child welfare -----------. -------- --------- 9,964 18,192
Cancer control fund ----------. -------------.......----------- 1,034 1,109
Mental health control fund----------------------- None 1 20,000
Hospital construction ---------------------------- None 1 29, 271

1 Funds earmarked, but not utilized in 1948.

Summary statement of receipts of the treasuries of the municipality of St. Thomas and
St. John and the municipality of St. Croix for the fiscal year 1948

Revenues collected St. Thomas St. Croix Total

Local sources.------------------------------------ $817,581.92 $269, 474.10 $1,087, 056.02
Transfers and contributions --------------------------- 153,387. 15 ... _----- 153,387. 15
Federal deficit contribution ---- ---- ---------------- ----- 140,000.00 140,000.00

Total ------------------------- 970, 969.07 409, 474.10 1,380,443.17

1 This amount represents transfers from surplus of the war years and the liquidation of funds for special
projects earmarked in previous years.

Kings Hill



$365. 95
$4, 463
$0. 3166
$34, 056
$0. 73



2 12
$72, 519. 20
$2, 200
$3, 600
$127,819. 20
$3. 60
$15, 941.27
$8, 252. 65
2, 207
30. 541
9, 092
32, 116


Import and export statistics

Imports from the United States 1945 1946 1947

Animals and animal products, edible _------------------------ $375, 537 $841,072 $813, 763
Animals and animal products, inedible ..- ------------------. 79, 375 72, 339 106, 454
Vegetable food products and beverages ---------------------- 1,260, 552 1,941, 567 1,694,088
Vegetable products, inedible, except fiber and wood--..------- 861, 649 420, 319 480, 122
Textile fibers and manufactures -.... -------..- 181, 695 267, 316 270,024
Wood and paper- ------------------------------------- 187, 176 339, 914 220, 108
Nonmetallic minerals------ ------------ __474, 184 836, 261 869, 543
Metals and manufactures, except machinery and vehicles ---------- 421, 969 554, 966 690,134
Machinery and vehicles .. ---- ------------------------ 264, 148 547, 385 768, 891
Chemicals and related products ---------------------------------- 289,855 368,401 309,415
Miscellaneous ......... ----------------------- 179, 725 533, 374 779, 707
Total -.... .------------- --. ..------------ 4,575,865 6,722, 914 7,002,249
Total imports from foreign countries.---------.. .- ------- 757, 010 1, 817, 392 2,029, 494
Grand total ..............-- - - - - ---. 5, 332,875 8,540,306 9,031, 743

Exports to United States and Puerto Rico 1945 1946 1947

Cattle ..--.. ... ------.---------------- $20, 572 $33, 245 $30, 132
Other animals, edible ------------ ------. 761 2,762 704
Beef, fresh, chilled, or frozen ---------------....--- -. 54, 737 64, 140 46, 600
Other animals, edible products ------------------------------ 3, 654 5, 904 1, 625
Hides and skins .....---------- ---------- 6,290 8,674 11, 435
Animals, inedible.------------------------------ 900 2, 110 1,612
Coconuts in the shell --.---.-----... ----------------- 0 0 70, 198
Cane sugar ---.. .--- --- ------- ---- 295, 630 374, 224 312, 395
Gin .....---- --------------------------- 0 0 1,010
Rum ..... --------------------------- ----- 2,127,308 1,435,320 343,424
Whisky ..---... ---------------------- 0 107, 775 34, 376
Cordials, liqueurs. -------------------- 0 0 144,170
Wood and manufactures ...........----------------- 4, 238 4, 311 5,377
Charcoal wood....--------.. ------------------- 0 0 3,098
Perfumery and toilet waters including Bay Rum .. -- - 1,175,000 371,175 1,649
Containers. _----------------------------------------- 264, 650 302, 778 304, 446
Household and personal effects----------------------------- 3,1'09 2, 742 1, 641
All other articles ------------- 160, 775 952, 856 17, 473
Total ------.. --------------------------. 4,117,624 3,668,016 1,331,365
Total exports to foreign countries ---------.. ....--------------- ..- 238, 807 458, 075 852, 379
Grand total -.. .---------- ---- ------- 4,356,431 4,126,091 2,183, 744


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