Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Administration and some of its...
 A review of island economics
 Health and sanitation
 Public works
 Social welfare
 Public safety
 Defense activities
 The Virgin Islands Corporation
 Back Cover


Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015459/00029
 Material Information
Title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Alternate Title: Annual report - the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Portion of title: Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands to the Secretary of the Interior
Annual report, Virgin Islands
Physical Description: v. : tab. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Virgin Islands of the United States -- Governor
Publisher: for sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
Place of Publication: Washington
Creation Date: 1953
Frequency: annual
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Virgin Islands of the United States   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Spatial Coverage: United States Virgin Islands
Numbering Peculiarities: Report covers fiscal year.
General Note: Title varies slightly.
General Note: Vols. for 1925/26 issued as Senate document 170, U.S. 69th Congress, 2d session.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 01235215
lccn - 26027791
issn - 0363-3438
System ID: UF00015459:00029

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page 1
    Administration and some of its problems
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    A review of island economics
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Health and sanitation
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
    Public works
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    Social welfare
        Page 40
        Page 41
    Public safety
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    Defense activities
        Page 54
        Page 55
    The Virgin Islands Corporation
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text






Douglas McKay, Secretary

Archie A. Alexander, Governor


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


FOREWORD . . . . .
PROBLEMS . . . . .
TOURISM . . . .

SANITATION ............
HOSPITAL . . . .
ST. CROIX . . ... .
ST. CROIX . . . .


I .
. .

. .
. .

Annual Report of the Governor

of the Virgin Islands, 1954

Archie A. Alexander, Governor

THE present Governor was nominated by President Dwight D.
Eisenhower on February 15, 1954, confirmed by the United
States Senate on March 21, 1954, and took the oath of office at Char-
lotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, on April 9, 1954. Hon.
Douglas McKay, Secretary of the Interior, headed a delegation of
distinguished officials from Washington who witnessed the ceremonies.
At the end of the fiscal year 1954 the present administration had
been in office 9 days less than 3 months. During the month of April
1954 there were 17 holidays in the Virgin Islands, including Saturdays
and Sundays. On April 19, 1954, the Governor was scheduled to
present the Budget of the Virgin Islands to the Congress-after 3
working days. This appearance was postponed until April 27, 1954,
which gave 9 working days to scan the budget and prepare a statement
to the Congress. This is not written as being critical but in the hope
that some thought might be given to situations of this nature in the
After reading the annual reports of previous Governors, there
comes to mind a question as to just what should be contained in an
annual report to the Secretary of the Interior. It is the belief of
the present administration that this report should contain information
to the Secretary of the Interior and, in turn, to the President of the
United States and the Congress which would give them, without
visiting these islands, a comprehensive and true picture of the situa-
tion even if the facts are distasteful to us of the Virgin Islands, or to
others. We do not believe the Secretary of the Interior, the President
of the United States and the Congress should have to wait years for
another report such as that written by the late and beloved Senator
Hugh Butler of Nebraska. It is the view of this administration that


the faults and the weaknesses as well as the progress and achievements
should each year be pointed out so that we might know our faults and
weaknesses and that the Secretary of the Interior, the President, and
the Congress might understand and help us to overcome them. This
report will be made in this fashion. Insofar as the present administra-
tion is concerned, this report covers but one quarter of. the fiscal year.


Housing.-According to Public Housing standards in the United
States, 80 percent of the homes in St. Thomas are substandard; 69
percent are slum areas. Approximately one-fourth of the Federal
employees working in the Virgin Islands are living in substandard
homes. The 14 percent of better than substandard homes are either
occupied by the upper echelon of native people or retired "Continen-
tals," or are rented for sums that would be considered exorbitant in
the United States.
The Soil Conservation Service has been desiring for months to bring
a team to the Virgin Islands to assist with a soil conservation program
which is so direly needed. One man has arrived. He is presently
living in the aforementioned substandard housing. The possibility
of others in the Soil Conservation Service following him into the Virgin
Islands is remote. This is merely an example. It is the opinion of
this administration that millions of dollars in topsoil are going into
the ocean for the lack of a few thousand dollars in housing. Repre-
sentatives of the United States Coast Guard, Civil Aeronautics
Administration, Customs, Quartermaster Corps, etc., do not fare any
Returning to the native population, the slums above-mentioned are
not slums as they are understood in continental United States. The
slums in the Virgin Islands are those where, in many cases, nine people
will live in a single room with no sanitary facilities and, when the
rains come, it is necessary to pile furniture upon furniture in order to
save what few effects are possessed. In the majority of these homes
there is no thought of sleep when it rains but of saving what small
belongings they have been able to acquire. This-in 69 percent of the
homes in St. Thomas.
There are at present in St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D. C.,
150 mental patient natives of the Virgin Islands of the United States.
It is quite possible that had the formative years of these people been
in better environment they would have been better citizens; the Fed-
eral Government and the Government of the Virgin Islands not only
would have saved money but would have gained from the labors and


ideas of these individuals who are now in institutions some of whom,
with the fine line between mental illness and genius, might have
accomplished great things for the Virgin Islands.
One of the darkest blots on the escutcheon of the Virgin Islands is
the collection, in this twentieth century, of "night soil" and the dis-
posal of kitchen and bathroom wastes through open storm sewers.
These health hazards and esthetic nuisances must be corrected at the
earliest possible moment.
For many months it has been our hope that the Public Housing
Administration might approve the rehabilitation of the Berg Homes
in St. Thomas and the Bassin Triangle Homes in Christiansted, and
the Marley Homes in Frederiksted, St. Croix. In order to develop
slum clearance, the first act must be to find homes for those in the
slums whom it is desired to replace. In St. Thomas (where slum
clearance is even more essential than in St. Croix) there are 57 homes
in the Berg Development. Reservations have been made in the Paul
M. Pearson Gardens for these 57 families. If Public Housing will
approve the rehabilitation of the Berg Homes in St. Thomas then-
upon the completion of this rehabilitation-it will be possible to select
57 families from a slum area to place in these homes and proceed with
another slum clearance program, ad infinitum until the slums are
With the assistance of the Slum Clearance Division of the Federal
Housing Administration, we feel that effective steps can be taken
almost immediately to at least make a start in correcting the dreadful
housing situation now existing in the Virgin Islands. With the return
of internal revenues, under a new Organic Act, we shall also be able to
help ourselves.
Our population is housed in approximately 5,000 dwelling units of
which about 80 percent must be construed as substandard. One of
the greatest contributing factors to this condition of substandardiza-
tion, especially in St. Thomas, is the absence of water reserves. Since
rainfall provides practically the only source of water, this condition
will continue until reservoirs are adequate.
Since healthy community development must be linked to the
economic base of the islands, it is the intention and plan of the
Government of the Virgin Islands to increase the level of family
incomes by promoting industrial programs and expanding tourism.
Once the economic base is secured, the full force of all the tools for
urban development can more effectively be brought into play.
The Virgin Islands Government concerns itself with three urban areas:
Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas Island, Christiansted, and Frederik-
sted on St. Croix Island. In 1951 master plan studies were prepared
for each of these three urban areas in order to plan intelligently our first


public housing program. In 1954, the master plan for Charlotte
Amalie was further restudied and the final plan adopted by action of
the Municipal Council of St. Thomas and St. John.
On hand are the results of several analyses that have been made
of selected slum areas. These studies were made primarily to obtain
a cross section of the economic conditions of slum families in order
to help determine the market as well as the rent paying ability of slum
families. On hand as well are the extensive studies made of the Savan
area preparatory to commencement of our first slum clearance attempt.
The program was halted at that time because of the unfavorable
financial condition of the government and the municipalities. We
found it impossible to meet the local participation required. The
severe cancer spots in our urban area are generally small and can
easily be analyzed. As soon as the time consuming work of initial
tenant selection is completed, we propose to have the Virgin Islands
Housing and Redevelopment Authority undertake selected neighbor-
hood studies to determine the priorities for urban renewal they should
have. The Planning Board will also participate in these determina-
Actually, very little study is required to identify the areas marked
for clearance. Casual observation marks them as unsuitable for any
approach except demolition and removal. Certain other areas
present rehabilitation possibilities. Little or no work has been done
to plan constructively for such rehabilitation. Our housing agency
will also undertake studies of these areas and the promotion of plans
for rehabilitation with public as well as private funds. In these
areas particularly, special emphasis must be placed on preserving the
antiquities and old world influences that make our islands an attrac-
tion to tourists.
We feel we have the nucleus for the kind of organization to carry
out our urban renewal programs. The Virgin Islands Housing and
Redevelopment Authority under existing enabling legislation is
empowered to move at once into any urban renewal program. The
complete revision of our housing and slum clearance enabling legis-
lation is under way now and planned for passage in the January 1955
session of the legislature. This will bring our enabling legislation in
complete harmony with the provisions of the Housing Act of 1954.
Two public agencies are at work in utilizing public resources for
making homes available within the means of families with limited
incomes. Our Land Authority has funds available for making loans
on liberal terms to promote home ownership.
The Virgin Islands Housing and Redevelopment Authority has
completed and occupied 2 public housing projects-240 units at
Charlotte Amalie and 110 units at Christiansted. A proposed project


for 70 units has been completely planned for Frederiksted but action
on this has been halted. In addition, this Authority is renovating
an old FWA project and will make available when completed 110
standard units in approximately 1 year for families to be displaced
by slum clearance.
The limited incomes of a large proportion of our population makes
private ownership of decent houses very difficult.
Our area is one of high building costs due primarily to shipping costs,
freight handling, and shortage of skilled labor. For our low-income
group we know of no other formula to assure decent, safe and sanitary
housing than through the public housing program.
We recognize no minority problem since our racial policy is an inte-
grated one.
When we have solved our slum and housing problems, we will have:
(1) made our islands more attractive to Federal personnel who are
badly needed to perform essential Federal services to which we are
fully entitled;
(2) greatly improved the morale of our own insular government
administrative personnel;
(3) reached a point where we may with pride compete more favor-
ably with other off-shore tourist resorts, and
(4) most important, our people, living in decent housing, will have
a new incentive to participate in the economic, social, and political
development of our islands.
Maintenance.-Throughout these islands there has been an appalling
lack of maintenance. In 1948 the Department of the Navy leased to
the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John, through the Department
of the Interior, the submarine base, the homes at Bourne Field, and the
airport on the condition they be maintained in the state in which they
were at the time of the lease. In May 1954 the Governor was pre-
sented with an itemized list of what was necessary to be done in order
to bring the properties to the 1948 standard, less ordinary wear and
tear. The amount of repairs found necessary by the Navy amounted
to $538,000. An investigation showed that practically no maintenance
was done on these properties from the time they were turned over to
the municipality in 1948. The maintenance which was done was
only to that extent which would keep the properties operative. As
of the close of business June 30, 1954, the Secretary of the Interior
canceled the lease to the municipality and turned the properties
over to the Virgin Islands Corporation for operation.
This lack of maintenance was not confined to these particular
properties, but has filtered throughout the islands. Although it was
not true of the Navy properties, some of the insular lack of mainte-
nance may have stemmed from a shortage of funds. However,


hundreds of thousands of dollars of roads and equipment have been
permitted to depreciate to the scrap stage for the lack of even token
During World War II there was an excellent 8 miles of hard-top
road from Charlotte Amalie to the west end of St. Thomas. A mini-
mum of 3 miles of this road is at present impassable except by jeep.
This road leads to one of the most beautiful parts of St. Thomas,
which would be a major tourist attraction if the road were maintained.
The cost of bringing this road back to its original state is estimated
to be approximately $200,000. No estimate can be made of what the
maintenance cost would have been had it been maintained. This lack
of maintenance extends to the major plants as well as equipment.
Every effort will be made to correct this extravagant and wasteful
In St. Thomas, drainage from a few fall torrential rains and soil
erosion are major problems. With the fall of a moderate rain, dozens
of homes which are either on ground below sea level or in the path
of "jury-rigged" guts are inundated. This has been occurring for
many years without permanent relief and correction. In some homes
(many occupied by Federal employees) there have been at times
(this year also) 3 inches of silt after a fairly heavy rain. Flooring
and furniture have been ruined, resulting in new purchases and another
rain repeating the process. It is believed that this situation has
existed for the past decade.
If proper drainage facilities are incorporated with a series of new
roads extending throughout the islands, guts will become unnecessary
and the torrential flow of water from the tops of the mountains to
the seas will be abated and flooding and undermining of footings of
buildings and homes prevented. It will also correct to a large degree
soil erosion. It has been estimated this year that 1,780,000 tons of
sadly needed topsoil washes into the seas each year. At this rate
the time is not far off when the Virgin Islands will be back to the
lava state in which they were created. Immediate action is necessary
to correct this critical situation.
Roads are, of necessity, a long range and expensive program, and
we are very hopeful that (with a copy of this report) the Public
Roads Bureau will find it possible to take an interest and assist us
with an adequate program.


The classified plan of the Government of the Virgin Islands became
effective on July 1, 1948. At that time, there were 137 classes of
positions. These classes have been reviewed from time to time and


an effort has been made to avoid a rapid increase in the number of
classes and also to eliminate those classes no longer in use.
A new pay plan was established in 1952 and although it set a $780
per annum minimum salary level, it was not too far removed from the
$600 per annum minimum salary level in 1949 and the $480 per annum
level of the preceding years. It nevertheless reflected an increase of
approximately 60 percent in minimum salary wages for the Govern-
ment of the Virgin Islands between the years 1948 to 1952. It is
anticipated that the achievements which have occurred during the
past 7 years in our pay structure will be greatly enhanced by careful
planning and use of that portion of the returns of the internal revenue
funds which will soon become available for salary purposes in the
Government of the Virgin Islands.
Recruitment, one of the major problems in any agency, is no longer
the big headache of 1949, 1950, and 1951. It was relieved to a great
extent by our ability to pay better salaries in 1952. We are still,
however, far from the goal of being able to compete for the best trained
personnel in various categories of employment. We look forward to
an answer to our problems in these areas through the present com-
prehensive studies in Government reorganization as they affect pay..
The most far reaching action affecting all employees of the Virgin
Islands Government in fiscal year 1954 was the ordinance establishing
the biweekly pay periods in both municipalities. The important
feature was not the simple fact of paying on a biweekly basis, but that
salary payments could now be made at a reasonable time after the
working period covered. This has been a most salutary adjustment
in our disbursement and personnel procedures.
The centralization of all leave records for employees in the munici-
pality of St. Thomas and St. John in the Division of Personnel was
discontinued on November 16, 1953, when the responsibility was
shifted to the individual agencies. The same decentralization was
accomplished in St. Croix on February 28, 1954. This change was in
keeping with the new payroll procedure. The Division of Personnel
compiled leave for all employees, appointed and nonappointed, and
prepared the initial attendance reports and individual pay cards.
The most important aspect of our activities during fiscal year 1954
has been the contractual agreement between the Retirement Board
and the Public Administration Service, Chicago, Ill., for an actuarial
study of the retirement system. The Board was required to prepare
detailed charts showing (1) active employees (2) pensioners (3) mor-
tality and service experience (4) financial statements (5) copies of
ordinances. This information was submitted to the Public Admin-
istration Service on March 15, 1954. Their actuary, Mr. A. A. Wein-
berg, who is responsible for the report on our system, was in Puerto


Rico during April and came to St. Thomas for a conference with the
Retirement Board. Many important details were discussed at the
meeting. Mr. Weinberg expressed himself as being completely
satisfied with the report in that it was well assembled and gave all
necessary information. The Board is now awaiting the report from
the Public Administration Service.
On January 1, 1954, the Government of the Virgin Islands entered
upon an agreement with the Social Security Administration for cover-
age of all employees not covered under either municipal retirement
A statement of receipts and expenditures of the retirement fund for
April 30, 1954, showed a balance on hand on that date of $67,550.43.
In addition the fund has an investment of $120,000 in United States
savings bonds, Series G and K. The Board is of the opinion that the
balance on hand is more than enough to meet routine expenses, and is
considering further investment in savings bonds. The Board, how-
ever, is awaiting the Public Administration Service's report before
taking any action.
Distribution of employees as to major occupational groups

St.Thomas Total,
and St. Croix Virgin
St. John Islands

Clerical .. ... ...-------------- --------------------------- 134 56 190
Administrative-...------- ...........------------..........--------- 28 9 37
Supervisory .... ......... ....----- --------------------------- 15 10 25
Professional-------.......-.... ------------.... 178 111 289
SubprofessionaL. -- -------------- ------------------ 65 23 88
Public safety ....--------...........----------------------.. .. 43 34 77
Inspectional --------------------------------------------- 7 9 16
Equipment operators.......-- .............-----------------.- 51 25 76
Trades andlabor....-----------... ----------------- ---------. 125 71 196
Housekeeping .......................-------------------------. 59 54 113
Food service ......------..... .....-- ------------------------.. 31 44 75
Engineering----.----------------...... -------------.---.. ----- 6 2 8
Total...................------- -----------------------.. 742 448 1,190

Virgin Islands Auditor

As of July 1, 1953, the Auditor's Office changed its procedures
and functions from that of a desk postaudit to that of an on-the-site
audit. The change in audit procedures (which is in line with the
latest concepts in modern auditing) represents an improvement over
the desk-audit type of postaudit and will undoubtedly be of great
benefit to the future audit programs of this office by providing greater
facility and accuracy in the carrying out of audits.
However, these advantages could not be reflected in the fiscal year
covered by this report for the following reasons:
(a) The change in audit procedure is based on the adoption and
installation of the revised accounting system throughout the
activities of the Government.


(b) That the revised accounting system has not as yet been
installed in the majority of agencies of the Government.
(c) That until the revised system is installed in a sufficient
number of agencies (particularly the larger ones) the Auditor's
Office cannot properly evaluate its audit program or assess its
effect on its budgetary requirements.
The first financial audit made to test both the revised accounting
system and the new audit approach was that of the Knud-Hansen
Memorial Hospital. The results obtained were sufficient to justify
the desirability of the changes and to carry out its prompt adoption
and installation throughout the other agencies of the Government.
For the first time an audit is at present being made of the accounts
of the former St. Thomas Development Authority from start of busi-
ness on January 1, 1948, through June 30, 1954, a period of 6%} years.
The audit was commenced on May 21, 1954, and is still in process.
Due to lack of and delay in the appropriations of funds by the
Municipal Council of St. Croix, no on-the-site audit could be made
of Government agencies in that municipality.
Compliance with the property control and accounting system pro-
gram is complete for all activities except the Knud-Hansen Memorial
Hospital, municipality of St. Thomas and St. John and department of
education, municipality of St. Croix. Though the Auditor was given
all assurance that this delinquency would be corrected during the
fiscal year 1954, it still exists.

St. John Development
The development of the Island of St. John is increasing rapidly.
Guesthouses, already on the island, are in an era of expansion in
anticipation that a greater influx of visitors from the mainland would
enjoy the quiet and the beauty of St. John.
Because of the improvement made to the potable water supply
system at Cruz Bay, the recent severe drought did not adversely affect
the inhabitants of this district, and it was not necessary to ration
individual amounts as was done in past years, although other pre-
cautionary measures were taken. The residents of the Coral Bay
district did not fare as well as water had to be rationed to minimum
needs from the small cistern at the public school in order to conserve
the limited supply.
Transportation between Cruz Bay and Red Hook during recent
years has been a most serious and perplexing problem, since the gov-
ernment-owned motorboat St. John, which was used for accommoda-
tion of the regular passenger service between these points, has been
out of commission. This service has been continued for use of picket


boats which were not designed for this type of service. In order to
meet the increase in traffic and eliminate the many difficulties now
encountered, immediate efforts will be made to obtain a larger boat
with diesel power and suitable for the traffic.
Communication on and between the islands is maintained by means
of radiotelephones. There are 4 stations on St. John, 2 main and 2
substations; 1 each at Cruz Bay, Coral Bay, Caneel Bay, and Trunk
Bay. The 2 main stations (Cruz Bay and Coral Bay) are maintained
by the Government. This service is most essential as it is the quickest
available means of communication in event of emergencies. Fixed
regular schedules are maintained with the administration building,
St. Thomas, and Coral Bay. The police station, St. Thomas, also
operates an hourly schedule primarily for the handling of emergency
The new Cruz Bay Elementary School, financed by Federal funds,
is now being constructed. With the completion of this school, a reg-
ular library service conveniently located should be established.
Construction of the new road under the Virgin Islands public works
program still continues. A section of one of the new relocations has
been opened through to Coral Bay and, although not completed,
vehicular traffic over this road is heavy. However, it would appear
that work on this project has slowed down considerably.
When this project is completed, it will serve as the main route of
travel, but being of dirt surface and sloping grades, the wear and
maintenance cost will be great. In order to keep this wear and cost
to a minimum, this road should be hard surfaced from Cruz Bay to
Coral Bay. If this improvement could be done in sections, and spread
over a period of 3 to 5 years, financing should be made less difficult,
and the results to be obtained would be lasting and well worth the
The municipally owned powerplant at Cruz Bay continues to serve,
on a limited schedule, residents in the immediate vicinity of Cruz
Bay only. Extension of this service to other areas should be under-
taken as soon as possible.
Improvement of the present distribution system, which will assure
better service to consumers, is urgently needed.
At present, all heavy equipment is kept in the open, thus being
subjected to rapid deterioration. A shed will be constructed for the
housing of this equipment as well as a storeroom built for storing of
light equipment.
Emphasis should be placed on the raising of livestock as a major
industry on St. John. The Government can possibly be helpful in
this respect by the importation of good breeds of cattle, sheep, goats,
and pigs into the island for the purpose of improving the fast deteriorat-


ing stock. Development of such a program would do much in help-
ing to solve the economic problems of the island.
Tourism should be developed to accommodate the more conserva-
tive tourist who would wish to enjoy the peace, quiet and beautiful
beaches of the island, for which it is noted.
In the past, charcoal (most of which was shipped to St. Thomas and
St. Croix) was produced in large quantities on St. John, where there. is
an almost unlimited supply of wood for this purpose. This product
offered a means of livelihood to many of the inhabitants and was also
a valuable adjunct to the clearing of land. In spite of the high price
offered, very little charcoal is now being produced and this is done by
the older people. In several instances charcoal is shipped into St.
John from Tortola or St. Thomas, which also imports it from Tortola.
It would appear that the young people are not interested in this type
of work but prefer to work at other means of employment now avail-
able on the island. If modern ways of production other than the old
laborious "dirt pit" method could be introduced, it would help to make
this occupation more attractive to the worker.
From spot checks of the real property assessment record made for
St. John, there appears to be immediate need for a complete survey
of all real property on St. John to determine current value, bring the
assessment records up to date and correct obvious inaccuracies. If
such a survey is made, it should result in increased collections of
real-property tax.
A voluntary fire-fighting unit on St. John under the jurisdiction
and supervision of the fire department, St. Thomas, should be organ-
ized and the necessary equipment adaptable for use on the island be
Because of the road and other construction jobs in progress, unem-
ployment was at an all-time low.

One of the major sources of income in the Virgin Islands is tourism.
The sun shines approximately 350 days per year. The average
nightly temperature during the summer months is 740 to 750. The
highest day temperature during the summer months is 910. The
winter temperatures range from 700 to 84.
During the winter season there are usually not sufficient hotels to
accommodate those who desire to visit the Virgin Islands. The
rates charged by the majority of hotels are beyond the reach of visitors
from the United States who are required to operate on a budget.
Hotels of the type available in the United States would, if reasonable


charges were made, be a boon to the Virgin Islands and to budget
visitors from North, Central, and South America. The Virgin Islands
need more hotels. As construction increases in the Virgin Islands,
construction costs are going to be lowered.
The Governor's Business Advisory Council for the past 4 months
has been planning to step up the "summer season" in the Virgin
Islands. During June, July, and August the temperature of the air
in the Virgin Islands is cooler than that during most of the period at
Bar Harbor, Maine. The temperature of the water for swimming is
warmer than that at Daytona Beach, Fla.
Excepting the cost of transportation to the Virgin Islands, there is
no locality on the Eastern seaboard more suited to year-round vaca-
tioning than the Virgin Islands. This we intend to publicize in the
United States.
During the 1954-55 winter season, as recorded to date, a minimum
of 33 cruise ships will come into the Virgin Islands. Mention is made
of this fact because the Corps of Engineers of the Department of the
Army has funds available for improvement of harbor facilities in the
Caribbean. We have written the Corps of Engineers, through the
Secretary of Interior, that the harbor at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas,
V. I., is one of the finest land-locked harbors in the North Atlantic or
Caribbean; that the tonnage entering the Virgin Islands would be in-
creased by approximately 40 percent if the harbors at St. Thomas and
Christiansted were dredged and deepened. This would serve 2 pur-
poses in that the dredge material would be used to fill those many
areas below sea level and, at the same time, the channel would be
deepened. At present, ships coming into either St. Thomas or
Christiansted must "dog-leg"; into Christiansted it is necessary to
"dog-leg" twice. The deepening of the ship channels into St. Thomas
and St. Croix will not only enhance these islands from a tourist view-
point but, at the same time, it is necessary to remember that 95 per-
cent of the foodstuffs, house furnishings, et cetera, used in the Virgin
Islands are imported by ship. It is also necessary to remember that
the Department of Defense (particularly the United States Navy and
Air Force) have a strategic interest in these islands.
During time of emergency when it is necessary to station military
personnel in the Virgin Islands, the cost of lightering equipment and
supplies into St. Croix would, because of the depth and narrowness of
its channels, be a very expensive operation, and in times of heavy
weather might entail tremendous loss.
Next to the vulnerable Panama Canal, the Virgin Islands are the
most southerly possessiofis of the United States on the Atlantic side.
In the event of an attack upon the United States from the southward,
thee islands would be of great value to the United States if the


harbors were deepened and the airport at St. Thomas lengthened.
The airport at St. Croix will be lengthened during the coming year to
handle practically every type of aircraft.
Pan American World Airways has advised the Governor that the
airport at St. Thomas is the only problem airport of the 56 they serve
on the Central, South, and North American eastern seaboard. This
should be corrected at the earliest possible moment and a plea will be
made shortly for the assistance of the Civil Aeronautics Board.
The Tourist Development Board operated under its usual ex-
tremely limited and difficult financial arrangements. In spite of the
lack of sufficient funds to carry on its work in the proper manner
through its efforts and promotional activities the fiscal year 1954
showed an increase over the previous year in tourist revenues.
During the past year, 30 cruise ships visited St. Thomas to set a
record for postwar cruise ship visits. These cruise ships brought
approximately 13,000 passengers and 10,000 crew members to St.
Thomas. While many of the cruise ships did remain from early
morning until midnight or later, the total proportionate number was
less than the previous year. This may be attributed to the fact that
numerous complaints were received from officials of the steamship
companies regarding the manner in which their passengers were
treated in various hotels and nightclubs.
However, as most of the ships stayed an average of 12 hours or
longer, passengers were able to enjoy all the facilities of the port,
including sightseeing, shopping, swimming, luncheon and dinner
parties, and so forth. It is estimated that as a result of this the money
spent by cruise ship passengers was more equally divided among the
shops, bars, restaurants, hotels, and taxi drivers than in previous years.
Some difficulty was experienced in handling passengers from various
cruise ships going to the anchorage due to the as yet far from complete
waterfront area.
As has been pointed out in previous reports, the severe dearth of
suitable and regular steamship passenger and freight service to the
Virgin Islands, is a regrettable one. While it is recognized that such
a service is of great importance to the tourist program, present operat-
ing costs, particularly aboard American flag steamers, make it im-
There is a possibility during the next few years of a car-ferry
service carrying passengers and automobiles between Florida, Cuba,
Haiti, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands being
inaugurated. This service was started recently between Key West
and Havana. The operators intend to extend services as the travel



Air transportation to the Virgin Islands continues to be our principal
means of travel to and from the United States and Puerto Rico.
Caribbean Atlantic Airlines has again, as in previous years, set a
record total of 54,952 passengers, an increase of almost 10 percent
over the last fiscal year. Traffic on Pan American World Airways
showed a slight decrease, however, due to a revision of their schedule
and the closing down of the St. Thomas airport to DC4 traffic for a
number of months while the runway was undergoing repairs.
Agitation for direct service from the United States to the Virgin
Islands continued. While no formal briefs were prepared and pre-
sented to the Civil Aeronautics Board in Washington, because of their
cost and difficulty of preparation, efforts by the Government Tourist
Board, the hotel association and the chamber of commerce continued
to press further the plans for such service.
The present fiscal year witnessed the greatest influx of United
States military personnel since the war years. Over 30,000 service
men, mostly United States Navy and Marine Corps, visited the
Virgin Islands on liberty parties throughout the year. These liberty
parties were in conjunction with two large maneuvers held in the
nearby islands of Culebra and Vieques.
In addition, a special group of 200 men of the U. D. T. (U. S. N.)
spent a 6-week training period here.
Various military and air units also visited St. Thomas during
this same period.
Through the cooperation of the chamber of commerce, the tourist
board and the Governor's Office, a U. S. O. headquarters supervised
by local and stateside officials of the U. S. O., was operated for the
convenience of the servicemen.
The third annual Virgin Islands carnival was held in April 1954
and again proved an outstanding success. The tourist board was in
the forefront of making plans and arrangements for the carnival,
particularly in connection with publicity. In this regard, it is inter-
esting to note one of the largest postcard manufacturers in the United
States published a series of 24 full-color postcards on the carnival
and numerous articles with pictures appeared in the stateside press.
One of the greatest problems of the tourist board is the gathering
of reliable statistics.
However, with the assistance and cooperation of the tax commis-
sioner, the development authority, United States Customs, immi-
gration, principal airlines and the tourist development board's own
records, fairly accurate, but incomplete, statistics on tourist traffic
and revenues can be compiled.
It is reliably estimated during the past fiscal year that a total of
103,867 visitors landed on St. Thomas and left here a total of approxi-


mately $5,200,000 which is an increase of slightly 10 percent over
the previous year.
Tourist visitors to St. Thomas can be roughly classified as follows:

(a) West Indies cruise ships ....---- ----------------.---_ -. 13, 323
(b) Regular steamers --..--------------------------------- 2, 200
(c) Caribbean-Atlantic airlines-----------.-----------------... 54, 952
(d) Pan American World airways ---------------------------. 3, 392
(e) Military personnel (Naval and Marine) ..------------_---- 30, 000

Total ................__ ......__.._...------. 103, 867
Expenditures in St. Thomas may be broken down as follows:

(a) Tourist purchases (shops and restaurants) ------------- 2, 600, 000
(b) Hotel receipts ---------------------------------- 2, 000, 000
(c) Sightseeing and taxi receipts .-----...-----...._____- 600, 000

Total------------ ------------------------- 5, 200, 000

It is estimated that tourists spent in our shops and restaurants a
total of $2,600,000, an increase of almost $300,000 over the previous
year. The average tourist expenditure in this category was $25.34 as
against $21.60 the previous year. The bulk of this increase can be
attributed to the increase of military personnel and cruise-ship
passengers visiting here over the past fiscal year.
Bed capacities in the hotels of St. Thomas and St. John varied
little over the previous year. However, in spite of adverse reports,
it is believed that the average earning per bed exceeded those of the
previous year. This is based on the fact that the summer of 1953 was
a far better one than the summer of the previous year.
Sightseeing and taxi receipts during the fiscal year showed a very
encouraging increase, totaling approximately $600,000. This may
be attributed to the formation of the St. Thomas Taxi Association
into a reliable organization capable of handling tours. Because of
this, many group sightseeing trips were conducted for the passengers
aboard the large cruise ships visiting here last winter. Such organize.
tions as Thomas Cook & Sons, American Express, and House of
Travel, were high in their praise of the efficient operation of these
The most important recommendations for the future, are:
(a) Sufficient finances to carry out an adequate program of
promotion and advertising.
(b) A reasonable budget to permit the employment of a
sufficient staff, housed in adequate and fully equipped quarters.


(c) Authority to "police" the tourist industry to prevent and
rectify many of the unethical and unwise practices engaged in
by those in the tourist industry.
(d) Authority to set up the machinery which will provide full,
complete, and reliable tourist statistics.
(e) A realistic approach on the part of the executive and
legislative branches of the Government to the importance of
tourism in regard to the economy of the municipality of St.
Thomas and St. John, as well as the Virgin Islands as a whole.

Commerce and Shipping

There was an increase in the number of merchant ships calling at
the port of St. Thomas during the fiscal year 1954 as compared with
1953. A total of 406 merchant ships with a gross tonnage of 1,935,141
called at St. Thomas as compared with 322 ships with a gross tonnage
of 1,920,735. One hundred seventy-two United States Government
vessels called at St. Thomas during the fiscal year as compared with
193 in 1953.
The Delta Line continued regular triweekly bunkering calls and
fueling visits by ships in the banana trade. These increased approxi-
mately 30 percent over the previous year. Thirty-one cruise ships
visited St. Thomas as compared to 20 the previous year, and 12 in
During the year the waterfront project was completed and title
taken by the municipality. There still remains the surfacing of a
portion of the road adjacent to the waterfront, and this will be com-
pleted during this fiscal year.
Transportation, both of passengers and freight by air, is an increas-
ingly important factor in local commerce activities. Approximately
421,213 pounds of cargo and over 170,600 passengers were transported
by air in and out of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year 1954.
During the last quarter of the fiscal year, plans were almost completed
for the extension of the runway of Alexander Hamilton Airport in
St. Croix. The contract will be let very shortly. Plans are underway
to make a survey as to the possibility of extending the St. Thomas
airport by at least 1,500 feet. Vigorous action will be taken in this
direction during the coming year.

Labor and Labor Relations
During the fiscal year 1954, the records reflect that there were filed
with the Office of the Compensation Commissioner 536 injury reports.
Of this number, 518 cases were disposed of involving medical costs or
compensation fr disability in the various classifications including


death benefits. There are 18 cases on the docket pending the submis-
sion of additional information as required by law.
A breakdown of the total money value awarded shows:
Disability and medical claims
Temporary total disability ------------------------------ $11, 936. 34
Permanent partial disability------------------------------ 2, 972. 03
Death compensation ----------------------------------- 4, 580. 00
Medical and hospital expenses ---------------------------- 10, 257. 41
Other services------------------------------------------ 194. 50

Total-------------------------------_-------- 20, 142. 88
During the fiscal year, employment was at its peak throughout the
municipality of St. Croix. As a result, there was a substantial increase
in number of workmen's compensation claims. While this increase
has direct numeric relation to increased employment, it is also accel-
erated by other accident inducing factors, such as fatigue that results
from overtime work, and the entrance of new and often untrained
In the period covered by this report, unemployment in St. Thomas
has been at its highest in recent years. The completion or near com-
pletion of several Federal work projects in the last 6 months of the
year, and the closing of the Virgin Isle Hotel, were the causes of
considerable unemployment in St. Thomas.
There is every indication of the need for the continuity of the
safety program until every worker in the field of industrial employment
realizes his obligations under the Compensation Act, and his relation-
ship to his fellow workers.
In adopting the wage and hour law, the legislature sought to use
its powers to eliminate labor conditions detrimental to the health,
efficiency, and well-being of workers, and to eliminate unfair methods
of competition, and to increase employment opportunities.
The act does not limit the number of hours of work in which an
employee may be engaged; it does not provide for different rates of
pay for Sundays or holidays, as such. The provisions apply whatever
the method of payment-hourly, weekly, piecework, or monthly.
The general minimum wage requirement of the act is that each covered
and nonexempt employee must be paid not less than the rate specified
in the various classifications thereunder. That is-
Per hour
Utility worker --_------------------------------ $0. 30
Sales or service clerk--------------------------------- .35
Unskilled labor------------------_--_------------- .40
Semiskilled labor ------------------------------------. 50
Skilled labor_---------------.....------------------ .65


A new type of wage law is needed in the Virgin Islands establishing
minimum wages on the industry basis rather than by the present
system of labor categories.
Our employee placement record for this year is slightly lower than
that of fiscal year 1953. This is due in part to the development of
a better placement service than in previous years. Applicants are
holding jobs longer and employers are making an effort to hold their
employees by making jobs more attractive. This general tendency
toward longer job tenure is due largely to the efforts of our inter-
viewers, who in their contacts with applicants and employers, try to
obtain, clarify, and disseminate accurate information on worker
qualifications and job requirements.
Another contributing factor was the decline in placement oppor-
tunities due to the change of many of our businesses from year-round
operation to seasonal operation.
Realizing the importance of a wise vocational choice, particularly
among our young men and women entering the labor market, the
Virgin Islands Employment Service for the first time administered
General Aptitude Test Board tests to the senior classes of both public
and parochial high schools of St. Thomas. Counseling these young
people was a cooperative effort between the schools and the Employ-
ment Service. As a result, the guidance counselors were in a posi-
tion to assist the counselees in deciding upon the type of work for
which each was best equipped.
Fiscal year 1954 witnessed the first full year of operation of Title
IV, Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1952. During the
year a total of $27,421 was paid to veterans of the Korean conflict as
unemployment compensation.
Veterans were given preferential treatment in selection and referral
to all jobs received in the office for which their training and ability
suited them. There was extremely low incidence of handicapped
veterans among our veteran applicants.
One of the most important activities was the processing of clear-
ance orders for alien labor from neighboring British and French
islands. These workers are needed for farming, fishing, and some-
times construction. Numerous requests for other workers were
denied clearance recommendations because there was an adequate
supply of local labor to fill the orders.
Alien agricultural workers were used to plant and harvest sugarcane
and vegetables; some were employed on dairy and livestock farms.
Contrary to the general opinion that Virgin Islanders do not like to
do farmwork, it has been found that even though they are not making
a living from farming, several hundreds of persons are attempting


farm activities. The aliens that were imported represented labor
needed in addition to the local farm labor force.
The fishermen who were imported were needed to assist in procuring
an adequate supply of fresh fish for local consumption. Through
the coordinated regulations of the Immigration and Employment
Services, 53 general farmhands and 45 fishermen were imported to
assist in the production of foods for the Virgin Islands.

Problems and Comments
In our transition from the old to the new institutions, the problem
of recruiting physicians and surgeons in an area of comparative
isolation was tremendous. The people of the Virgin Islands, because
of their geographic isolation, require the full-time service of specialists.
The greatest demands lie in the fields of internal medicine, general
surgery, obstetrics, and pediatrics. These positions must be full
time, in order that they may effectively meet the needs of our people.
Even though great strides have been made in rendering acceptable
medical and surgical care, there are many needs to be filled. The
areas of greatest weakness are in the following fields of medical
practice: radiology, ophthalmology, and pathology. The increasing
high incidence of the degenerative diseases and the anticipated in-
crease in malignant neoplasms due to an aging population, speak
loudly for the employment of a competent radiologist in order that
malignant neoplasms of the gastro-intestinal tract and other areas
may be diagnosed early. These diseases occur when the patient is
at his peak of production and unless they are discovered when amen-
able to early surgical correction, the loss of life incident to late diag-
nosis might very well be economically disastrous. The Virgin
Islands community cannot afford to ignore this need indefinitely.
Several efforts have been made during the last fiscal year to recruit
an ophthalmologist for service in the Virgin Islands. With a total
population of 30,000, 85 percent indigent, it is difficult to recruit a
physician in this specialty. The Government salary offered for this
position is not in line with salaries offered for similar positions in
continental United States. Due to the inability to recruit an ophthal-
mologist, a backlog of eye conditions amenable to surgical treatment
has accumulated throughout the Virgin Islands. Traumatic eye con-
ditions are commonly seen and treated by men who are specialists in
other fields. This danger is quite obvious since the sight of many
patients is endangered.
Tissue diagnosis by a resident pathologist is a requirement of many
hospitals. No hospital can be accredited, unless this deficiency is


corrected. A consultant pathologist or the referral of tissues to the
island of Puerto Rico does not fully meet the needs of an institution in
which medicine is practiced scientifically.
During the last two years the courts have requested specialized in-
formation from the Department of Health. The need for a pathol-
ogist in this area for medical-legal work is increasing.
Notwithstanding the above deficiencies, considerable improvement
has been made in the detailed management of patients presenting
themselves for diagnosis and treatment. For the first time, physicians
were able to treat patients utilizing solutions which were scientifically
prepared to meet the deficiencies of electrolyte balance. The labora-
tory services now available are headed by a competent medical techni-
cian and this ancillary division has been rendering excellent support
to our physicians.
The loss of an insular obstetrician creates a serious problem since
the general surgeons on the staff are required to cover this highly
special training in obstetrics, and the responsibility for carrying this
service during the absence of the obstetrician reduces his effectiveness
as a policy making official in the Government of the Virgin Islands.
The need for additional help in general surgery has increased during
the last fiscal year, since the number of traumatic cases admitted to
the hospital for treatment has doubled. Only occasional fractures
were seen 5 years ago. Now an average of 7 fractures per week are
treated at the hospital. This places a tremendous demand on the 2
practitioners with training and experience in fracture work. The
quality of medical care will not improve unless an effort is made to
employ at least 4 physicians with specialized training in the above-
mentioned fields. The present quality of medical care now rendered
to the community is only made possible through some members of
the medical staff endangering their health to provide specialized
services for the patients of the hospital. It is hoped that this situa-
tion will be corrected in the near future since we are threatened with
the loss of valuable personnel.
In order to reduce the "drudge work" on the full-time physicians a
program of accepting externs in their senior years of medical school,
was adopted. The help of these senior medical students has helped
to reduce immeasurably, the physical efforts necessary on the part of
our physicians to render 24-hour coverage at the hospital. The early
treatment of minor injuries and ailments has been delegated to these
students and the time of the full-time medical officer utilized in the
performance of skills requiring his specialized knowledge. This
program should become a regular part of our hospital budget, with
funds specifically appropriated for it.


It is now time for the Government of the Virgin Islands to take
stock of the diverse and complex functions relegated to a Health
Department. Since the new Organic Act provides for a department
head appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the legislature
for a limited period of time, the advantages to be gained from a career
position are lost. The Virgin Islands in their present stage of eco-
nomic and political development does not lend itself readily to this
arrangement, since a political appointee with short tenure of office
could not be expected to provide the same level of service in a highly
specialized field as a career professional dedicated to the general prin-
ciple of rendering the patient scientific care in a backward area.
The incentives, financial and otherwise, in Government work fail
to attract a department head with broad training and experience capa-
ble of supervising a professionally complex organization.
Therefore, every effort should be made to organize the Health De-
partment solely on a career basis, similar to the Veterans' Administra-
tion and United States Public Health Service.

Organization of the Health Department

There are 2 municipalities in the Virgin Islands. St. Croix, the
largest of the 3 islands, known as the municipality of St. Criox; the
municipality of St. Thomas and St. John (28 and 20 square miles,
respectively). Each comprises a public health medical care unit.
The United States Children's Bureau and the United States Public
Health Service continue to furnish invaluable aid through their
agencies and consultative services to the local health department in
the planning of programs.
The Virgin Islands Department of Health is under the administra-
tive supervision of the commissioner of health, who is responsible for
the public health and preventive aspects of medicine in the area; he is
also the chief municipal physician of the municipality of St. Thomas
and St. John, responsible for medical care.
There are 2 assistant commissioners of health; 1 residing in St.
Croix, who is also the chief municipal physician for that island; the
other residing in St. Thomas, who is the assistant chief municipal
physician, and who, in the absence of the commissioner of health, is
responsible for the administration of the insular health program.
The chief municipal physician of St. Croix conducts a medical care
public health program on that island.
The Commissioner of Health makes monthly trips to St. Croix in
order to coordinate and develop a unified program for the Virgin
Islands. The assistant commissioner of health and assistant chief
municipal physician residing in St. Thomas is also the insular consult-


ant on tuberculosis, and assumes considerable administrative responsi-
bility in the general supervision of medical care on that island.
In addition, there are 5 municipal physicians in the municipality
of St. Thomas and St. John and 4 municipal physicians and a chief
municipal physician in St. Croix. These staff physicians perform
the routine duties connected with hospitalized patients rendering in
many cases highly specialized services. An obstetrician is in charge
of all obstetrical services in both municipalities. He is also responsi-
ble for antepartum and postpartum clinics throughout the Virgin
Islands. A similar service is furnished by the insular pediatrician.
A neuropsychiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon make weekly trips to
the Virgin Islands from the neighboring island of Puerto Rico. An
otologist conducts biweekly clinics in the Virgin Islands. Out-patient
clinics held on the island of St. John, by a staff physician from St.
Thomas, are conducted twice a week. Plastic surgery is performed
by contract under the Children's Bureau Crippled Children's Program
by a plastic surgeon in Puerto Rico. Dental services are furnished
by 2 municipal dentists-1 each in municipality.
There is now established within the health department a division
of general services, which came into being after months of planning
and advice from administrative methods consultants of the United
States Public Health Service and Children's Bureau. These services
are now placed under this division: Business management, health,
education, and vital records and statistical services. With this
amalgamation, one section will be responsible to provide the com-
missioner of health with information that was not readily available
from one source.
The accounting and financing division registered on its books the
amount of $186,423-allocated to the Government of the Virgin
Islands, department of health, by the United States Public Health
Service and Children's Bureau-for health services; $30,500 appropri-
ated by the insular government; $433,658 appropriated by the munic-
ipality of St. Thomas and St. John for salaries and expenses for
medical care; $353,122 by the municipality of St. Croix for their
medical care program in addition to the $500 that must be appropri-
ated to qualify for participation in programs of the Children's Bureau.
Through community efforts the sum of $10,054 was made available
for the department to purchase drugs and biologicals for indigent
The revision and reorganization of the division of public health
nursing, which began last year, was continued. There is still much
to be done and this should proceed more satisfactorily when both
supervisory posts are filled.


The creation of the district file for each nurse permits better super-
vision of the registered cases in their district.
The index file is being brought up to date. This makes it easier to
locate persons registered in the program.
Emphasis was increased on the use of records to indicate services
given, identify persons registered, those requiring services, as well
as to measure progress.
The importance of the content of information recorded was stressed
and some improvement was noted.
Referrals for service both intradepartmentally as well as inter-
departmentally increased approximately 200 percent.
Gains are possible in the area of interdepartmental cooperation.
Field visits to St. John were made on an irregular basis due to need
of the program in the other two islands. This will improve when
supervisory personnel increases..
Field visits to St. Croix were made on a regular basis but the length
of stay decreased and they were insufficient for the needs of that
The visit of a nurse consultant from United States Public Health
Service, district III, National Tuberculosis Association, Mental
Health, Social Hygiene, and Medical Director of Children's Bureau
proved stimulating, and educational.
New job specifications submitted originally in July 1952 and
revised by regional consultants in district III were again presented
to the division for a final review. The category public health assistant
is a new public health specification, added with the view of providing
subprofessional services to augment the need for increased services.
There is continued need for personnel to provide clerical and,
custodial services in order to keep down costs.
The vacancies in both supervisory and administrative positions
presented severe handicaps for 6 months. In order to maintain
minimum levels of efficiency, the public health nursing program in
the Virgin Islands is greatly dependent on supervision. Many staff
nurses required more sick and annual leave than in past years. It
has pointed up the fact that the aging process makes plans for needed
replacement a necessity. A complete physical, in order to assess our
health inventory, was given to all the nurses in St. Thomas. It was
recommended that the other islands provide for same.
Communicable disease control.-A total of 315 smallpox vaccinations
and 664 DPT immunizations were done in the well-child conferences.
No special program took place. The inability to obtain a steady
flow of supplies resulted in several breaks in this service.
Maternity service.-This service has continued to show an increase
in admissions both in medical services as well as in nursing visits.


The loss of the obstetrician has further increased the demand for
clinic services. In order to maintain a level consistent with minimum
standards, there is need for additional personnel both to direct as well
as to provide services. Education for parents needs emphasis.
The nurse midwives in St. Thomas have increased the scope of
their activities to include the antepartum supervision of mothers.
The recent practice of assigning a nurse midwife around the clock
in the hospital has been a milestone in obstetrical services. Most
deliveries now take place in the hospital and receive services from a
Much has to be done in St. Croix to bring that program up to the
level of St. Thomas, where the midwives continue to limit their
function to actual delivery.
The nurse midwives in St. John need to be rotated through the
program in St. Thomas in order to promote standardization of pro-
cedures as well as improvement in the quality of service.
Prematurity.-Home evaluation was requested on all babies born
in St. Thomas and St. John and a follow-up notice of discharge re-
sulted in an increased amount of nursing supervision throughout the
first year of life. Continued emphasis is to be given when more help
is available. Much remains to be done to reduce prematurity and to
promote better care during the first year of life. This area needs
emphasis in St. Croix.
Infant health.-The well-child clinics continue to serve to a large
extent as pediatric clinics, and the nursing conferences seem to focus
on milk distribution mainly. Demonstration clinics are indicated in
order to increase opportunities for drill in an effort to change the
attitude of the staff nurses who are the chief problem.
There is still the great need for more and better home visits for
child health supervision. Too often the visit is to carry a notice for
clinic rather than to promote teaching, demonstration, or to imple-
ment clinic services.
School health.-School health examinations were conducted during
the first part of the year in St. Croix and had to be discontinued due
to medical and nursing shortages. None were done in St. Thomas
and St. John. More needs to be done in the area of the communicable
diseases of children as yearly they consume considerable nursing time
and increase the need for much medical followup which is available
only in one island.
Direct clinic services in the form of interviews, counseling, guidance,
testing, reporting, and psychiatric and psychological evaluations
were given to approximately 200 children under the age of 18 in St.
Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. These were referred by: Schools,
division- of child welfare, public health nurses, maternal and child


health and crippled children's services, self-referrals, parents, police
and prison, and the courts.
During the early part of February 1954, the division of mental
health cooperated with the division of health education in sponsoring
and promoting a 10-day workshop on health and human relations
with emphasis on "Personal and Family Living," by Miss Katherine
Rahl, associate director of the American Social Hygiene Association.
Meetings were held in St. Thomas and St. Croix.
Weekly psychiatric and psychological clinics were held in St.
Thomas and monthly in St. Croix. Eighty percent of the patients
seen in the clinics -were children.
It has been necessary for the director of mental health to write
emergency procedures for St. Croix since the program has had no
worker on that island for the last 8 months. It has become increas-
ingly evident that there is need for a full-time worker in mental health
in St. Croix.
Statistical Data
The Division of Statistical Services.was organized to process sta-
tistical data for use by the health department in planning, executing,
and evaluating the health program, and the provision of statistical
consulting services to program directors. However, since an efficient
registration program is the base of an efficient statistical program, it
immediately became evident that the registration program in the
separate municipalities should be coordinated with the new service,
there being no central Division of Vital Statistics, but each munici-
pality having its own vital statistics law providing for the registration
of births, stillbirths, and deaths. The director of statistical services
was therefore assigned the responsibility of coordinating registration
activities in the two municipalities with statistical services and re-
viewing vital certificates for accuracy and completeness.
As a result of the activities of the new division, a vital statistics law
for the Virgin Islands was passed by the Legislative Assembly in
December 1953. However, because of the failure on the part of the
legislative and administrative officials to follow the practice of con-
ferring with interested persons or groups before the passage of the
bill, there are a few minor flaws. But on the whole, the law satisfied
two long-existing needs. -There is now legal centralization of au-
thority and responsibility for the registration program in the Virgin
Islands, and in keeping with the national trend, the scope of manda-
tory registration activities has been broadened.
Perhaps the weakest area in the field of public health report is that
of reporting and collecting of figures on notifiable diseases. This
division is charged with the responsibility of preparing the annual re-


port on notifiable diseases to be submitted to the United States Public
Health Service, and in the absence of any centralized or definite
source of current data, also collects monthly figures for the local
United States Public Health office. In spite of the fact that as many
sources as possible are contacted, the results indicate that the figures
available present a rosy picture of health conditions that is far from
the actual situation.
In 1953 there were 872 live births registered in the Virgin Islands
with a birth rate of 30.6 per 1,000 estimated population. Of these
live births, 449 were registered in St. Thomas, where the rate was
30.12 and 412 in St. Croix, where the rate was 32.2. In St. John, the
figures were 11 live births and a rate of 14.3. These figures show no
appreciable change over 1952, when the number of live births was
862 and the estimated rate 30.9.
Two hundred and seventy-eight deaths and a death rate of 9.8 per
1,000 estimated population represent an appreciable improvement
over figures for 1952, when there were 346 deaths with a rate of 12.4
per 1,000 estimated population. The improvement is reflected par-
ticularly in the figures for St. Thomas, where there were registered
114 deaths with a rate of 7.6 per 1,000 estimated population against
155 deaths and a rate of 10.6 in 1952. The St. Croix figures, which
also represent an improvement over the previous year, are 160 deaths
and a rate of 12.5 in 1953, compared with 186 deaths and a rate of
14.8 in 1952. In St. John the figures were 4 deaths and a rate of 5.2
in 1953 against 5 deaths and a rate of 6.5 in 1952.
Leading causes of death in the Virgin Islands in order of importance
age of all Rate

(1) Diseases of the heart ............-----------...... --------------------------- 32.3 316.3
(2) Malignant neoplasms --. --------------.. ----------.----...-_.._... ------8. 6 84.3
(3) Diseases of early infancy- .---. -----------------------------------..-----. 7.1 70.3
(4) Vascular lesions affecting central nervous system ..------------------------------ 6.1 59.7
(5) Accidents, including 1 motor vehicle------------------------------------------ 4.3 42.2

Deaths according to age were distributed as follows:
Under 1 year ....... __________ __.._____-----------_ 12. 59
1-4 years ---.----._.......... .......------------. 2. 88
5-14 years ----------------------------------------- .36
15-24 years --------.-----------------------------. 1.08
25-44 years ------------------------------------- 9.0
45-64 years .---.------------------.__....._------. 23. 39
65 years and over -----------_--------------------- 50. 0
Unknown .- _________________________________ .7
Thirty-five infant deaths and a rate of 40.1 per 1,000 live births
are the lowest figures ever recorded for the Virgin Islands and show


an appreciable improvement over 1952 when there were 46 deaths
and a rate of 53.4. In St. Thomas the figures are 17 infant deaths
and a rate of 37.8, and in St. Croix, 18 deaths and a rate of 43.7.
No infant deaths were reported for St. John. Though the decline in
infant mortality is encouraging for the Virgin Islands, the rate still
compares unfavorably with that for the United States as a whole,
where the estimated rate for 1953 is 28.0 per 1,000.
The leading causes of infant deaths were:

Percent R
of total Rate
(1) Atelectasis--------------------------- --------------------- ---------................. 31.4 12.6
(2) Fn, uIrn.,.ni 11 r.rm"n ... ........................... ........ ................. 20.0 8.0
(3) ( Irr..t. -r i ..i I .................. ................. ....... ....... 11.4 4.6

The record of no reported maternal deaths set in 1952 was main-
tained in 1953.
The stillbirth picture is discouraging, there being 33 stillbirths in
1953 with a ratio of 37.8 per 1,000 live births. For 1952, the figures
were 25 stillbirths and a ratio of 29.0.
For the first time since 1949, the marriage figures were higher than
the divorce figures, 247 marriages and 236 divorces having occurred
in 1953. The decline in divorce figures is due to a test case pending
before the Supreme Court during the latter part of the year.
Population estimates for 1953 are based upon natural increase only.
Estimates are as follows: Virgin Islands 28,454; St. Croix 12,806;
St. Thomas 14,878; St. John 770.
Hospital statistics, Knud-Hansen Memorial Hospital, St. Thomas
Number of beds-------------------------------------- 116
Number of bassinets ---------------------------------- 20
Number of bed patients cared for ---------------------- 2, 190
Total hospital days ----------------------------------31, 911
Average number of days stay per patient ---------------- 14
Clinic visits ------------------------------------------ 17, 560
Daily average occupancy ------------------------------ 87
Peak occupancy------------------------------------- 104
Minimum occupancy---------------------------------- 82
Births in hospital ------------------------------------ 412
Deaths in hospital ------------------------------------ 70
Operations---------------------------------------- 480
Autopsies-------_----- ------------------------ 6
Total number X-rays taken---------------------------- 3, 187
Fluoroscopics -------------------------------- 85
Physicians working in hospital ------------------------. 10
Graduate nurses on staff------------------------------- 23
Nurse aides on staff----------------------------------- 46
Nurse midwives----------------------------_--------- 3
Nursing administrative personnel---------------------- 3
Total number of employees in hospital_ ----------------- 152


Institutional statistics, department of health, St. Croix, 1953-54
Chris- King's
tiansted Feder- Hansen Kinl
Hospi- Clinic Home Home

Beds..------------------------------------------ 62 12 92 150
Bassinets------ ----------------- 11 4 --- --i
Average occupancy .....--- ---------------------- 45 12 10 113
Peakoccupancy------------------ ------------------69 12 11 116
Minimum occupancy.... ---------------------------- 19 5 10 101
Number of physicians....--------------------------- (2)1 2 (2) (')
Number of graduate nurses --------------------------- 21 10 1 5
Birthsinhospital ---. --------------------------- 222 105 -- --
Deaths in hospital_ ------- ------------------------ 64 28 0 38
Numberof X-raypictures taken-------------------------------- 1,293 321 -------
Operations ...240 141 ..
Operations------------------------------------------------- 240 141 --------
I Full time. 2 Part time.

Sewage disposal in the Virgin Islands is still a serious problem. The
public sewer systems in St. Thomas and in St. Croix are not adequate
for the growing population in the islands.
There are innumerable unsewered areas in both islands. Private
sewage disposal is properly controlled by the Division of Sanitation
according to law. The night soil can collection system is still a serious
health hazard in the Virgin Islands. This system will exist until
adequate hygienic housing is provided for the inhabitants of the
islands. Also, the enlargement of the sewer system in both islands
will alleviate many of the night-soil cans in the islands.
Milk sanitation in St. Croix is still a problem. A modern pasteuri-
zation plant with a capacity of only 700 quarts a day is in operation.
The milk sanitation situation in St. Thomas is not considered a seri-
ous problem.
A grave problem in the environmental health program in the Virgin
Islands is one of training for sanitation inspectors. Sanitation
inspectors have been exposed only to the limited training given by the
director of sanitation. Funds should be made available to have
sanitation inspectors trained abroad in short courses in sanitation.
The alternative is to employ two already trained sanitarians in the
islands and have them carry out training programs.
Plans for a private sewage disposal system require the approval of
the Division- of Sanitation before work is started. Standard speci-
fications will be amended from time to time to improve the methods of
private sewage disposal in the Virgin Islands.
Many of the open storm sewers in the Virgin Islands are used for
the disposal of kitchen and bathroom wastes. Efforts are being made
under the new Sewage Act to have these properties tied into the new
sewer: systems. An average of 20 compulsory connection notices
are issued monthly in the Virgin Islands. This will be increased.


Dental Services
Two dental surgeons, 1 registered dental hygienist, 3 locally trained
dental hygienists and 1 clerk rendered all the dental services in these
The services consist of: admission, examination fillings of amalgam,
porcelain, and cement; extractions, surgery, anesthesia, X-rays,
prophylaxis, dental treatments, and the preventive process of tropical
applied fluoride. All schoolchildren and indigents in the island
attended these clinics and availed themselves of the dental health
services. Out-patient care to patients admitted on a fee basis along
with patients committed to the hospital wards also receive these
dental services.
'Recommendations to employ another dentist were again made in
August 1953.
Eight thousand five hundred and eighty-nine cases of adults and
schoolchildren received treatments at the clinics in St. Thomas, St:
John, and St. Croix. Four thousand eight hundred and sixty-one
were in St. Thomas and St. John, and 3,728 were in St. Croix.
In St. Thomas during the month of April, 1,221 children of the
elementary schools were examined in order to determine the per-
centage of dental caries in schoolchildren. This examination will be
used as a baseline survey of dental caries.

Laboratory services which cut across three levels-State, local, and
institutional-are being reported separately by the chief laboratory
technician (insular).
The laboratory has undergone many physical changes and improve-
ments as a result of the move to the new hospital and the acquisition
of many modern pieces of equipment. A work area which is well-
ventilated and well lighted has also contributed to employees' morale
while making it easier to perform examinations and tests with a
greater degree of accuracy.
This division is to be commended for the preparation and imple-
mentation of laboratory policies during the fiscal year.


The nursing staff has been increased with functions of members of
the nursing team more clearly defined, and overall quantity and qual-
ity of nursing service available to patients has improved. The in-
service training available to our nursing personnel has helped us to
achieve a higher level of nursing care. Much remains to be done,


however, in order to bring care up to standards acceptable by a
board of accreditation.
On-the-job training by use of demonstration of technique and skills
to personnel, in-service training carried out by the director of nursing
education, and ward conferences have all contributed to the improve-
ment of patient care. Education of patients is done concomitant with
nursing care, usually by the doctors, and auxiliary workers coordi-
nating as unplanned teams.
The major function during the year ahead is twofold: In-service
education and budgetary and organizational planning for a school of
nursing. Both of these functions are concerned with nursing educa-
tion but must be considered as actively associated with nursing service.
The general aims and objectives of our in-service education pro-
gram may be summarized as follows: To improve the present stand-
ard of nursing care through knowledge and efficiency of the present
nursing staff; to bring the standard of nursing care up to the level
necessary for a school of nursing; and to integrate nursing service
personnel into a smooth-working team by presentation and demon-
stration of newer techniques in nursing as well as reviewing standard
Nursing education played an important role in the reorganization
of nursing service. In keeping with the major aims of nursing educa-
tion, to obtain background information to determine the type of
construction necessary on all levels and facilitate writing of nursing
service policies and procedures, a time study was made. It was
carried on for 1 week and included all 3 shifts within the 24 hours.
Although the results have not been compiled, several factors showed
through: that on the medical-surgical service, the majority of pro-
fessional nursing time was spent doing clerical and messenger work;
that on the tuberculosis and neuropsychiatric services, there was little
or no assistance in serving meals to patients or in keeping the ward
kitchen clean. Other factors were of equal significance to us in
planning for future organization.
All our studies indicate the acute shortage of nurses in the Virgin
Islands. So many of our basic problems in the hospital arise from
this one fact that the actual feasibility and practicability of starting
a school of nursing in the Virgin Islands at this time, is almost obliter-
ated by the "local sentiment" accompanying discussions regarding a
school of nursing. The total quotation regarding the possibilities
of a school of nursing, as stated by the United States Public Health
Service report made by Donna Pearce in 1947, follows:
The advisability of maintaining a professional school of nursing is open to
question in view of the number of nurses needed in the Islands and the small
number of high school graduates available for recruitment for the school of


nursing. Also, there is no educational personnel nor is the hospital at present
approved by the American College of Surgeons. However, in view of the local
sentiment for a school of nursing and the difficulty encountered in recruiting
nurses or in getting those trained elsewhere to return to local employment, the
following recommendations are proposed.
Those recommendations made were in favor of starting a school after
certain requirements regarding building facilities, admission regula-
tions, and teaching personnel are met.

The move to new facilities provided the obstetrics unit with 18 beds,
representing an increase of 6 beds more than in the old facility. The
additional work area and improved facilities served as encouragement
for more of our maternity patients to come to the hospital for deliv-
ery. In addition to this fact, the new facilities demanded the full-
time service of every midwife, thus making it advantageous for moth-
ers to come to the hospital and insure the midwifery and medical care
of professional personnel at the time of delivery.
The new hospital provides better accommodations for our pediatric
patients, as well as a standard formula room and a well-equipped
nursery for our babies. With the units arranged as they are, it would
be very desirable to have nurses in charge of the operation of the
specific units only. However, due to the shortage, the nursing per-
sonnel must perform combined duties throughout the pediatric
and nursery sections.
Prior to the opening of the new hospital, neuropsychiatric patients
were housed in an isolated area on the hospital grounds where they
received minimum custodial care in bare cells with iron bars and
doors which were useful only in keeping patients from getting out.
We have tried to close the door on the unsympathetic and curious
visitor who previously came to stare and mock the unfortunate
inmates in their depressing surroundings.
Today the neuropsychiatric patient is housed in a relatively sanitary
and suitable hospital environment. There is one nurse available to
them, who, although without special training or experience in the care
of the mentally ill, has shown an intuitive skill and understanding in
dealing with the patients.
The nursing coverage on this unit is woefully inadequate and has
remained consistently far below minimum required standards for the
12-month period.
Ward personnel on this unit have formed a recreational therapy
group for instituting indoor and outdoor games with patients, including
music, dancing, and social activities with patients. Movies have
been shown bimonthly and oftener for the patients by a volunteer


recruit.. Some of the movies are educational and others purely
recreational. Interested members of the community are providing
materials for occupational therapy, needed equipment for the furnish-
ing of the dayroom, and magazines, books, and newspapers are being
made available regularly to the patients.
We will continue to provide for increased training and supervision
for development of psychiatrically oriented aides, as well as continued
education for personnel, patients, and other members of the hospital
staff as a whole.
It is essential that we engage the services of a trained hospital
administrator, one who is capable of organizing the various depart-
ments into a full working force. The hospitals cannot function
efficiently without one person at the top to devote full time to the
management and planning so necessary in a program of such scope,
Business management is not hospital administration. Hospital
administration cannot be administered on a sporadic or a spasmodic
basis. Decisions cannot be given without adequate thought given to
the various interdepartmental relationships. The democratic process
is still the best process in the creation and implementation of new
policies and procedures. Steady growth and development of depart-
ments must be encouraged rather than the mushrooming of services.


St. Thomas and St. John
The school system in the Virgin Islands is organized and adminis-
tered under 2 separate departments of education, 1 for the municipality
of St. Croix and 1 for the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John,
under a basic school law for the Virgin Islands as a whole. There is
in each municipality a school board of 5 members appointed by the
Governor, the functions of which are largely advisory in nature.
These boards are authorized to adopt curricula, prescribed regulations,
and recommend appropriations for educational purposes. A super-
intendent of education in each municipality, appointed by the United
States Secretary of Interior, is the administrative head of the school
system within his or her jurisdiction and is responsible as a staff
officer to the Governor of the Virgin Islands. Except for the salary
of the 2 superintendents, and Federal aid for vocational education,
the schools are financed entirely by appropriations made by the munic-
ipal council in each of the 2 political divisions.
There are no political subdivisions or school districts, and all
schools are administered directly by the Department of Education
concerned, through departmental staff offices, supervisors, and school
principals. Fiscal operations, the functions of procurement and


supply, recruitment, and qualification of personnel are entirely central-
ized and performed by headquarters personnel.
These departments of education in the Virgin Islands are somewhat
unique in that their functions are analogous to those of a "state"
education department, yet include those of city or county agencies
and local districts in typical school systems of the United States.
In the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John with which this
report is concerned henceforth, the school organization follows the
"6-3-3" plan, except for two rural schools on the island of St. John,
in which 8 grades are maintained. In all there are 7 public kinder-
gartens, 10 rural elementary schools, 5 elementary schools in the city
of Charlotte Amalie, and one 6-year junior-senior high school, operated
by the Department of Education.
One Roman Catholic parochial school, grade 1 to 12, and 4 private
elementary schools report to and are accredited by the department.
In addition to these schools, several auxiliary services and facilities
maintained under administration of the department include the school
lunch division, public playgrounds, and tennis courts, scholarship and
travel aid for veterans, the teachers institute, a scholarship fund for
loans to college students, and the public library,
Health services are provided in all schools by the Department of
Health, providing free medical and dental treatment and hospitaliza-
tion for needy children. The Department of Social Welfare renders
invaluable service in connection with problems involving faulty home
conditions. A health educator employed jointly by the Department
of Health and the Department of Education promotes and directs
health education for children and adults.
The instructional staff consists of approximately 115 employees in-
cluding those serving as principals and supervisors. In addition to
the services of an elementary supervisor, special supervision is pro-
vided in the fields of art, music, and physical education. While
nearly all teachers serving in the high school are college graduates
with approximate training for their respective fields of teaching, ele-
mentary teachers are for the most part high-school graduates with
limited professional training. In selection of teachers, preference is
given to qualified natives. However, there have been opportunities
in recent years for placement of a limited number of teachers from
outside the Virgin Islands, chiefly for high-school duty. A degree is
required as the basic academic qualification for duty in the high school.
Progress in the school-construction program has been gratifying.
The new Charlotte Amalie High School, begun in May 1953, is ex-'
pected to be completed by the end of January 1955. In addition,
contracts were awarded during the year for 2 new elementary schools
in St. John, and for repairs, improvements, and additions to 2 rural


schools in St. John, and to 3 rural schools in St. Thomas. Work was
begun on nearly all of these projects before the close of the year.
Funds have not been provided, however, for the three elementary
schools in the city district of Charlotte Amalie. These schools are
urgently needed to replace six schools in the urban area, now housed in
antiquated and makeshift quarters.
We are able to add certain new courses in fields for which the need
has been substantiated as the result of studies made during the
preceding year.
A coordinator for distributive education was added to the staff and
a program begun in this field, including part-tine cooperative classes
for high-school seniors, extension classes for adults, and several courses
for hotel and restaurant workers. Evening courses for adults, con-
ducted during the year, included selected phases of home economics,
a course for plumbers, and a course in blueprint reading. Departure
was made in still another field with the addition of a 3-year course in
commercial dressmaking for high-school students.
Total enrollment in public schools was 3,403, an increase of 9 above
that of the preceding year. Of this number, 959 were enrolled in
junior and senior high school grades. Enrollment in parochial and
private schools amounted to 1,007. Total enrollment in all schools
was 4,410, an increase of 39 above total enrollment in the preceding
During the year the quarters of the public library were enlarged by
acquisition of the space formerly occupied by the telephone exchange
in the municipal building. This space is now used to house the Virgin
Islands reference collection, the music and art room, and the librarian's
office. Important advances were made in the establishment of new
,or extended services.
Librarians have taken advantage of available opportunities for edu-
cational improvement by enrolling for courses in the spring session of
the program for improvement of teaching in the Virgin Islands, con-
ducted by Hampton Institute; and in the experimental college for the
summer of 1954. One librarian was on leave without pay pursuing
studies at the Polytechnic Institute in San German, P. R.
Total circulation for the year was 32,702.
No effort should be spared to obtain funds to permit continuation of
the school building program in order that overcrowding in elementary
schools in the urban area may be eliminated at the earliest possible
time. At present, total enrollment in these schools is at approxi-
mately 200 percent of rated capacity, and in poorly lighted, poorly
ventilated, and unhygenic rooms.
The teacher-training program now receiving sound support within
certain limitations from the Foundation for the Advancement of Edu-


cation should be augmented by increased appropriations for teacher-
training scholarships.
To promote recruitment and retention of better trained teachers
substantial increases in teachers' salaries are essential.
SPositive provision should be made for curriculum study and revision
on a continuing basis, involving assignment of specially qualified
professional personnel to duty in this field, with sufficient time free
from other demands of office, to organize and direct this undertaking
effectively; restoration of budget provision for employment of fully
qualified supervisors to promote and develop programs in physical
education and recreation; and extension of vocational education facili-
ties and programs, with special regard for part-time, extension, and
evening classes for out-of-school youth, and adults.

St. Croix
During the year the Christiansted High School was opened. During
the school term the municipal council passed a bill appropriating
'$5,000 for textbooks. It gave us more books than we have had during
the past 8 years. Appropriating extra money for textbooks exhibited
the fine attitude and interest in education on the part of our legis-
At the beginning of the school year all schools were filled to capacity.
Many high-school students had to sit in windows or stand.
The vocational division has not grown as fast as was expected.
Students in some cases have been reluctant to go into trades. This
problem could be partially solved if a good guidance program was
At present we offer carpentry, plumbing, electricity, and agriculture.
Girls have home economics only.
Agriculture got off to a slow start but finally developed into a good
program. Students raised choice vegetables, had poultry projects,
and other phases of agriculture.
The program of agriculture in Frederiksted was conducted in the
school and community. The adult work was especially interesting
and farmers were appreciative of the knowledge gained.
The commercial division of the high school is probably the most
popular. It is not the largest because the number that can be taught
is limited. Much improvement has been made in this department
during the past 4 years. Though commercial work is taught in both
the parochial and public high schools, there is a shortage of clerical
workers in the community.
Our elementary schools are terribly overcrowded and understaffed.
This situation will continue until new school buildings are erected.


A summer school of college level was sponsored by the Department
of Education and conducted by the Polytechnic Institute of Puerto
Rico. It was well attended although teachers paid their own expenses.

Miscellaneous data

St. Thomas St. Croix
and St. John

Number of schools:
Public (including kindergarten) .......-------------------..-...-.....-- 22 9
Parochial-------------------------------- 3 5
Private...... ........ ...-------------------------------------------------------- ---- 4 0
Total..--..--. ------------- -------------- 29 14
School enrollment (June 1954):
Public --------------------------------- --------... ---------- 3,403 2,078
Parochial -........................... .. ....- -_------------ 729 1,193
Private ... .........------------------------------ ...... .. 278 0
Total .-- ....... .. ------- -----------------------.. 4,410 3,261
Public school enrollment:
Kindergartens ..----- ....------------------------.... 299 .----
Grades 1 through 6 ___------.. ---------...------------ 2,145 1,549
Grades 7 through 9...................------------------- 614 376
Grades 10 through 12 .-- .---------. --. .1.. ... ....... ... 345 153
Total----------------------------------------....-----.. 3,403 2,078
Average pupils per classroom teacher:
Rural elementary---------------------.----------------.....--------...... 28.6 37
Urban elementary---------------.-------. ----------- ----------.----- 36. 4 48
Highschool ----------- --------------- ... ..... ..... ----. -- 31.7 23
Average salary of teachers in public schools: .
Elementary --------------______________- ... ...... $1,647.96 $1,532.43
High school (academic)----------- ------------------ $2,333.52 $2,250.00
Teacher training (exclusive of vocational):
College graduates..------------- 31 34
Normal school (2 years or more) .---.--- .. 12
High-school graduates ------.-----..--- --.. 63 24
Other ----------------- -------------- .... ... 8 14
Total..--......- ------.-------------------------------- 114 68
Total expenditures:
Municipal appropriations- _.-....--...-----. ------------------ $423, 729. 78 $195, 203. 66
Federal contributions.--.. ..--------- -------..---------.--- 75,677.02 23,055.83
Other sources ---- ----------... ------------- 5,655.75
Total ..---..._..-------._ --------. .---- 505,062.55 218,259.49
Annual expenditure per pupil, exclusive of school lunch, adult education, and
community services --. $105. 12 $97. 13
Aid to college students _---------------. ------------.-.. $5,990. 19 $1,000. 00


Due to a flash flood in the early part of September 1953, the road
system in St. Thomas and St. John was seriously damaged. In many
instances, the complete surface was destroyed, as in the case of dirt
roads. Bituminous macadam surfaces were undermined and bulged
causing potholes. Road shoulders were damaged and had to be re-
placed. We are still repairing the damage of this storm.
The waterfront, in the vicinity of district court, was surfaced in
accordance with plans submitted by the planning board.



Our patrol grader has been constantly occupied on our secondary
roads and on the filled area at the waterfront, where drainage is a
serious problem. Due to the softness of the fill along the waterfront,
the grader has bogged down many times and had to be hauled by dozer
to harder ground.
The following work is urgently needed: Sealing the Charles Harwood
Highway; rebuilding the Bourne Field Road, Long Bay Road, and the
Sugar Estate Road; and hard-surfacing the St. Peter Mountain Road.
It is hoped that it may be possible to take care of this urgent work
during the coming year.
As more people discover the charms of our islands and build homes,
it becomes increasingly necessary that our road system be kept in
The roads on the western end of St. Thomas should be thoroughly
repaired and hard surfaced.
Work continues on the Cruz Bay-Coral Bay Road on St. John
under force account.
The usual maintenance work was undertaken on the established
road system by municipal funds. These roads were severely damaged
in the flood, and alien labor had to be used to help with repairs, as
manpower to cope with the situation was practically nonexistent in
the islands.
There were approximately 20,000 cubic yards of garbage and
rubbish removed and hauled to the dump.
A breakdown of one of the diesel-operated pumps necessitated the
operation of the electric-driven pumps on a 24-hour basis. This
jumped our cost of operation tremendously. Bills for electricity
consumed were in the vicinity of $2,000 per month.
Contract was let for the installation of machinery at the Long Bay
Lift Station, which was completed near the end of the fiscal year.
New 6-inch sewer lines were installed at hospital ground, French
Village and a section of the waterfront. In all, a total of 1,082 feet
of new sewers were laid.
Our public buildings are in sad need of general repairs. Funds
allotted for the upkeep of these buildings are barely adequate for
minor repairs.
Contracts were let for installing of new metal windows and shutters
at Government House. Contract was also let for the painting of the
interior of this building.
The electrical system in both Government House and Adminis-
tration Building was renovated.
New guttering was installed at the Municipal Building and the
storm shutters repaired and painted.



Our parks are kept clean and that is about all that can be done,
within the limitation of funds. Certain public-spirited individuals
have helped to beautify these parks with ornamental plants, but these
plants have nearly all disappeared, due to destruction by children
and even adults.
The walks in our cemeteries should be paved. The southern side
of the main cemetery should be enclosed by a suitable fence.
Allotments for public roads on St. Croix did not permit hard-
surfacing of any of one-hundred-odd miles of unpaved roads, but
they were very effectively maintained. Being easily washed and
rutted by rain and traffic, such gravel surfaces require constant
attention. As a result, 80 percent of these roads were graded and
patched 3 or 4 times during the year. Other sections received lesser
attention as conditions required.
About 6 miles of the 39 miles of hard-surfaced roads on St. Croix
are to be reconstructed with allotments now on hand, but the other
33 miles are in urgent need of seal coating, and have been in that,
condition for many years. When this wearing topcoat is not regularly
replaced, water penetrates to the subgrade and a gradual breaking
up process sets in.
Along the Center Line Road, particularly, extensive maintenance
was carried out on the gravel shoulders adjoining the paved surface.
These shoulders accumulate dust and trash which builds up and
causes them to rise above the roadway, and this must be graded back
to proper level a few times a year.
On the headbanks of this road, many palms and other trees growing
too far out were removed to insure greater safety to traffic.
More roads should be hard surfaced, but allotments therefore are
not available.
St. Croix raads

Type 1934 1944 1954
Type (miles) (miles) (miles)

Hard-surfaced-..-----. -------... ---------..... --.... .............. 36 39
Dirt and gravel.------------------------.--------------...... 140 104 111

With an excavator of 50-foot boom, received from excess property
during the year, we have done considerable dredging along the
Christiansted docking areas. For a long time the accumulating silt
had reduced the depth of water by more than 3 feet.
The north runway at Alexander Hamilton Airport on St. Croix was
considerably worn and decomposed in several sections, and the Civil
Aeronautics Administration recommended a complete repair of the


base course and an asphalt sealcoating of the entire strip, amounting
to a surface area of 4,000 feet long by 150 feet wide, and 300 feet long
by 50 feet wide.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration contributed about two-thirds
of the allotment, and the municipality sponsored the other third.
Contract has been awarded for installation of a new lighting system
for this field.
There was great need for a Federal-standard cattle dip where the
animals could be properly isolated and inspected prior to shipment.
The site near the slaughterhouse in Christiansted was chosen as best
suitable and an excellent dip was constructed. The dip covers an
area of three quarters of an acre, and comprises the receiving pen, dip
vat, noninfectious pen and concrete floor and watering trough, loading
chute to barge, and docking area, 11 feet deep.

Public Utilities

At the end of the fiscal year June 30, 1954, there were over 1,500
telephones in service. This represented a 60-percent increase over
the year 1952, when the old magneto system was retired from service.
During the year 1953, overseas service was put into operation, giving
an extended service to our subscribers. Communication by telephone
from the Virgin Islands to 90 percent of the entire world is now possible
through the facilities of an associated company. The overseas branch
of our telephone system is operating at a loss, which was anticipated
when the service was instituted. It was thought that the overseas
service would aid the general development of the island and that the
telephone system being a department of the Government should help
the Government by sustaining such losses. However, these losses
can be offset by imposing a surcharge on all overseas traffic, a percent-
age of which can be readily determined as the overseas contract with
All America Cables & Radio could be renegotiated with a view of
getting a better percentage of the money collected. It may prove
necessary to combine both suggestions to accomplish desired results.
All telephone employees received pay increased under provision of
the merit system law. This, coupled with other increased cost for
maintenance materials, provides a heavy burden for the system to
carry and show a profit. We must reexamine our rate structure.
Reorganization of the system is advisable and should be with a view
of consolidating the systems of all three islands. Efforts should be
made to establish realistic rates, using the worth of the system as a
rate base.



The outstanding improvement in the field of social welfare was the
25-percent increase in public assistance rates, which became effective
in February 1954. This improvement was achieved without any
increase in municipal appropriations and resulted chiefly from a 16-
percent decrease in the caseload over the past 2 years. Taking the
month of June each year, for purposes of comparison, we find that this
year 1,477 clients received an average monthly grant of $10.87 as
against 1,583 persons at an $8.50 average grant last year.
This increase is the result of much effort over several years in rehabil-
itating clients, wherever possible, and channeling them into gainful
employment of diligent searching out and marshaling of family and
community resources, and utilization of Federal matching of the local
appropriations at every possible point.
Despite this heartening improvement, the sad fact remains that
assistance-even at the increased rates-still represents only about
60 percent of the basic needs of clients. The food allowance, for
example, still represents only 9 cents a meal for an adult.
The public-assistance program has been restricted to persons in dire
need, to unemployables-the aged, the handicapped, and children-
rather than the unemployed. As a result, recipient rates (the ratio
of assistance and OASI recipients to population) in the Virgin Islands
this year, as in the past 2 years, are lower than the national averages
and lower than the averages in nearby Puerto Rico. For persons 65
years and over, our rates are only about 71 percent of those on the
mainland and 67 percent of those in Puerto Rico. For children, our
rates are about 83 percent of the mainland figure and 39 percent of the
Puerto Rico rate.
The department continued efforts with Washington agencies toward
securing extension to the Islands of vocational rehabilitation services.
Likewise, it renewed representations to Congress for replacement of the
dollar-for-dollar formula, still in effect for Federal matching for public
assistance in the Virgin Islands, with the formula of $4 Federal for
each State dollar now operating in the United States, Alaska, and
Hawaii. This amendment to the Federal Social Security Act is very
urgently needed.
The Queen Louise Home for the Aged in St. Thomas operated at its
full capacity of 19 available beds throughout the year. This capacity
is distressingly inadequate so that many cases in dire need of institu-
tional care cannot be admitted for lack of space. There is under
consideration the possibility that the premises of the present George
Washington School, when vacated by reason of the proposed school
construction program, may be allocated to house this and other
welfare institutions and facilities.


The Corneiro Home in St. Thomas provided shelter and caretaker
service to some 23 aged residents. Housekeeping aid was furnished
through Community Chest services to the more feeble inmates.
Often during the year the number of applicants, as in the case of the
Queen Louise Home, far exceeded the number of rooms available. At
Kingshill Home in St. Croix, operated by the health department, 33
chronically ill and public-assistance cases certified by the welfare
department, were admitted during the year. The Aldershvile Home
in St. Croix provided shelter facilities to 23 public assistance clients,
well within its capacity of 31 apartments.
Relationships with the two municipal 'boards of social welfare have
been most satisfactory, and they rendered fine cooperation in establish-
ing the revised public assistance plan and in developing proposals to
the Governor regarding school properties soon to be vacated to be
utilized for needed welfare activities.
Child welfare services continued to be a major activity of the depart-
ment of social welfare. A reduction of $7,260 in the Federal child
welfare grant, as compared with the previous year, made necessary the
curtailment of several important phases of the program. Casework
services for children living in their own homes were provided during the
year to 479 different children and their families, 221 in St. Croix and
258 in St. Thomas. Casework services were also furnished to the
Mandahl School, the courts, schools, and the division of mental health.
The foster home program continued to be one of the most encourag-
ing phases of the department's activities: a total of 80 children received
care during the year, which is a 23 percent increase over 1953. But
limited funds made it impossible to provide foster care for all the
children in St. Thomas and St. Croix needing placement. Early in
the year the St. Thomas-St. John municipal council appropriated ad-
ditional funds to increase the monthly board rate from $15 to $25, but
not enough to increase the caseload. Shortage of funds in St. Croix
made impossible any improvement there either in the board rate
(which remained $15 per month) or in the caseload.
Detention care was furnished to 61 children for a total of 897% days
in the crude, unsatisfactory facilities of the prisons at Charlotte Amalie,
Christiansted, and Frederiksted. Relocation of detention facilities is
one of the urgent recommendations of the department.
The Mandahl School (for neglected and delinquent boys) operated
with an average enrollment of 36 boys, but provided care in all for 44
different boys from the 2 municipalities (13 St. Croix and 31 St.
Thomas). There were 7 admissions and 10 releases during the year.
The superintendent-designate of this institution was on study-leave
on the mainland during the year, on a scholarship provided by a civic-
minded resident of St. Thomas. Despite grave difficulties in shortage


of funds for operational needs, and despite the lack of trained person-
nel, the overall record of care and treatment furnished by the school is
good, and the record in the community of boys released from the school,
for the most part, is favorable. Notwithstanding the low average age
of the boys, 14.1 years, they participate actively in all maintenance
operations and in projects for improvement of the physical plant.
A home for.girls presenting a behavior problem is still a serious need
in the islands. Several positive steps were initiated during the year
to secure funds for its early establishment, but as yet there are no
definite prospects.
In the staff-development program, five workers were studying at
schools of social work in Canada and the United States, through United
Nations, departmental, and private scholarship grants. One worker
returned to duty in the child-welfare division in July 1953 and another
to the public-assistance division on July 1, 1954. One supervisor was
granted a United Nations fellowship for study abroad beginning
September 1954.
The department prepared and proposed a plan for determining the
ability of persons to pay for municipal hospital services in the three
islands, which was finally adopted by the legislature and approved by
the Governor. Proposals now before Congress may soon make Fed-
eral funds available to the States for construction of chronic-care
institutions. Such a program would relieve our hospitals of the bur-
den of chronic cases, and the institutions for the aged of the care of the
A major reorganization of the purchasing and accounting work of the
department was accomplished during the year. Activities of this type
for the department in both municipalities, formerly performed by each
division for itself, were centralized in a newly organized purchasing and
accounting division in the insular office.

St. Thomas and St. John
In reviewing the overall activities of this department for the fiscal
year July 1, 1953, to June 30, 1954, there is also presented in this
report comparative figures for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1953.
Once again, traffic regulation and control demand active attention.
The increase in the number of motor vehicles brought into the muni-
cipality requires the improvement of existing streets, highways, and
roads; the covering of gutters in order to provide more driving space,
and the implementation of off-street-parking areas.
While positive methods of enforcement, and the full support of the
police court have done much to reduce violations and punish offenders,



thought must be given to providing the pedestrian and motor-vehicle
operator with such reasonable requirements as will prevent accidents
and traffic congestion.
Using prison labor, personnel of this bureau completed 30 different
traffic control projects, involving construction and installation of
traffic control signs, curb markings for which permanent plastic disks
were used, luminous signs, and marking off of taxicab stands and off-
street-parking areas.
The following information presents a comparison of the activities of
the traffic bureau with the previous fiscal year:

Fiscal years-
1953-54 1952-53

Motor vehicles registered...-------------------------------------_----- 1,294 1,137
Permanent driver's licenses issued------------------------------------- 1,119 1,072
Temporary driver's permits issued.--.. ---- --- ----------------- ---... .. -- 1,764 1. 794
Taxicab licenses issued.--...-----------.----------..........---..---------..- 285 438
Complaints processed in courts...------------.. ------ .. --------------------------- 304 261
Convictions obtained........---- ............------------------..-------..--- 236 197

With the anticipated delivery and installation of two-way radio
communication equipment which has been ordered, this department
will be able to greatly increase the mobility of its vehicles. This will
result in an expanded project of accident prevention by improved
supervision and control of streets, roads, and highways, and-on-the
spot enforcement of motor vehicle laws and regulations.
During this fiscal year, a total of 230 cases of all kinds were referred
to the bureau of investigation, as compared to 215 during the previous
fiscal year. Of the total number investigated, 201 were cleared by
arrest. The total money value of property reported lost or stolen
amounted to $5,934.50, of which $4,672.91 was recovered and returned
to the lawful owners.
The task of the woman police officer is steadily increasing. Recent
figures released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation reveal that the
female crime rate has more than doubled since the prewar era. In
viewing the overall picture of criminal activities, in these islands, we
find that women are becoming involved to a greater extent in such
offenses as assault, petit larceny, disorderly conduct, forgery and
counterfeiting, and vagrancy.
We have provided no home or other supervised facility for the
delinquent girl, who soon matures and becomes a woman with criminal
tendencies. Plans are being made to set aside a home for delinquent
girls. Because of the lack of feminine parental supervision in the
homes, many children find themselves at "loose ends," without guid-
ance, and soon get into malicious mischief, or indulge in petty criminal


Again, during this fiscal year, an excellent relationship was main-
tained with members of the Armed Forces of the United States of
America, who have visited the island on maneuvers, for training, and
for recreational leave.
Cooperation and good public relations were maintained between
this department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation during this
fiscal year. Even though the Federal Bureau Agency in the Common-
wealth of Puerto Rico was considerably involved in special investiga-
tions, the special agent in charge made it possible to assist this depart-
ment in conducting refresher training courses for personnel of this
department, by assigning three special agents as instructors during
the period April 5 to 13, 1954. This class of instruction included
professional and technical subjects, and proved to be of inestimable
value to all personnel who attended.
The police commission functioned in a satisfactory manner during
this fiscal year. Many cases involving disciplinary action were han-
dled by these five zealous citizens, resulting in the maintenance of the
necessary balance, to maintain respect for police regulations.
It is strongly recommended that the police commission be reorgan-
ized, and that it be composed of citizens who are not connected with
governmental positions, but rather by persons who have distinguished
themselves in civic affairs, who would be capable of establishing the
policies of law enforcement in the Virgin Islands, without fear or
During this fiscal year there was a total of 7,920 days of prison care
and custody. This total includes the custody and maintenance of

Police department statistics

1951-52 1952-53 1953-54

Burglary ----_---------_---------------- 15 38 18
Assault ---------------...- .... _________- ___________ ---_______ 24 16 7
Assault and battery -._------.. ..-.._.---__._________------------_-_ 131 129 70
Aggravated assault and battery ---------------.---..--------------- 47 96 76
Arson --------------------------------------------------- 1 1 1
Attempted arson-------------- ------------------------------- 1 0 1
Carrying of concealed weapon----. -----------.------------- 14 34 10
Disorderly conduct ...... ._._------------------ __________-------- 324 229 410
Embezzlement ---------------------------.. --.-..... ... 2 4 4
Exhibiting deadly weapon --------- ---- -------- -- -------- -- 8 11 8
Forgery and counterfeiting --------------------_. --- 6 6 5

Lewd and lascivious conduct..--------------------------- 1 2 4
Petit larceny ------------------- ---....-... ...-.....-........--..--..--. 46 42 44
Possession of property unlawfully obtained ------------------------- 8 0 1
Rape ---. ...--------------------------- -- 0 1 4
Robbery.--- -----..............................---- .... 0 1 2
Slander_ ---________-_______________-----__ 58 58 47
Statutory rape ---------------------------------------4 3 14
Trespass----------------- ----------------. 40 42 30
Vagrancy --___..__ -___- _------------__---_ ... 19 13 7
Violation of automobile ordinance --- -------------------- 345 358 364
Violation of police regulations ----- ---------------------- 16 15 47
Violation of prostitution ordinance -------------------------------__ __ 13 5 1
Violation of sanitary regulations...------------------- -------------- 49 48 29
Allothers -----------..----------.......-...--.............-- ..---.... ... 101 147 68


Federal and immigration prisoners pending their trial, deportation, or
transfer to the Federal penitentiary in St. Croix..
The island of St. John about 3 miles east of St. Thomas, with a
population of approximately 700 residents, was policed by 1 sergeant
and 3 patrolmen during this fiscal year.

St. Croix
The St. Croix police commission comprised of six members met
twice during the year. Meetings dealt with (1) suspension of policeman
in the Frederiksted division, charged with neglect of duty, and (2)
briefing of newly appointed policemen.
An in-service training course was again held this year under the
direction of members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with
headquarters in Puerto Rico. The course included:
(1) Fundamentals of investigations, complaints, interviews,
signed statements, and descriptions.
(2) Raids and crime scene searches, collection and preparation
of evidence.
(3) Techniques of arrests, searches of persons.
(4) Court procedure, public relations, Federal jurisdiction.
In addition to the above, the men were taken to the shooting range
at Alexander Hamilton Airport for target practice. Outstanding
members of our community have responded to our requests to lecture
to our personnel.
The number of complaints received, investigated, and recorded by
the police amounted to 981 as against 1,091 last year. These com-
plaints include any matter brought to the attention of the police that
requires police action or advice.
Eighty-one cases involving juveniles were investigated by the
police during the year. Eight children were reported missing. All
were returned to their homes.
Detention centers are provided for detained juveniles in Frederik-
sted and Christiansted. When the offense is a minor one, the police
contact the parents or guardians and present the facts to them.
Other cases are referred to the child welfare bureau. If circumstances
warrant, the judge hears the case in chambers with the parents,
welfare officer, and police. Most of our cases are repeater cases-boys
who have a persistent delinquency record. A majority of these boys
come from broken homes. The child welfare bureau has made great
headway with their readjustment programs, and a majority of our
cases have been satisfactorily adjusted without open-court arraign-
ments. The bureau has, in many cases, recommended institutional
treatment and here we find that our needs have outgrown our present
capacity. As a consequence, many of our most persistent delinquents


must stay with us because of our lack of institutional facilities. It is
hoped that our facilities will be expanded and sufficient personnel
provided to carry through with a constructive juvenile rehabilitating
There is an immediate need for two-way radio communications be-
tween the police stations at Christiansted, Frederiksted, and Kings Hill.
Switchboard and radio sending and receiving instruments should be
installed at Christiansted and Frederiksted. Steps are being taken to
secure at least one radio-equipped squad car.
The Richmond Penitentiary was built in 1836 and is completely
obsolete. There is an urgent need to provide a modern prison which
will include adequate detention facilities for female inmates, security
insurance, a recreational center, and a modern workshop. The present
prison adjoins the new hospital, the new high school, the new ele-
mentary school, and a large housing project. A new prison, therefore,
should find some other locale. Until a new prison can be built, every
effort will be made to see that the present structure is adequately
The following information presents a comparison of the activities of
the traffic bureau with the previous fiscal year:

Fiscal years-

1953-54 1952-53

Motor vehicles registered ----. -------.-------------. -------------1,138 1,057
Permanent driver's licenses issued ------------.----------------------- 1,624 1. 559
Temporary driver's permits issued- .----------------------------------------- 348 151
Taxicab licenses issued.....------....---- .------------.....-----------.--.- 89 84
Complaints processed in courts----------- ------.-----------.-................ 78 86
Convictions obtained.. ................. --------- -----------------.------- 70 78


Public Finance and Taxation

There is disclosed herein for the first time statements showing the
total financing of the government of the Virgin Islands, insular-wise:
For the fiscal year 1954, total income -------------- $4, 721, 243
Total expenditures---------------------------- 4, 605, 044
Income exceeded expenditures by------------ ----- 116, 199
The total income increased by --------------------- 402, 847
Over fiscal year 1953, while the amounts of Federal
grants decreased-------------------------------. 37, 492


The increases by sources listed below all point to improvement in
business, and vigorous collection enforcement.
Amount of
increase in
1954 over
Revenue item 1953
Real property tax-- ------------------------ $4, 876
Income tax------------------ ----------------- 194,731
Import, export, and sales tax------------------------- 109, 947
Municipal insurance fund ----------------------------61, 192
St. Thomas telephone system------------------------- 51,406

Appreciable increases in expenditures were in the departments of
public Works; health; social welfare, and education, and also in the
St. Thomas telephone system.
There was instituted in fiscal year 1954 a program of development
and installation of a modern accounting system for the Government
of the Virgin Islands, in which the Systems Division of the General
Accounting Office participated.
Progress on the installation of a uniform system for the two munici-
palities has been impeded by variances in the laws between the
municipalities. During the year emphasis has been on designing and
installing adequate and proper documentation and flow of documents.
The largest of the special fund accounts have been closed into the
general fund and the balances made available for general govern-
mental appropriation.
This trend will continue through legislative action until all special
funds of a general fund nature are abolished and the necessary activ-
ities will be financed by annual appropriation from the general fund.
Uniform centralized payrolling was instituted in the municipality
of St. Thomas and St. John on November 15, 1953, and in St. Croix
on March 1, 1954.
A uniform document-processing system and file system has been
devised and instituted in St. Thomas and a document control desk
established in the finance department.
Billing and collection systems have been devised and installed in
the hospitals and the telephone offices.
Improvements have been made in the billing and collection of real-
property tax; the processing and collection of loans; the procurement,
receipt, vouchering, and payment of materials and equipment and
nonpersonal services; the authorization of and obligation for travel;
the billing and collection of trade taxes.


The finance department has been reorganized into 4 divisions to
perform its 4 major functions:
(1) General services.
(2) Accounting.
(3) Disbursement and collection.
(4) Tax administration.
The duties and responsibilities of each have been specified.

Comparative statement of revenues and grants, fiscal years 1952, 1953, and 1954

Source of revenue 1952 1953 1954

Real-property tax -------------------- $167,796 $206,424 $211,300
Income tax ------------------------- ------------------645,454 720,314 915,045
Gasoline tax -------------------------------------- 62, 870 80, 900 95,236
Automobile license-------------------------------------- 43,086 52, 749 58, 504
Customs duties ---------------------------------------- 25, 526 13, 460 65, 765
Inheritance tax_ -----------------------------------------10,115 8,324 6,268
Amusement and entertainment tax _---- ----------- -4,044 5,230 4,225
Land sales tax ..------------------------ ------------ 17, 690 18,168 25.603
Transportation tax-------------------------------------- 19, 145 23,155 22,962
Business licenses -------------------------------------- 47. 611 49,636 56,692
Import, export, and sales tax__ ----------------------------- 348, 694 549,611 659,558
Subtotal---.......---------- ------------------- 1,392,031 1,767,971 2,121,158
Other income:
Court and police fees--------------- ---- 30, 838 37, 014 33,320
Wharfage and ship's dues.-------- --------- --------8 36,209 27, 595 37, 565
Medical service fees_ -------------..---------------- 19, 242 24,258 53, 707
Sanitary service fees_ ---- -- ------------- 5,282 5,961 5,427
St. Croix telephone service _------------------------ ------ 12,462 17,829 21, 617
Miscellaneous fees, permits, and services------------------------ 37, 501 40, 770 81, 865
Subtotal ---------.---------------------------- 141,534 153,427 233,501
Transfers from other funds_ ................------- ---- 22--.. 22,478 13,880 57, 770
Repayments by power authority ---------------------------- 12, 500 12,000
Subtotal...-------.... -------- ------------------- 34,978 25,880 57,770
Subtotal, general fund_ ...----------- -------------- 1,568.543 1,947,278 2,412,429
Federal deficit appropriation .----- ------------- 745, 000 745, 000 745, 000
Total, general fund ...----.----------.----- 2,313,543 2,692,278 3,157,429
Federal grants:
Central administration ------------------- 285, 370 313, 250 365,000
Force account ...-------- ------------- 142, 890 116, 681 40,125
Agricultural station 10..-----1- 50,598
Virgin Islands health- _-------- 190, 440 209,718 186, 725
Employment service administration ------------- 18,487 25,067 22,726
Public assistance fund ----- 89, 430 103,684 107,782
Child welfare services ------------.------------------- 31,203 32,176 30,232
Federal aid in fish restoration_--------------------- 8,360 18, 500 10,000
Federal aid in wildlife restoration_ -----___--- ------- 14, 302 10,000 10, 584
Federal airport project. .--------.--------------------- 40,802 17,243 30,113
School lunch fund --------- 37, 523 38, 279 44,582
Vocational education...-----..------.---------------------- 22,992 21,104 34,991
Virgin Islands Corporation tourist fund_ ......----------------. 34,600 15, 000 350
Subtotal..-----.---------- ----- ----------------. 966,997 920,702 883,210
Potable water____ .. ------.------------.- 23,208 37,575 45,675
Insurance companies fund .------.---------------------------- ------------ 1, 226 48
Medical practice fund------------------------- 70 55
Military imprest fund -------------- 8,369 280 1, 622
Road and soil conservation---------------- 2, 647 1,764 --
Special project fund---....----- ..... ------------ 6,943 12,650 5,978
Special fund St. John Homestead _------ -------------- ------- 898 1,356 426
Immigration fund--....----------------------------------. 86, 749 10,453 18.211
Subtotal---...-----.. ----------------------------. 128,814 65,374 72,015
Total, specialfunds....---- -------------------- --- 1,095,811 986,076 955,225
1 2 25- I


Comparative statement of revenues and grants, fiscal years 1952, 1953, and 1954-

Source of revenue 1952 1953 1954

Municipal homestead fund -------.....------------------- $2, 882 $4, 945 $14,184
Municipal insurance fund.........----------------------------------- 48, 191 63,563 124, 755
Municipal market fund --.........------. ------------------.. 2,044 700 106
Virgin Islands lottery -......--------------------------- 219,719 201,967 215, 212
St. John electric fund --------------------------------- 619 775 991
St. Thomas development authority---...--------------------- -- 98,627 108, 287 118,538
St. Thomas Park authority ---. ----------- ---------------- 1,802 2,113 5,886
St. Thomas and St. Croix power authority .--------------------- 463,911 179, 788 92
St. Thomas telephone fund .---------.--------------------- -- 47.392 51,015 102, 421
Airport fund------------------ ------------------ 30,104 25,331 24,512
Tax seal fund....--------- -- -------------------- 1,605 1,558 1,892
Subtotal..--....---------------------------------------- 916,896 640,042 608,589
Grand total, all funds.---...--. --------.----------------- 4,326,250 4,318,396 4, 721,243


I. Generalfund -----.. ---- --------------- ------ $2,313,543 $2,692,278 $3,157,429
II. Special fund---...--. -- -------------------------- 1,095,811 986,076 955,225
III. Enterprise and revolving funds ....------------------------ ---. 916,896 640,042 608,589
Total---............---------------------------------- 4,326,250 4,318,396 4,721,243

Comparative statement of expenditures by organizational units, fiscal years 1952, 1953, and 1954

Total Virgin Islands General funds Special funds
Organizational unit

1952 1953 1954 1952 1953 1954 1952 1953 1954

Legislative assembly and municipal council--
Police court and recorder's office-.........
Office of the Governor.................--
Central administration.-.......--.....--...
Office of the Virgin Islands auditor--......
Department of finance........ ...........
Tax assessor's office .......- ---------.
Police, public safety, and prison departments..
Public works and fire departments----..-.....
Harbor department.-------.-............--
Health department--.--.......... -........
Department of social welfare...........------
Department of education...-..--..--.... ....
Homestead and land authority...... --
Office of the wage commissioner........-------
Office of civil defense----....... ---
Office of price and rent control--.........-----
Municipal telephone service -.....-------..
Public buildings and grounds......... ...----
Boards and Commissions....---....... ....
Agricultural station..----- .. ----.........
Employment service administration..........
Federal aid in fish restoration-.......-.....
Federal aid in wildlife restoration-...--.....-
Virgin Islands tourist development........- .
Immigration---- .......................
Virgin Islands lottery.----- ---------
Development authorities....--------------
Park authority..... ----------...... .....
Power authority ---------.....- .........

Subtotal, expenditures -.....-....--..
Transfers to special funds-......-----

66, 366
12, 574
128, 338
23, 852
686, 519
513, 251
3, 438

78, 298
17, 269
1, 500
11, 581
50, 222
46, 465
116, 794

$94, 835
32, 978
537, 879
34, 269
346, 413
-----: ----
93, 571
25, 319
193, 243
131, 061

70, 662
303, 217
638, 549
428, 321
716, 553

25, 277
10, 487
26, 799
125, 688
5, 662

12, 574
1 77,980
149, 460
393, 825
558, 811
446, 504
---- -- --
28, 612
17, 269
----- -- -

----- -- -

----- -- -
-------- -
----- -- -
- - -

$94, 835
16, 983
2 83, 622
163, 332

31, 958

- -

70, 662

8190, 515
31, 437
2, 776
4, 382
3, 856
35, 026


$265, 846

292, 694

193, 548
268, 277

47, 522
1, 500
11, 581
----- -- -


- -


$282, 271


222, 266
283, 384

25, 319
17, 205
2, 530
47, 870
3, 461
.- - _

$303, 217


155, 046

186, 525

25, 277'
10, 487
6, 804
26, 799
61, 964
- -
_.. -

4,077,150 4,025,848 4,373,497 1,963,223 2,221,660 2, 644, 277 1,262,595 1,141, 056 1,197,005
260, 057 308,518 231, 547 260,057 308, 518 231,547 ......... .......--. ....

Grand total.-------................... 4,337,207 4,334,366 4,605,044 2,223,280 2,530,178 2,875,824 1,262,595 1,141,056 1,197,005

Enterprise and revolving
1952 1953 1954

-.... --.......-

------------- --------------- ------------ -4
-- - -_ - - --_ --_ - -. 0
......... i ~....... i

-------- -------- --------
$50,358 $44, 464 $77,009

4,014 10,150 2,2518

49,686 61, 13 88,15.

.......... ..... ...........
........... .............. -

3, 938 4, 516 5, 662
435, 990 218, 085 2, 524

851, 332 663,132 532, 215
851,332 663,132 532,215
116794 131061 12568
3,938. 4,1<,6


1952 1953 1954

General funds ......................------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- $2, 223, 280 $2,530,178 $2,875, 824
Special funds ------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------.... ............... 1,262, 595 1,141,056 1,197,005
Enterprise and revolving funds ------------........:----.---------------------------- .------------------------------ 851,332 663,132 532, 215

Total --......-----......------.---------------------.-------------------------------------. 4,337,207 4,334,366 4,605,044

1 Includes $8,676 in income tax and general refunds as expenditures. 3 Includes $108,987 in income tax and general refunds as expenditures.
2 Includes $8,000 in income tax and general refunds as expenditures. 4 Expenditures to June 30, 1954.







Real Property and Taxes

St. Croix.-Real property tax assessments and changes in assess-
ments are made annually upon inspection of all property which is liable
for taxes in confirmation with the provisions of the ordinance providing
for the assessment, levy, and collection of taxes upon real property.
Internal revenue taxes are assessed from invoices. The rates at
which the various commodities which are introduced into this munici-
pality are taxes varied from 5 to 20 percent.
The continuous subdivision of estates and small parcels of land into
numerous smaller plots as building sites, the sale of these plots and the
erection of homes thereon causes the recording division of this office
to be ever busy with the recording of deeds of conveyances, real
property mortgages, chattel mortgages, and numerous other legal
The assessment schedules for the municipality of St. Croix for the
calendar year 1953 show a total value of $6,951,663.87, an increase
of $154,884.18 over the preceding year. In taxes the increase gain
on this valuation is $1,939.84 or total tax return of $86,898.36 for
These increases were obtained principally from new construction and
adjustments in assessed valuation that were necessary in different
sections of the island.

Assessed value and taxes for the calendar years 1948 and 1953

Assessed Total assessed Taxes Taxes
value value

Christiansted.......................... $1, 679,400.00 ....--------. $20,993.06 ----- --
Frederiksted.-----------. ------- ----- 666,115.00 $2,345,515.00 8,326.78 $29,319.84
Christiansted-----...........------------- 1,395,475.58 -------- 17,444.04 --------
Frederiksted ----------- 977,200.96 2,372,676.54 12,215.83 29,659.86
United States property operated by Virgin
Islands Corporation--..-----..... ...----- 1,041,348. 51 1,041,348. 51 13,016.86 13, 016.86
Total-.....--..........--------------- ----.. --- 5,759,540.05 ---- ------ 71,996.56


Christiansted-.......-------... $1, 912, 583. 74 ----- $23,907.88 ..........
Frederiksted---- ------ -- 648,035.00 $2,560,618.74 8,100.75 $32,008.63
Christiansted--..--------.. .------------.. 2,039,889.26 .--------------- 25,499.28
Frederiksted ------ 1,152,499.08 3,192,388.34 14, 407. 23 39, 906. 51
United States property operated by Virgin
Islands Corporation....----.....--....-- 1,198,656.79 1,198,656.79 14,983.22 14,983.22
Total---..................------------.. ----.. ---- 6,951,663.87 -...-------.. 86,898.36


The assessments for the Virgin Islands Corporation for the calendar
year 1953 is $1,198,656.79 and taxes in the amount of $14,983.22.
The board of tax review met during the year for the purpose of
hearing complaints, examining, revising, and correcting the assess-
ment schedules of the Districts of Christiansted and Frederiksted and
that of the Virgin Islands Corporation. Among the things discussed
and recommended was an increased assessment on real property
throughout the island for the ensuing year.
Internal-revenue taxes as assessed on invoices presented which
covered the importations of taxable commodities that were imported
by merchants licensed to do business in this municipality and other
in ividuals amounted, for the fiscal year July 1, 1953, to June 30,
1954, to $272,712.98, representing an increase of $84,424.53 over the
previous year.
St. Thomas and St. John.-Assessment of real property in the munici-
pality of St. Thomas and St. John for the calendar year 1953 were
made during the period January 15, 1954, to March 31, 1954. Total
assessed valuation of all real property amounted to $11,869,672.95.
Of this amount, $2,238,400 represents assessments on real property
belonging to individuals or firms which have been granted tax exemp-
tion. Real property assessments and taxes were distributed in the
following manner.

Assessed Taxes
St. Thomas---...-...-....----............ .------------------------ $9,017,801.95 $112,148.82
St. John-..-.......--------------------. 613,471.00 7,668.00
Tax-exempt property------....----...-... ----------------------. 2,238,400.00 ...
Total------------------ .........................-------------- 11,869,672.95 119,816.82

The following table compares total assessed valuation of calendar
year 1953 with that of the 4 preceding years:
Comparison of valuation and taxes 1949-53

Total assessed Total tax
valuation assessments

1949 --....-- -- ------------------------------- $6, 919, 913. 29 $86, 223.42
1950 ---.................. .------------------------------------7, 233, 784. 32 88, 276.52
1951--....................--------- ----. ---------------------------- 8, 751,872.00 109, 398. 49
1952---------.....---------...-------------------------------- --.. 8,761,695.20 114,346.17
1953..---..............------------. .---------------------------.. 11,869,672.95 124,910.84

The increase in valuation in 1 year (1952-53) amounts to $3,107,-
977.75; increase in taxes assessed amounts to $10,564.67.
The tax board of review and equalization met 7 times during the
months of April and May 1954, and heard 21 appeals. Of the 21
assessments appealed, 11 were upheld, 9 reduced and 1 canceled.


During the assessment period in 1954, the old system of notifying
taxpayers of change in assessment was revised to enable the tax
assessor to combine the tax notice with the actual bill which was to
constitute evidence of taxes due and upon payment of taxes, serve as a
receipt. Three thousand five hundred and seventy-two notice bills
were distributed by mail for the first time, eliminating the need for
employment of extra personnel, as was the practice in former years.
Very little progress was made in the effort to modernize the tax
records, due to the difficulty encountered in having the position of
real property record clerk established in the office, and the failure to
secure adequate cadastral maps of the two islands.
Total assessments in trade taxes for the fiscal year 1953-54 (July 1,
1953, through May 31, 1954), totaled $364,728.89. Receipts for June
1954 are not included, since returns for that period will not be due for
billing until this current fiscal year. The total assessment figures for
fiscal year 1954 exceeds that of fiscal year 1953 by $30,360.58, and
exceeded the budgeted expectation by $34,728.89.


Selective Service Operations

As of June 30, 1954, a total of 2,786 men were registered in the Virgin
Islands, representing an increase of 242 during the year. Included in
the total registration are 43 aliens within the age group liable for
service who, while required to be registered, were classified IV-C,
indicating that proper clearing and establishment through Immigra-
tion Department channels had not been accomplished.

Selective Service statistics
1953 1954

Total living registrants, all ages-.....--- ----------------- ------ 2 544 2, 786
Total living registrants under 181~ years..--.--.. ------ ------------------- 88 99
Total classified registrants, all ages --- ------ -- 2, 456 2, 761
Total I-A and I-A-O examined and acceptable, available for service ----- --------- 40 40
I-A and I-A-0 not examined, available for service ------------------------------- 405 409
I-C (inducted)... --------- -------------------------------- 624 365
I-C (enlisted or commissioned) ---------------------------------148 292
I-C (discharged) --- ----------- ---------------------- 27 34
I-C (reserve). ----------- ------------------------------ 48 213
I-D (member Reserve or student in ROTC) ---------------- ------------------- 15 18
I-S (statutory deferment, college) ------------------------------- ------- ----- 3
I-S (statutory deferment, high school) --- .------.-------------------------3 4
II-A (civilian employment except agriculture deferment) .-------------------- ------ 1 2
II-C (agricultural deferment).--..-------- ------- ------ ------------------ 2 3
II-S (student deferment) ---------------------------------------- 7 8
III-A (family dependency)... ------.------------ ----------------- 58 58
IV-A (Veterans with prior service) ---------- -------------------- 9 14
IV-C (Aliens, not available for service)------------------------------------------ 52 43
IV-D (ministers, or students for) ------------- -------------------------6-- 1 2
IV-F (physically, mentally, morally unfit)..----------------- ---------------- 525 661
V-A (Over age of liability for service)..------------------ ---------------- 491 592
Total canceled, all ages...----------------------- ------------------ 137 143
Total deceased, all ages..-----..--------------------------- ----- ------- 13 14


A total of 1,220 separate classification actions were completed by
the two local boards serving (1) St. Thomas and St. John, and (2) St.
Croix. Each board met at least once per month to consider new
classifications, as well as reclassification actions.
As of October 1, 1953, in addition to the English qualification test, a
Spanish qualification test, having been developed, was applied to all
registrants having their basic language in Spanish. Although few
Virgin Islands registrants would undergo the Spanish-type test, we
have discovered that, particularly in St. Croix, Spanish speaking
registrants frequently appear in small numbers among our examinees.
:The majority of those registrants having failed the mental English
test, and who were subsequently reexamined with the Spanish test
were found acceptable for induction.
During the year, the quota for the Virgin Islands was only 131
compared against 229 for last year, the registrants being inducted into
the Army exclusively.

Civil Defense
The present concept of civil defense imposes upon the duly organized
peacetime departments of government the duty of functioning, al-
though greatly expanded by volunteer workers, or auxiliaries, in
minimizing the effects of disasters, whether they are caused by hostile
action of an enemy or by natural causes. Hence, civil defense is
required to perfect plans for coordinating the duties of police depart-
ments, fire departments, public works, public health, medical services,
and many others in performing necessary disaster duties.
Apathy among the local population in the Islands is no different
from that in the agricultural states of the United States. Unless
an emergency is actively at hand every one feels that "it will not
happen here," so, very few are interested in going through the training
required by civil defense. The program requires that participants
undergo many hours of training in various phases so that if, and when,
an emergency occurs we can be assured of adequate trained personnel
to carry on, and thus avoid the confusion that would ensue with a
mass of untrained people milling around and endangering the lives
.of people who would otherwise be saved. Every effort will be made
this year to create greater interest in civil defense.
On November 16, 1953, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the
Government of the Virgin Islands of the United States signed a
mutual aid compact to assist each other in meeting any emergency or
disaster. This compact was approved by the Congress of the United
States and is now in force and effect.
On February 26, 1954, we held civil defense tests in both Christian-
sted and Frederiksted, St. Croix. 'Officers from the United States


Army Forces, Puerto Rico, also cooperated in simulating fires and
repelling attacking airplanes of the CAP which participated in the
On June 14, 1954, this agency participated in "operation alert,"
a nationwide test held by the United States. Locally the cooperation
received from all departments and from the populace was most
gratifying, and showed that if we are called upon in an actual emer-
gency we should be able to give a good account of ourselves.

During the fiscal year, four meetings of the directors were held;
namely, September 28, 1953, December 14, 1953, both in Washington,
March 5, 1954, in St. Croix, and June 15, 1954, in Washington.
The administrative officers are Dr. Kenneth A. Bartlett, president,
who took office on December 28, 1953, and Mr. William A. Kelley,
comptroller, who took office January 1, 1954.
As of June 30, 1954, the major holdings of the corporation com-
On the Island of St. Croix:
1. 4,686.73 acres of land and 1,000 acres of leased land.
2. The Bethlehem Sugar Central (the only one operating
in the Virgin Islands).
3. The Central Sugar Factory (obsolete and no longer used).
4. The electric generating plant, transmission lines, and
distribution system serving the rural districts and towns
in St. Croix.
5. A distillery (leased and operated by the firm of A. H.
Riise Distillers Corp.).
6. An abattoir (leased and operated by St. Croix Sugarcane
Industries, Inc.).
7. Dwellings which are rented to the supervisory and labor
8. Considerable general equipment, rolling stock, and farm
equipment incident to the various operations.
On the Island of St. Thomas:
1. The electric generating plant, transmission lines, and
distribution system for the rural and town districts of
the island of St. Thomas.
2. Facilities at the submarine base and Bourne Field,
consisting of land, buildings, houses, airport facilities,
docks, and others which are operated by Virgin Islands
Corporation under a permit from the Secretary of the
Interior who holds them under permit from the Depart-
of the Navy.


The total assets of the corporation, including the lands, buildings,
machinery and equipment, described above, had a net book value of
$6,800,032 as of June 30, 1954. Current assets, $2,391,699; current
liabilities, $590,951; working capital, $1,800,718; Government's
equity, $6,209,081.

Sugar Department
The growing of sugarcane and the production of sugar continue to
be the major operations of the corporation. While doubt has been
evidenced as to the economic desirability of continuing a sugarcane
economy on St. Croix, the fact remains that it contributes in so many
ways to the island's income and employs such a large number of people
in its operation that its economic impact cannot be overlooked or
underestimated; without it a substantial relief program might have
to be maintained.
During the period from July 1, 1953, through February 28, 1954
(the dead season), Virgin Islands Corporation had an average em-
ployment, in all its operations of 712 per diem workers and 131 ap-
pointed personnel. During the period from March 1 to June 30,
1954 (the harvest season), average employment was 1,053 per diem
workers and 127 appointed personnel. The employment of British
West Indian labor for harvesting the sugarcane crop averaged 365
for the same period. It should also be noted that slightly more than
33 percent of the sugarcane produced is grown by private growers,
thus providing a living to some 500 or more large and small farmers,
plus employment to others.
In recent years improvements and developments in the production
of sugarcane have been attained and as a result the field operations
have not contributed substantially to the overall losses being sustained.
It will be noted that in 1954 these losses amounted to $114,306.13
or 17 percent of the total sugar losses. It can be seen that growing
costs increased over 1953 due, in part at least, to reduced tonnage.
One favorable figure is the reduction in harvesting costs of 61 cents
per ton, a substantial saving. It is hoped and expected that overall
growing expenses can be similarly reduced as a result of better super-
vision and management. Results to date indicate that the growing
of sugarcane will always be a marginal operation, highly dependent
upon adequate rainfall. However, it appears to be the only large
scale field crop which can be grown with any expectation of producing
even a small profit. Improved varieties, more widespread use of
fertilizer and better cultural practices may eventually make the
growing of sugarcane at least a reasonably profitable enterprise.


The processing of sugarcane presents a more pessimistic picture.
The total losses for this phase of the operation amounted to $562,-
334.94, or 83 percent of the total sugar losses.
The factor probably contributing the most to factory losses is high
overhead, $404,508.55, principally depreciation and interest. De-
preciation charges amounted to $179,808.60 and interest to $65,418.82,
total $245,521.42. These figures are completely out of line with
similar sugar operations in Louisiana.
Another factor contributing to the poor operation of the factory is
the lack of trained personnel and the poor quality of labor generally
available in the island. Labor itself cannot be blamed entirely for
this situation as it is inherent in the sugar industry that it is a sea-
sonal operation. It is difficult to find and keep good men, who are
employed, for a period of 100 days per year or less. Unless there is
a surplus labor supply, and this is not the case in St. Croix, this
factor can and does become a serious and acute problem. Recruit-
ment of highly trained personnel has also been difficult due to the
temporary nature of the program.
Still another factor contributing to poor factory operation has been
the temporary nature of the corporation and its predecessor the
Virgin Islands Company. The original concept was relief, followed
by economic pump priming, but without ever achieving the stability
of a normal business operation due to the limited life of the company
and the subsequent corporation. As a result, long term investments
were not possible.
Power Department
St. Croix.-In 1941 the Virgin Islands Company sponsored a power
development program with Rural Electrification Administration,
serving the rural areas only. Prior to and during this Rural Electri-
fication Administration operation, electric service in both towns of
the island was operated by private interests, which were taken over
by the municipal government, at the expiration of their franchise,
and operated as a municipal government project. The municipal
operation was poor and resulted in an increasing annual loss and,
therefore, the municipality requested the Virgin Islands Corporation
to take the project over.
Inasmuch as Rural Electrification Administration regulations
prohibited Virgin Islands Corporation serving towns with a popula-
tion of over 1,500, an appropriation was made by Congress to pay off
the Rural Electrification Administration loan and to acquire the
facilities in the towns-merging the rural and 2 towns systems into
1 overall operation. This was finally accomplished on June 25,
1952, and we opened fiscal 1953 supplying all the electric power on
the island of St. Croix.


' As of June 30, 1954, there was a total of 2,702 customers repre-
senting an increase of 50 during the year, however, 427 new consumers
were connected but due to the high rate of disconnections the overall
increase was small. During the past 6 months a concerted effort has
been made to collect accounts receivable and these have been reduced
from an all time high of $57,151 in February to $29,691 as of June 30,
1954. This was accomplished by relentlessly disconnecting consumers
until accounts became current.
. St. Thomas.-With the exception of Rural Electrification Adminis-
tration's operations, the case history is almost entirely the same as
cited above for St. Croix. By the close of the last war the municipal
generating facilities had almost completely collapsed and the Navy
Department made their generating plant (which they built during the
war) available to the municipality, under an operating lease, at the
termination of their active defense operations.
This project was initiated by our acquisition, from the St. Thomas
power authority, of their facilities (mainly transmission and distri-
bution lines) along with the transfer to Virgin Islands Corporation
of the operating lease on the Navy-owned generating plant, on
December 1, 1952.
The total number of consumers as of June 30, 1954, was 3,417, an
increase of 241 during the year. A similar situation existed in St.
Thomas as in St. Croix where accounts receivable were extremely high.
In St. Thomas these were reduced from an all time high of $72,515 in
February 1953 to $36,516 as of June 30, 1954.
The gross income from sale of electric power and other miscellaneous
sales, for the period July 1, 1953, to June 30, 1954, amounted to
$319,473.10 with a total overall expense amounting to $210,058.34,
resulting in a net profit of $68,605.61.
The power department, with divisions in St. Thomas and St. Croix,
has been one of the few bright spots in the operations of the corpora-
tion. In general, the present management is highly satisfied with the
results being obtained, but continued efforts are being made to im-
prove service and increase the use of electric power throughout the
islands. Adequate funds are available for contemplated rehabilitation
and expansion work for the years immediately ahead, and it is not
contemplated to ask for further appropriations in the foreseeable
future. The power department is on a fully self-liquidating basis.

Bluebeard's Castle Hotel.-The lease with the American Caribbean
Corp. on the Bluebeard's Castle Hotel was terminated on September 9,
1953, and Virgin Islands Corporation took over the operation of the
hotel. After offering the hotel for sale on bids, and the rejection of the


same, the sale of the hotel was negotiated and the hotel was sold on
July 1, 1954, to the Antilles Enterprises, Inc., for the sum of $410,000
of which $75,000 was paid in cash and the remainder on a promissory
note to be paid over a period of 20 years, at an interest rate of 3 per-
cent. The quitclaim deed contains a default clause under which the
buyer agrees to entry of judgment upon the note and agrees to an
order of sale of the property, including all cost of such action. The
buyer must also expend, within 18 months from the date of delivery
of possession (July 1, 1954), $150,000 in major property improvements.
Distillery.-The distillery has been under lease to A. H. Riise Dis-
tillers Corp. who have an option to purchase. Inasmuch as a nego-
tiated sale could not be arranged, the sale was arbitrated under the
terms of the lease agreement. The arbitrated price was set at $60,000,
and A. H. Riise Distillers Corp. have until April 7, 1955, to purchase
the distillery at this figure. It is expected that the sale will be con-
summated during the present calendar year. The present charter
prohibits Virgin Islands Corporation from operating the distillery
directly and its continued ownership is unsound.
Special crops.-A trial planting of 100 acres of dry, edible beans
was carried out under a cooperative arrangement with Mr. F. Goots-
chalk who handled the previous year's plantings. An excellent stand
of beans resulted and production was good. Unfortunately, however,
due to unseasonable weather conditions, it was impossible to harvest
the crop as planned. Heavy showers throughout the harvesting
period prevented the use of a combine and it was necessary to cut and
stack the beans in the fields for drying purposes. In addition to extra
labor costs, substantial percentage of the crop was lost because of
mildew and shattering.
In spite of all the difficulties encountered, the project showed a net
loss of only $305.65, including all costs of operation and the super-
visor's salary amounting to a total of $9,118.25. The expenses charged
against the project also included several experimental plantings of
beans as to fertilizer requirements and spacing requirements. A small
trial of castor bean production was also included and this was a com-
plete failure.
While the project was not a financial success, the results seemed to
warrant a further trial. Arrangements have been worked out with a
private grower to plant approximately 200 acres of dry, edible beans
this year. Virgin Islands Corporation will cooperate in this under-
taking by providing the farm equipment necessary at the regular
rental rates and will not participate in any profit or losses.


Programs conducted under grant funds-(a) Dams.-The construc-
tion of dams on the islands of St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John was
continued in cooperation with the Soil Conservation Service of the
United States Department of Agriculture. A total of 21 dams were
completed during the fiscal year 1954, with a total storage capacity
of 106,100,000 gallons. This brings the total storage capacity for
dams built to date under this program on St. Croix to over 200 million
gallons. These dams have been built at an average approximate cost
of 60 cents per 1,000 gallons.
The dam-construction program was extended to the islands of St.
Thomas and St. John during the past fiscal year. A total of 9 dams
were completed with an estimated impounding capacity of 39 million
gallons of water.
The dam-construction program is undoubtedly one of the outstand-
ing contributions which has been made to the overall agricultural
development of the islands. There are very definite indications that
the impounding of water has raised the general water table level,
particularly in St. Croix, as well as making available water for cattle
and limited irrigation projects. The impounding of this water for
long periods has also had a marked effect on wells and their subsequent
production. It is reliably reported that wells which have not given
water for many years are now doing so. Other wells are producing
more water and at far less depth than heretofore. It is estimated
that if the program can be continued at the present rate for the next
5 years that all of the more suitable sites for dam construction through-
out the islands will have been completed.
(b) Land clearing.-There are 52,480 acres of land in St. Croix of
which 28,640 are classified as suitable for pasture. Of these 28,640
acres, 21,185 acres have been cleared of heavy growth. Approxi-
mately 7,000 acres of this cleared land have been planted to improve
Virgin Islands Corporation clears land under this program free of
charge providing the owner of the land agrees to use if for productive
agricultural purposes other than the growing of sugarcane and to
maintain it free of brush growth for a period of 5 years. In general,
compliance with the above requirements has been good. During the
fiscal year 1954 land has been cleared at the rate of 150 acres per
month and at a cost of approximately $20 per acre. At the present
rate it will take at least 50 months, at an estimated cost of $150,000,
to clear and maintain the 28,640 acres of land suitable for pasture.
Under St. Croix conditions, it is estimated that it takes 2 acres of
improved pasture to support 1 animal unit. The present cattle
population is estimated to be 9,000 head. If all of the land suitable



for pasture could be cleared and improved, the island's cattle popula-
tion could be increased by. at least 50 percent.
(c) Forestry program.-During the fiscal year approximately 27
acres were seeded with.West Indian mahogany, by airplane, on St.
Croix. Over 2,000 seedlings were grown in flats and pots and will be
planted in the field shortly. Under the proposed program, this
development work will be continued and also experiments will be
started on suitable tree species and forest management.
(d) Tourist promotion.-An appropriation of $5,000 was received
for tourist development in fiscal year 1954. The entire amount was
used for the printing and distribution of the Virgin Islands Magazine,
a magazine devoted to the islands and its attractions, which will be
distributed to travel agencies, airline offices, etc., throughout the
Eastern and Southwestern States.
Operation of St. Thomas Airport and submarine base facilities.-At
the meeting of the board of directors held in Washington on June 15,
1954, it was agreed that, should it be determined that the Secretary of
the Interior be forced to revoke the permit with the municipality of
St. Thomas and St. John for the operation of the facilities at the airport
and the submarine base, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands Corporation
would manage the property for a period not to exceed 1 year. It was
also agreed that a special committee consisting of the Governor of the
Virgin Islands, the president of the corporation, and Mr. D. Victor
Bornn would assist the President in any matters which would require
board action, and that any expenditures in connection with the
management of the properties would be from operational receipts.
The Secretary of the Interior revoked the permit as of June 30,
1954, and turned the management and operation of the above prop-
erties over to the corporation. The concern which Governor Alex-
ander had over the mismanagement of the properties was certainly
justified. Maintenance of the properties has been almost negligible.
The Navy, in its 1954 report, estimated that it would take over
$500,000 to place the properties in the condition which they were
received from the Navy by the Department of the Interior. This
situation is being corrected as rapidly as possible within the limits of
funds available.
SThe leases and rental agreements were so poorly drawn that many
of them have resulted in excessive abuses of privileges by individuals
and the terms of practically all of them had been violated. In many
instances rentals had not been paid over a period of months, and even
exceeding a year, without any action being taken to collect or remove
the individuals concerned. It has been necessary to employ special
legal counsel and Mr. T. V. A. Dillon was detailed from Washington
to handle this work.


A new airport manager, E. H. Gray, was appointed early in July
and has done an outstanding job in undertaking the renovation and
maintenance of the facilities. In 3 months we have just been able
to make a start, but already progress can be noted.
There will be presented at the meeting a financial statement on the
operations for the months of August and September. The policy
set up by the board to confine expenditures to operational income has
been strictly adhered to.

The major problem of the Virgin Islands today is the dearth of hard-
surfaced roads. Probably because of the lack of funds, the great
majority of roads in the Virgin Islands are dirt roads which have been
bulldozed from the sides of the mountains. The maintenance costs
and the effort expended in attempting to maintain these roads in
even slightly usable condition after rains have been exorbitant. It
is essential that a system of hard-surfaced roads be installed in the
Virgin Islands at the earliest possible moment. The installation of
such roads, if accompanied by adequate water disposal and sewage
facilities, would prevent the annual flooding of the lowlands. Hard-
road construction is the most urgent need of the Virgin Islands at
this time.
The second urgent requirement of the Virgin Islands (almost paral-
leling the necessity of roads) is that of housing. The great majority
of people in the Virgin Islands are residing in substandard and slum
dwellings. Every effort is now being made to begin the slum clear-
ance program at the earliest possible moment. Every facility is
being given the Virgin Islands by FHA and PHA, both in Puerto
Rico and in Washington. We shall bend every effort to produce a
workable plan and start operations during this fiscal year.
Every effort must be made to recruit doctors and nurses for the
hospitals in the Virgin Islands. Every effort must also be made to
have the hospitals in the Virgin Islands accredited in order that we
might institute a nurses training school.
There is great need to secure a healthy reservation for delinquent
boys and girls.
Steps will be taken during the coming year to increase the interest
of the people of the Virgin Islands in Civil Defense and in the need
for their cooperation.
It is essential that we improve the qualifications of the teachers of
our elementary and high schools, looking forward to our high schools
being accredited to colleges in the United States. After this is done,
we can look forward to the establishment of a junior college in the
Virgin Islands.


Every effort will be made this year to streamline and modernize
the public works department of the Virgin Islands.
It is necessary that an equitable real property assessment be made
throughout the islands. Zoning, cadastral maps, and precise surveys
are essential and steps will be taken to secure these tools.
It is to be hoped that as the above corrections are being made, there
will begin an era of great prosperity for the Virgin Islands of the
United States.