Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Administration and some of its...
 Department of agriculture...
 Department of education
 Department of finance
 Department of health
 Department of insular affairs
 Department of public safety
 Department of public works
 Department of social welfare
 Department of tourism and...
 Back Cover


Annual report of the Governor of the Virgin Islands
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00015459/00030
 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: 1954
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: UF00015459:00030

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Administration and some of its problems
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Department of agriculture and labor
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Department of education
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Department of finance
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Department of health
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        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
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
    Department of insular affairs
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Department of public safety
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    Department of public works
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Department of social welfare
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Department of tourism and trade
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

To the Secret

)( of the Interior
354.72197 2
V 8I?7a-






Virgin Islan ds




/ C1 s LA

Douglas McKay, Secretary

Archie A. Alexander, Governor


For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U. S. Government Printing Office
Washington 25, D. C. Price 30 cents


WAGES AND HOURS ..........
GENERAL . . . .



*o 5
S 7


. 12

. 14
. 14
..... 15
. 16





POLICE DIVISION . . ... . 45
ST. JOHN .. . . . . 46
STATISTICS . ... . . .. 47
FIRE DIVISION . . . . 49
CIVIL DEFENSE . . . ... 50
HOMEGUARD . . . . . 50
POLICE COURTS .. . . ... . 551
GENERAL . . . . . 52
HARBOR DIVISION .................. ... 57
GENERAL . . . .. . 58
HOME FOR THE AGED . . . ... 61
EXPENDITURES .. . . . . 62
CHILD WELFARE . . . . 69
ST. JOHN . . . . . 75

Annual Report of the Governor

of the Virgin Islands 1955

Archie A. Alexander, Governor


N July 22, 1954, the President of the United States signed Public
Law 517 revising the Organic Act (1936) of the United States
Virgin Islands. This revised organic act provides, inter alia:
1. For a legislature composed of 11 Senators, two from the District
of St. Thomas, two from the District of St. Croix, one from the District
of St. John, and six Senators at large;
2. That the Governor of the Virgin Islands shall fill any vacancy
in the Legislature by appointment;
3. That there shall be a regular session of not more than 60 calendar
days, commencing on the second Monday in April each year; that the
Governor may call special sessions of the Legislature; that no special
session shall continue longer than 15 calendar days and shall not in
any calendar year exceed 30 days;
4. That the laws of the Virgin Islands be codified;
5. That the Secretary of Interior shall appoint a Government
Comptroller who shall audit and settle all accounts and claims per-
taining to revenues and receipts from whatever source, and other
duties as prescribed in the Act;
6. That a sum equal to the otal amount of revenue collected by
the Government of the Virgin Islands during the fiscal year, as certi-
fied by the Government Comptroller of the Virgin Islands, shall be
matched by the Federal Government from the amount of taxes im-
posed and collected during the fiscal year by the Federal Government
under the Internal Revenue laws of the United States on articles pro-
duced in the Virgin Islands and transported to the United States;
7. That all articles, the growth or product of, or manufactured in,
such islands, from materials grown or produced in such islands or in
the United States, or both, or which do not contain foreign materials


to the value of more than 50 per centum of their total value, upon
which no drawback of custom duties has been allowed therein, coming
into the United States from such islands shall be admitted free of duty.
At the end of the fiscal year the structure of the executive branch
of the Government was still in the process of being reorganized into
not more than nine departments as prescribed by Section 16 (a) of
Public Law 517. This reorganization will be completed by July 21,
The first election of Senators to the Legislature under the revised
Organic Act was held on November 2, 1954. The first legislature of
the United States Virgin Islands under the revised Organic Act con-
vened on January 10, 1955 at Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin
Islands. This body considered 121 bills and passed 101. The Gov-
ernor approved 49 bills and vetoed 41. The legislature was called to
a special session on April 18, 1955 to consider appropriation bills
vetoed by the Governor during the regular session. At the end of the
fiscal year the Departments of Education, Public Works and Insular
Affairs were without appropriations because of nonapproval by the
Governor and will have to revert to the previous year's appropriations
as prescribed by the revised Organic Act. The appropriation bill for
the legislature was also vetoed.
The revised Organic Act is not yet fully in effect and has not yet
been completely implemented by the Insular Government. It is too
soon to even attempt to evaluate the ultimate effect Public Law 517
will have on the economic and political features of the United States
Virgin Islands. The return of "matching funds" will certainly be a
boon to the economy of the islands, especially in the field of public
improvements. However, sound, aggressive and unselfish leadership,
with foresight and imagination, is essential for the continued economic
and political development of the Virgin Islands. With the revised
Organic Act we must set our sights on the entire structure and accom-
plish those projects which are for the good of the whole, rather than
the few entities which occasionally fog our vision.
The most immediate, most pressing problem we face today in the
Virgin Islands is the shortage of fresh water. This is a problem that
has prevailed since 1917, and has plagued all of the Governors of the
Virgin Islands since that time. During the occupation of the Islands
by the Navy, and during the war years, large numbers of servicemen
were stationed here. The occupation of the Islands by the service
personnel created a continuous water shortage, and as a result the
Navy regularly barged water from Puerto Rico to St. Thomas to take
care of this drain on the local supply.
During the past few years the shortage has continued to be serious,
with the rise of tourism and the increase in persons moving from the


continental United States to the Virgin Islands. As these trends
continue, the water shortage may be expected to become increasingly
acute. This summer was particularly bad because of the extreme
drought. To meet that situation it was necessary to ask the Navy to
bring exceptionally large quantities of water from Puerto Rico until
late in August when heavy rainfall raised the water level in the
storage tanks above the danger point.
As stated, this island had previously suffered from recurrent water
shortages, so there was nothing new about the dilemma, although it
took an extreme form this summer. It is quite clear that we should no
longer depend upon emergency assistance from the Navy or other
outside sources. It is time for us of the Virgin Islands Government
to face up to our own problems, and to solve them with our own
It is our hope that we will be able to proceed promptly to take
whatever measures are necessary to prevent a repetition of our ex-
perience this summer. Since any other proposal depends ultimately
on rainfall, which is disastrously unreliable, the weight of informed
opinion at present appears to favor some method of extracting potable
water from the sea. Regardless of the means we will employ to pro-
vide these Islands with a stable, adequate water supply, we intend to
do everything possible to correct the situation. During the next
fiscal year a contract will be entered into with an outstanding water
engineering firm from the United States to make a survey with a view
to solving this problem. This survey will include all processes of
water distillation, conservation and storage. Funds have been ap-
propriated for this study.
For many years these Islands have been in urgent need of a realistic
real property assessment system. The Geological Survey Bureau of
the Department of the Interior has completed a topographic survey of
St. Thomas, and the maps will be available January 1, 1956. I am
very hopeful that the legislature this year will appropriate funds to
make a topographic survey of St. John and St. Croix, and also to em-
ploy a mainland organization to conduct a survey of our real property
assessment system, correcting deficiencies, and training our personnel.
The General Accounting Office and the Department of the Interior
have loaned the Virgin Islands Government since 1953, from time to
time, personnel to devise a modern accounting system for this govern-
ment. With the installation of this system, we are hopeful that one of
the major needs of the Islands will have been achieved through these
efforts. It will be necessary for us to have inservice training for the
personnel who will operate this system, to attain maximum results.
This we will do.


Many of the weaknesses of past administrations stemmed from the
dire lack of trained personnel in the technical, accounting, and
management fields. There are no colleges or schools of business
administration here, and many Virgin Islanders who go to the con-
tinental United States for such training do not return. This, too, is a
problem we must face up to and attempt to solve.
During this year the airstrip on St. Croix has been extended from
4,000 feet to 5,000 feet, with a 1,000-foot overrun. Pan American
World Airways has transferred their major landings in the Virgin
Islands to St. Croix and are now landing in St. Thomas but once each
week. It is believed that Pan American will discontinue the one
flight per week to St. Thomas in 1956 and concentrate on sending
DC-6's into St. Croix with Caribair making shuttle flights to St.
Thomas. The economy of St. Thomas and St. John is almost entirely
dependent upon tourism. This trend in air transportation in the
Virgin Islands and the fact that Civil Aeronautics Administration
officials feel that the airport now located on St. Thomas will be obsolete
within 10 years points up the fact that an immediate airport survey
and plans to enlarge or relocate the airstrip on St. Thomas are an
urgent necessity.
In keeping with the trend of a tourist economy in the Virgin Islands,
it is essential that a road and highway program be formulated at the
earliest possible date. Many of the roads to the most beautiful places
in the Islands are either inaccessible or hazardous. Such a program
should include repairs and the hard-surfacing of the present arterial
The number of connections to the sanitary and potable water system
are still far from satisfactory. During the next calendar year it is
expected that more of these connections will be made than any pre-
vious year.
Connection to the potable water supply system is naturally de-
pendent upon a solution to our fresh water supply problem. The
more connections made, the greater the drain on the available water
supply. A solution to our fresh water problem may solve many
corollary ills.
The April 1955 session of the legislature of the Virgin Islands ap-
propriated $2,548,000 for essential Public Works projects. This
appropriation was approved by the Secretary of the Interior. In-
cluded in this special Public Works program was $470,000 for the
construction of the King's Hill School in St. Croix; $350,000 for roads
and highways; $80,000 for the expansion of the Potable Water System;
$130,000 for the expansion of the sewer system; $210,000 for slum
clearance and low cost housing projects; $60,000 for improvement


of airport facilities; $58,000 for the extension of the Virgin Islands
telephone system. These projects are presently being engineered, and
during the next fiscal year will go forward with all possible dispatch.

The Department of Agriculture and Labor was created on January
10, 1955. All administrative and operational responsibilities of the
department are compartmented into three divisions: Division of
Agriculture, Division of Employment Service, and the Division of
Labor. An office of veterans affairs was also placed under its juris-
diction. The department is administered under the supervision and
direction of a Commissioner. At the head of each division there is a
division head and, in the case of the veterans office, a Director of
Veterans Affairs.
Even though St. Croix is primarily an agricultural island, all
activities concerning agriculture were centered and carried on by the
local government at the Dorothea Experiment Station on the island
of St. Thomas. At this station, in order to encourage the production
of food crops, the Municipal Government rented to the French farmers,
at relatively low cost, several acres of farm land and, in addition,
made possible the necessary technical assistance through the services
of a horticulturist. Even with a parsimonious budget, new equipment
and facilities have been added so as to render the station as efficient
as possible. The planting of decorative plants which has been, and
still is serving the needs of the community in the year just closed,
marked a period of continued progress at the Experiment Station.
An earthen dam of some 600,000 gallons capacity was built by the
Federal Government at the station. This has increased the storage
to 800,000 gallons of water and has trebled the storage capacity of the
past. In the neighborhood of 40,000 gallons of water is consumed
by the station and growers weekly.
A sound and workable agricultural program for the Virgin Islands,
predominantly St. Croix, is now in its formative stages.
Division of Labor
Workmen's Compensation Administration.-The compensation
officers, in the year just closed, received four hundred and seventy-
three (473) injury reports. Under this section of the Officers' activ-
ities, four hundred and fifty-four (454) cases were disposed of in-
volving medical costs or compensation for disability in the various
classifications listed hereunder and issued five hundred and fifty-three
(553) orders awarding a total of $21,505.57. There are nineteen (19)
cases on the dockets pending the submission of additional information,


as required by law. The adjudication of the cases necessitated two
hundred and fifty-four (254) public hearings, and cases in which only
minor medical attendance was involved were disposed of without
formal hearings.
Even though employment was at its peak in the Virgin Islands
during this period, the decline in the number of injury reports filed
with the division was largely due to the relentless efforts, through
daily inspections, carried out by our safety inspectors.
During the course of the fiscal year recently ended, the safety
inspectors made 1,416 inspections and were instrumental in the
dissemination of advice and information regarding safety precautions
to employees and employers.
The Wage and Hour Laws.-The fiscal year just closed has wit-
nessed a number of complaints concerning wages, hours of work and
other conditions affecting employment in the Virgin Islands.
These violations generally may be placed in three groups: those
who wilfully violate; those who are in violation because of ignorance
of the law; and those who inadvertently misapply the provisions
of the law, thus committing technical violations.
In the ensuing months, it is our earnest hope to be able to con-
centrate on development of a standardized inspection program in
the Virgin Islands designed to operate on the division's objectives and
Veterans Affairs
The Office of Veterans Affairs rendered invaluable assistance to
all veterans and their dependents, and aided them on all matters
relating to benefits to be derived from both Federal and insular laws.
Efforts are being made to encourage greater participation by vet-
erans in the evening classes, now being conducted at the Christiansted
High School. Courses offered include Auto Mechanics, Plumbing,
and Electricity. Plans are now in the making for the extension of
these courses throughout the regular school year.
Minimum qualifications necessary for participation in two types
of loans available from the Federal Government, through the Vet-
erans' Administration, have not been met by our veterans in the
Virgin Islands, in most cases. This is due primarily to the low-
income status of the applicants.
Natives and residents of every territory and possession of the
United States have had the privilege and honor to attend the Acad-
emies of the various branches of the Armed Forces. In recent years
this opportunity has also been granted to citizens of friendly countries.
As of this date, this privilege has not yet been given to American
citizens in the Virgin Islands. It is urged that the Congress of the


United States devise some method whereby candidates from the
Virgin Islands may be appointed to the Academies of the Armed
Job classification by industries in the Virgin Islands-1954-55
Wholesale establishments----------------------------------------- 73
Retail establishments------------------------------------------ 644
Construction ---------------------- ------------------------- 734
Newspaper publications----------------------------------------- 26
Amusements (theaters)------------------------------------------ 44
Bakeries ---------------------------------------------------- 54
Transportation (airlines, trucking) ------------------------------- 115
Banking ---------------------------------------------------- 60
Communications-------------------------------------------------- 19
Hotels and guest houses----------------------------------------- 623
Shipping----------------------------------------------------- 352
Auto repair and service stations---------------------------------- -- 151
Manufacturing .---------------------------------------------- 369
Other-..-_--------- .---------- --------------------------- 127

Total --------------------------------------------- 2,391

Division of Employment Service

Nonagricultural placements were approximately 63 percent higher
than in the previous year. The increase was due to the increased
volume of steady employment offered in private construction, new and
enlarged tourist businesses, and in small government projects. Work-
ers and employers are depending more and more on the services offered
by the Virgin Islands Employment Service to bring jobs and the best
qualified workers together.
The Virgin Islands Employment Service endeavors to assist veter-
ans, especially the disabled, who are returning to the labor market,
older workers faced with the problem of competing with younger
workers, youth just entering the labor market, and the physically
handicapped. The Islands need the services of all of these workers.
It is our duty to help them realize their work potential and, if possible,
to help them plan a learning program to strengthen these potentials.
Three hundred and thirty-two (332) men and women over the 45-
year range have found employment within the last fiscal year through
the efforts of our Service.
Although a number of physically handicapped have, from time to
time, been successfully counseled and placed by the Employment
Service, much remains to be done in this field.
Whether it be in work demanding technical and scientific knowledge,
creative skill, or domestic or manual labor, whether it be counseling


the veteran, the older person, the teen-ager, or the handicapped, the
Service strives to instill a sense of personal responsibility and a
realization of the importance and worthwhileness of the work in which
he is or hopes to be engaged, to the end that he may achieve a sense
of satisfaction and serenity of spirit from the knowledge of work
well done.
The Virgin Islands Employment Service continues to give prefer-
ential treatment to veterans at the local office level. We have adhered
strictly to the policy of recording veteran registrations on distinctively
colored cards easily distinguishable from cards of nonveterans.
At the end of the fiscal year our active file showed a count of 164
veterans, about 0.18 percent of the total males in the active file.
Seventy-six veterans were placed during the year, about 15 percent of
the total number of males placed.
Employment Service statistical summary of basic services for the
fiscal year ending June 30, 1955:
Placements (agricultural)--- -------------------- ------ 38
Placements (nonagricultural) ---------_--_____ _.------- 2,091
Professional and clerical -------------------------- 171
Service ___----------_----______________--------- 786
Skilled and semiskilled ---------------__-----.__-- 632
Unskilled _______________------------------------- 502
Clearances alien (recommended) ------------------------- 302
Agricultural _--------------------------------- 101
Extensions __----------------__ .....--------- 90
Nonagricultural -------------------------__ 111
Total workers cleared --............__---------------_ 1, 118


The early days of this fiscal year were clouded for education by
uncertainty and disheartening financial circumstances due to manda-
tory and drastic reductions in budget estimates and, ultimately,
municipal appropriations necessitating curtailment or suspension of
certain phases of the educational program, and providing inadequate
support generally. Despite this, there was an underlying optimism
supported by the hope of early passage of a revised Organic Act for
the Virgin Islands, and incidental thereto, the promise of a new era
with respect to education. Promise turned to assurance following
approval by President Eisenhower on July 22, 1954, of Public Law
517-83d Congress, an act to revise the Organic Act of the Virgin
Islands of the United States.
Envisioned reorganization of the Virgin Islands Government could
not be effected immediately, however; and the "independent" Depart-
ments of Education in the two municipalities continued to function
as such under separate school boards for the two municipal school


systems until the latter half of the year. The municipal councils
(legislatures) were superseded on January 10 by the legislature of the
Virgin Islands, which appropriated funds for the Insular Department
of Education for the final quarter of the year. Under provisions of
the revised Organic Act, the Governor of the Virgin Islands was
authorized to "recognize and consolidate the existing departments,"
and pursuant thereto, by executive orders, established one Insular
Department of Education for the Virgin Islands to be headed by a
Commissioner of Education.
Under terms of the Governor's executive orders, the municipal
school boards were superseded by an Insular Board of Education
comprised of seven members. The Department of Education was
further organized to include 4 executive divisions and 3 bureaus to
be headed respectively by directors of divisions and bureau chiefs.
The Program for Improvement of Teaching in the Virgin Islands
under the grant to Hampton Institute from The Foundation for
Advancement of Education, which was inaugurated last year, spon-
sored its first summer program, "The Experimental College," in St.
Thomas. Approximately 80 teachers enrolled in four selected courses
offered by outstanding educators recruited for this summer session by
Dr. Alonzo Moron, president of Hampton Institute. This was
followed by extension courses in Geography of the Caribbean and
Social Control, each conducted for one semester in St. Croix, and one
semester in St. Thomas (including classes held in St. John).
These courses were attended by virtually all teachers and librarians
qualified for admission, and able to benefit by participation in this
program. In addition, four Virgin Islands students were awarded
scholarships to Hampton Institute for teacher training under the
scholarship feature of this program.
During the year 10 teachers from St. Thomas were on leave for
study purposes, 5 of whom completed requirements for the B. S.
degree in June.
In-service training measures were continued through services of
supervisors, chiefly in St. Thomas. It is anticipated that this service
will be extended to St. Croix next year as an incidental feature of the
Consolidated Department.
Construction work on the new high schools in Charlotte Amalie
and Christiansted, begun in May 1953 was completed, and these two
modern school plants, the first of their kind in the Virgin Islands,
were dedicated with fitting ceremonies on April 17, 1955. Regular
school sessions in the new establishments began the following day.
In St. Thomas, work was completed on additions and improve-
ments to three rural schools. In St. Croix, construction of a 20-room
elementary school at Christiansted and one rural school was com-



pleted by the end of the year. Progress in St. John has been dis-
appointing, however, with work still incomplete on the two improve-
ment projects and the two new schools under construction at John's
Folly and Cruz Bay.
In addition to school construction under provisions of Public Law
510, certain new construction and improvements were financed by
Municipal funds in St. Thomas. A new kindergarten in the Polly-
berg area was nearly completed by the end of the year, as a work-
training project by trade and industry students of the vocational
division of the Charlotte Amalie High School.
Two kindergartens, the Berg Homes and Carenage, were relocated
to improved quarters, and the lunch kitchen was rebuilt at the
Jefferson School.
Since 1951 when vocational education was organized under an
"Insular Plan" to qualify for Federal aid, activities in this field have
gained increasing prominence in recognition of challenging commu-
nity needs.
In Home Economics a total of 423 were enrolled in courses in the
three school centers participating in the Virgin Islands. Three Chap-
ters of Future Homemakers of America were organized and received
charters from the National F. H. A. organization, with a total of 110
active members. These chapters were represented also at the
F. H. A. Insular Meeting of Puerto Rico on May 12-14.
Program development in Agriculture was impeded somewhat due
to resignation of one of the two teachers employed in this field in
St. Croix. Valued advice and assistance was given, however, by
Mr. R. E. Naugher, Program Specialist in the United States Office
of Education and by Mr. Rafael Muller, Acting Vocational Agricul-
tural Supervisor in Puerto Rico. The lack of needed equipment for
basic plowing and soil preparation has been an obstacle to production
on school practice plots, and it is hoped that this deficiency may be
overcome in the near future.
One highly significant development of the year was the establish-
ment of the long sought program for training of hotel and restaurant
employees, chiefly waiters and chambermaids. This was organized
according to plans formulated in collaboration with an Advisory
Board appointed by the Executive Director of Vocational Education,
the members of which were the Secretary of the Hotel Association,
Executive Secretary of the Tourist Development Board, the Director
of the Virgin Islands Employment Service, and the Consulting
Director of Vocational Education. We were fortunate in obtaining
the services of Mr. E. Leonard Brewer, formerly operator of the
Bluebeard's Castle Hotel, and owner-manager of the Blackbeard's
Castle Hotel, as Coordinator of the program.


The initial program specified a 12-week course of instruction includ-
ing 6 weeks of classroom instruction and demonstration to be fol-
lowed by 6 weeks in-service training, covering room service, and
front office procedures. Classes were begun on November 29, and
28 enrollees completed the required 120 hours of training and
received certificates on February 28, 1955.
Enrollment in courses in trades and industry exceeded that of any
preceding year. All courses in St. Thomas were filled to capacity.
Enrollment in all day classes was as follows:

St. Thomas St. Croix Total

Carpentry.... ..........-------------------------------------- 40 24 64
Electricity.......-------- ------------------------ 48 35 83
Plumbing------------------------43 13 56
Auto mechanics ....... .-- ----------------------- 45 -------- 45
Commercial sewing.......-------.......-- -----------------.. 42 --....... 42

Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain a qualified instructor for
auto mechanics and this course had to be suspended for the year.
A most gratifying manifestation of effective development in this field
is found in the extent to which trades classes participated in con-
struction projects and in making installations for improvement of
school facilities. Foremost in this category was the construction of
the Pollyberg kindergarten building in St. Thomas, a 25- by 50-foot
building, including all electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and masonry
work involved; and the renovation and conversion of the old high
school plant in Christiansted into living quarters for approximately
60 persons.
The Department of Education now serves primarily the three major
islands of St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. In the 3 islands there
are 31 public schools consisting of 7 kindergartens, 14 rural schools,
7 city elementary schools, 1 junior high school, and 2 junior-senior
high schools. The schools are controlled by a seven member Insular
Board of Education and a Commissioner of Education heading the
Department of Education organized into 4 divisions and 3 bureaus
as follows:
1. Division of Secondary Schools and Colleges.
2. Division of Vocational and Rehabilitation Education.
3. Division of Elementary Schools and Kindergartens.
4. Division of Auxiliary Services.
5. Bureau of Special Activities.
6. Bureau of Libraries and Museums.
7. Bureau of Recreation.
Total enrollment in public schools was 5,639, an increase of 158
over enrollment for the preceding year.


The per capital cost of $117.86 is low but represents an increase of
approximately thirteen dollars over the past year.

Education statistics-1954-55

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

Number of schools:
SPublic (including kindergartens)---------------------- ---. 22 9 31
Parochial ----------------------------------------------- 4 4 8
Private--------------.------------------------------------ 3 2 5
Total------ -------------------------- --.------ --- 29 15 44
School enrollment (June 1955):
Public ---- ------------- --------------------- 3,551 2,088 5,639
Parochial ---------------------- ---------.--- 761 1,136 1,897
Private------------------------------------------------ 256 54 310
Total ....--...............--- ------------------ 4, 568 3,278 7,846
Public school enrollment:
Kindergartens -- --.- ----- --------------------- 325 325
Grades 1 through 6----..---- ------------ --.-- 2,294 1, 552 3,846
Grades 7 through 9 ------------------------------------ 567 376 943
Grades 10 through 12 ------ --------------------365 160 525
Total---------------------- ----.. --------------. 3,551 2,088 5,639
Average pupils per classroom teacher:
Rural elementary_.-----. -------------------------28.6 35
Urban elementary --------------....-- .....__----------- 38.5 43 --- --
High school --------------------------------------- 32.5 34 --
Average salary of teachers in public schools:
Elementary ---- ----- ------------------ 153.93 182.12 --
High school (academic)------------------------------ 226.03 280. 77
Teacher training (exclusive of vocational):
College graduates.. ...----- --...... 35 20 55
Normal school (2 years or more) .----.-------------------- 12 7 19
High school graduates ------------------ ~_ 60 34 94
Other ----. ..--------------- 7 9 16
Total---. -- ------------------------- --------- 114 70 184

July 1,1954 to July 1954 to Apr. I to
Total expenditures: Mar. 81, 1955 Mar. 31, 1955 June 80, 1955
Municipal appropriations ._--. _------------ _----- $350, 443.58 $200, 579. 51 $237, 114. 76
Federal contributions----.........--- .--------------- .39, 962. 25 17,406. 55 15, 690.32
Other sources ------------------------ 1, 563.18 -----..
Total --------------------- ------------------ 391,969.01 217,985.06 252,805.08
Grand Total-------------------.----- -------- --- -------- 862, 759.15
Aid to college students ---- ----------------------- $5, 900. 00 $2, 971. 50 $8,871.50
Average overall cost of school lunch service per pupil partici-
pating (including value of USDA commodities contributed) $46.54 $47.33
Average daily participation in school lunch program ---_--- 2, 544 1,679 -
Annual expenditure per pupil, exclusive of school lunch, adult
education and community services .........__---------------_ -------------- $117.86

NOTE.-Total expenditures reported include amounts for college scholarships, Teachers Institute, Public
Recreation Division, Public Libraries, adult education, and school lunch service, which, however, were not
included in the computation of average cost per pupil in public schools.


The Department of Finance has general authority and jurisdiction
to exercise general control over the enforcement of the laws relating
to finance; to digest and prepare plans, from time to time, for the


improvement and management of revenues, and for the support of the
public credit; to superintend and regulate the collection of all revenue;
to provide for a depository for all public funds; to provide uniform
regulations for the disbursement of all public funds; to make an internal
audit; to administer all laws pertaining to the practice of public
accounting; to collect all fees and charges fixed by law for govern-
mental services; to exercise general supervision and custody over all
special and public trust funds; and to assist the Governor with
budget making control and audit.
Under the old organization, there were approximately 150 separate
funds, each with its own separate bank account. Many of these
accounts were stagnant over a period of years, others were unnecessary.
Unfortunately, this multiplicity of bank accounts caused many
errors. Furthermore, very little effort was made to reconcile these
accounts currently.
In order to correct this situation, about 70 of these funds were
emptied into the General Fund. Some of the others were consoli-
dated, as they served the same purpose.
The remaining funds were merged into five bank accounts, namely:
(1) Special Funds, (2) Enterprise and Revolving Funds, (3) Agency
Funds, (4) Trust Funds, (5) Special Deposit Funds.
The separate treasuries of the Municipality of St. Thomas and St.
John, and of the Municipality of St. Croix were combined as the
Treasury of the Virgin Islands. The dual disbursing, payrolling, and
recording were abolished, and one Disbursing Officer was established
in St. Thomas. This change necessitated the transfer of records,
equipment, and personnel from St. Croix to St. Thomas.
The Government funds are in five bank accounts. Some of these
funds are in savings accounts, earning 2 percent interest per annum.
The savings accounts by funds, as of June 30, 1955, were as follows:
Federal Appropriation-Matching Funds ----------- $2, 000, 000
Enterprise and Revolving Funds_ ----------------- 150, 000
Agency Funds ------------------- ---------- 10, 000
Trust Funds------------------------------------ 500, 000

Total ------------------------------------ 2, 660, 000
In the past, the Government has been a very poor collector of its
outstanding accounts, and consequently had a large number of de-
linquencies. Little or no effort was made to enforce collections,
especially in the case of loans secured by real estate.
During the past fiscal year, this department has launched a
vigorous campaign to collect all outstanding accounts. This effort
has shown very good results, and at June 30, 1955, our delinquencies



were substantially reduced, especially trade taxes. Certain accounts
which the Government was unable to collect have been referred to
the United States Attorney for court action.

Tax Administration and Enforcement

Under the old organization, the administration of our tax laws was
split among six different offices, 3 in St. Croix and 3 in St. Thomas.
There was one set of tax laws applicable to St. Thomas and St. John,
and another set applicable to St. Croix. The Income Tax activity in
St. Thomas was administered by an office in St. Thomas, while another
office in St. Croix administered the income tax activity in that island.
Inasmuch as the average total returns filed in the Virgin Islands is
3,200, it was not necessary to have two separate offices.
The administration of all tax laws has been centered in the Tax
Division of the Department of Finance, under a qualified and ex-
perienced administrator.
The administration of the trade and excise taxes, enforcement of the
real property taxes, were transferred to this Division from the Office
of the Tax Assessor. The serving of attachment notices were trans-
ferred from the Department of Public Safety. Finally, the adminis-
tration of the Income Tax Law was consolidated in the Tax Division
in St. Thomas. Deputy Collectors make periodic trips to St. Croix
for the purpose of making field audits and examinations.

New Accounting System
In the past there was no regular system of accounting in the Govern-
ment of the Virgin Islands. The lack of an adequate system gave
very little control over the financial affairs of the government, and
it was impossible to secure an accurate financial picture of the Govern-
ment of the Virgin Islands.
Through the cooperation of the General Accounting Office, Wash-
ington, D. C., and the Office of the Comptroller of the Virgin Islands,
an accounting system was designed for the Virgin Islands. This
system calls for the decentralizing of certain functions from the
Department of Finance to the other executive departments.
The system also provides for a General Ledger, Cash Disbursing
by machine, and Expense Distribution records, kept by the individual
departments. The various departments submit summary records for
posting to the General Ledger. The Allotment Ledger, and Expense
Distribution Ledger were installed by the Office of the Comptroller of


the Virgin Islands, while the Cash Receipts procedure, Disbursement,
and General Ledger were installed by the Department of Finance.


Income Taxes.-The enactment of the New Organic Act for the
Virgin Islands and the passage of the Internal Revenue Code of the
Virgin Islands created many administrative problems for this activity.
Relatively few field examinations and audits were made during the
fiscal year due to the absence of the Head of the Tax Division for 2%
months attending Training School for Internal Revenue Agents. As
a result, deficiency assessments were approximately $5,000 from the
audit of 81 cases, compared to approximately $60,000 from audit of 155
cases in the previous year.
The total income tax collections increased to $1,059,000 during the
fiscal year, compared to $915,046 in the previous fiscal year. An
increase of $143,954.
There were approximately 10 percent more withholding agents
collecting and reporting, and over 10 percent more estimated tax-
payers than in the previous fiscal year.
The income tax is the largest single source of revenue to the Govern-
ment, and provided about 36 percent of total revenue during 1955.
The Trade and Gross Receipts Tax Law of St. Thomas expired on
March 31, 1955, and a new law was not provided until May 1, 1955,
resulting in a tax holiday of 1 month. During this month, consider-
able revenue was lost.
In St. Croix the situation was somewhat different, in that the law
there was in force and effect until April 30 when the new law abolished
the old one.
The new tax law known as the 1955 Internal Revenue Act of the
Virgin Islands was approved by the Governor of the Virgin Islands
on May 24, 1955. The law became effective May 1, 1955.
Unfortunately, the law is a very poor one, and does not contain
any of the attributes of a good tax law. The tax base has been
narrowed considerably, in that certain items which were taxable are
now nontaxable. In addition, the tax rate was reduced.
From all appearances, it does not seem as if this law will yield
the expected revenues.
The new law also abolished other sources which provided consider-
able revenue. Among these are the Land Sales Tax, the Stamp Tax,
Wharfage Dues, Amusement Tax, and a reduction in the yield of the
Transportation Tax.


Comparative statements of revenues-fiscal years 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955

Source of revenue 1952 1953 1954 1955

Real property tax --------------$167, 796 $206, 424 $211, 300 $230, 611
Income tax -------------- ----------------- 645, 454 720, 314 915, 045 1,059,632
Gasoline tax ---... -- --.---------------------. 62,870 80,900 95,236 107,771
Automobile license ----------------------- 43, 086 52, 749 58, 504 66,921
Customs duties -------------------------- 25, 526 53, 460 65, 756 89,928
Inheritance tax ---- ---------------- 10,115 8,324 6, 268 15, 35
Amusement and entertainment tax ------------- 4, 044 5,230 4,225 2, 826
Land sales tax.---_ __------ 17, 690 18,168 25,603 44, 017
Transportation tax.- --. 19,145 23,155 22,962 20,467
Business licenses.----- ------- ---------- 47, 611 49, 636 56,692 66,955
Import, export and sales tax-......-----......-- 348, 694 549,611 659,558 585,308
Subtotal.......--..------ ..................... 1,392,031 1,767,971 2,121,158 2,290,371
Other income:
Court and police fees ---..----__--------------- 30,838 37, 014 33,320 29,204
Wharfage and ship's dues.--..--......-----.. -- 36,209 27,595 37, 565 36,910
Medical service fees ...---- ------------_.__. 19, 242 24, 258 53, 707 68,334
Sanitary service fees- --------------- ...--- 282 5,961 5,427 6,436
St. Croix telephone service .-------------------__. 12,462 17, 829 21,617 5,052
Miscellaneous fees, permits, and services ---------- 37, 501 40,770 81,865 343, 821
Subtotal -................... .. ............ 141, 534 153,427 233, 501 489, 757
Transfers from other funds.--------------------------. 22, 478 13, 880 57, 770 190, 495
Repayments by power authority......_.---------..-... 12, 500 12, 000 ---
Subtotal--.....---..--..--_ .-- ------... .. 34,978 25,880 57,770 190,495
Subtotal, general fund--------------... -------------....... 1,568,543 1,947,278 2,412,429 2,970, 623
Federal deficit appropriation ----...........------ _. 745, 000 745,000 74500 199,666
Federal appropriation-matching funds--------... -------- ---------- ---- ------------ 3,507,907
Total, general fund ...--..-----.... ----.. ------. 2,313,543 2,692,278 3,157,429 6,678,196


The Virgin Islands Department of Health is under the supervision
of the Commissioner of Health, who is responsible for the public
health and medical care program in the area.
There are two Assistant Commissioners of Health. One resides in
St. Croix and functions also as the Medical Director of the Medical
Institutions on that island. The other, who resides in St. Thomas, is
also Medical Director for St. Thomas and St. John and, in the absence
of the Commissioner of Health, is responsible for the administration of
the insular health program.
There are three main factors affecting the Health Department, as
they do all departments of the government. They are: funds,
personnel and the workload. When these factors are in balance-and
not until then-we have a perfectly functioning unit. As crises
develop in any one, however, the other two are, of necessity, thrown out
of balance and the overall performance suffers drastically.


Nearly 90 percent of our operating budget of $1,159,890 in 1954-55
represented salaries for the 412 employees of the Department. Physi-


cians, nurses, technicians of all sorts, form the core of the staff, and
account for over half of the entire personnel. There is an acute
shortage in the continental United States in all these categories of
employment and unless we can at least approximate salaries offered
elsewhere we are destined to find ourselves with a dwindling pro-
fessional staff with little or no chance of making replacements.
In the case of physicians, we are not, unfortunately, geared for the
training of young and inexperienced men. Our present operation
requires fully experienced men and it is becoming ever more embarrass-
ing to offer such individuals salaries of $6,000 to $7,000 a year for
full-time positions.
That the same situation applies to nurses and medical technicians
goes without saying. The loss of a single individual in any of these
categories is a severe blow to the Department's operation. Unlike
larger communities, we cannot call an employment agency when we
need an x-ray technician or laboratory technician. Nor is it ever very
likely that a person with such specialized training is living in the
islands, unemployed, waiting to be called by us.
In considering the size of our staff it must be remembered that we
are operating, on a 24-hour basis, six medical institutions at widely
scattered points. We are also operating 33 outpatient clinics each
week in St. Thomas with an average weekly attendance of over 867
patients as well as several clinics per week in St. Croix and one each
week in St. John.
We are hoping that the assignment of a full-time resident physician
to St. John in October will alter the entire medical situation on that
island, which has been quite unsatisfactory. One of the two nurse-
midwives on that island resigned as the result of the rigorous nature of
her job and at present the island has only one nurse-midwife, assisted
by two practical nurses, to carry on the entire preventive and emer-
gency care program for the 700-odd people of that island.
We are, I believe, rightfully proud of the high level of health amongst
the people of these islands. This is no mere happenstance. We are
located in an area which was once, and in many neighboring islands
still is, plagued by such tropical diseases as malaria, typhoid, filariasis,
yellow fever, leprosy and smallpox. During the past year we ad-
mitted to our hospitals just 2 cases of typhoid and 2 cases of Hansen's
Disease (leprosy). We were thus relatively free of tropical diseases.
Our staff of 412 employees handled 4,224 hospital admissions for
55,965 hospital days; made 30,305 examinations and treatments in
our out-patient clinics; performed 815 surgical operations; delivered
838 healthy infants; performed 71,799 laboratory examinations;
10,991 dental examinations and treatments and 6,719 X-ray examina-
tions; and made 12,809 home nursing visits. We think this is an


impressive record of work for 412 people to perform and that the
excellent health of our people reflects the hard work, the ability and
the devotion to duty of our staff.

The Staff

Insular St.John and St. Croix Total
St. Thomas

Physicians .---------------------------------------- 4 6 6 16
Dentists- ----------------2 1 3
Program directors----. ------------------------------- 8 -------------- ------------ 8
Graduatenurses ---------------------------------- ------------ 27 35 62
Nurse midwives .........-------------------.--. ---------- .. 5 7 12
Public health nurses .---- .---------. ------------ 8 6 14
Other nursing personnel -------------------------------------- 49 32 81
Technicians----------------. -- ---------.--------- .-----------17 10 27
Clerks and office personnel...------------ ----------- ------------34 19 53
Sanitation inspectors -------..............-------------- ------------ 6 4 10
Maintenance- .............-------- ............ 13 15 28
Food workers (kitchens)--- -..............-------......... 14 30 44
Custodian workers.....---------------------------.----...... 29 25 54
Total--..---......-------..-----------..----. 12 210 190 412

Maternal-Child Health and Crippled Children's Services

The Maternal-Child Health and Crippled Children's Services were
administered by the Director who is under the immediate supervision
of the Commissioner of Health. The services, operated on an insular
basis, consisted of a combined preventive health and medical care
program including clinics and hospitalization services. Inservice
training for nursing personnel and educational projects for mothers
and for the general public were conducted with emphasis on pre-
Obstetrical Services.-The obstetrician of the department, an insular
employee, operated the obstetrical wards, delivery services and at-
tended the ante partum clinics throughout the Virgin Islands with the
assistance of the nurse-midwives and municipal physicians. In June
1954, the obstetrician left the department on study leave, and subse-
quently resigned. The Director of Maternal-Child Health, with the
assistance of two municipal surgeons and two physicians, continued
the operation of the department.
Nurse-midwives' program consisted of deliveries of normal births
and attendance in the prenatal and postnatal clinics. The entire
staff consisted of one supervisor and four regular nurse-midwives in
St. Thomas, eight in St. Croix, and two in St. John.
Deliveries were primarily performed by nurse-midwives throughout
the Virgin Islands. They attended over 90 percent of the deliveries and
assisted with the other deliveries performed by physicians. Approxi-


mately 95 percent of the mothers delivered in the hospital. The
highest number of home deliveries occurred in St. John, due to
inadequate clinic facilities and transportation difficulties.
Pediatrics Services.-The pediatric services consisted of premature
program, nursery, pediatric wards and clinic services, well-child
conferences and well-baby clinics.
Premature centers were established at the Knud-Hansen Memorial
Hospital in St. Thomas and at the Charles Harwood Memorial
Hospital in St. Croix. These units were fully equipped by local and
Children's Bureau (Federal) funds.
A large percentage of aliens classed as resident aliens and tem-
porary residing aliens, have contributed largely to the premature
birth rate. These individuals are in the low income bracket and are
usually employed in unskilled labor. Frequently, they were referred
from the British Virgin Islands where adequate facilities were not
available for the complete management of the health problems.
During calendar year 1954, there were 623 admissions to the
Pediatric Services: 370 to the Knud-Hansen Memorial Hospital and
253 to the Charles Harwood Memorial Hospital.
The clinics conducted under the Pediatric program were classed as
hospital clinics, public health clinics in the hospitals and district
clinics. The hospital pediatric clinics are basically for sick children
and they provide diagnostic and therapeutic facilities. The public
health pediatric clinics held in the hospitals emphasized normal growth
and evaluation of well children, provided for maintenance of good
health status utilizing immunization procedures and medical as well
as nursing conferences.
The hospital clinics were staffed by the institutional nurses con-
sisting of the nurse-in-charge of the out-patient department, a gradu-
ate nurse assigned, and two nurse-aids. The public health clinics
were operated by public health nurses. The same medical personnel
was utilized for both hospital and public health clinics. The Director
of Maternal-Child Health and Crippled Children's 'Services, the
pediatrician, and assigned municipal physicians composed the clinical
During 1954, the plan of mass examination in selected schools was
changed to examination of selected grades of students in the hos-


Division of Maternal and Child Health, pediatric service, mortality study of infants
and children for the year 1954

St. Thomas St. Croix

Male Female Total Male Female Total Total

Deaths under I month
Prematurity._ -- ----------- 3 4 7 2 2 4 11
Atelectasis --------3 0 3 4 1 5 8
Asphyxia ---------3 0 3 0 0 0 3
Congenital syphilis -------------- 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Deaths I month-1 year
Gastroenteritis due to infection .. 3 1 4 2 1 3 7
Prematurity ..------------...--- 0 0 0 0 2 2 2
Meningitis, influenza-...-----...-- 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Pneumonia -------- 1 0 1 1 0 1 2
Malnutrition ..---. ----- 0 1 1 0 0 0 1
Encephalitis. ---------- 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Epilepsy ....----- ------------.. 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Heart disease, congenital .-----.. 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Deaths 18 months-5 years
Intestinal parasites, ascariasis..... 0 1 1 0 0 0 1
Malignant tumor....--- ---------- 0 1 1 0 0 0 1
Pneumonia .----.. ----.--..... 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Accident, automobile ..--------- 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Gastroenteritis due to infection.... 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Asphyxiation, gas.--------------- 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Deaths 6-21 years
Infectious hepatitis ...------- ... 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Brain abscess ------- ----------- 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Glomerunepbritis .....---------. 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Asphyxiation, gas-- ---------- 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Rheumatic heart disease--...-... 0 0 0 0 2 2 2
Accident, automobile ..----------- 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Meningitis, influenza----......---- 0 0 0 0 1 1 1
Pneumonia.--...---------------. 0 0 0 1 0 1 1
Total --------------------. --. 19 8 27 18 9 27 54

Crippled Children's Services

The Crippled Children's Services consisted of an integrated insular
program of diagnostic clinical services combined with hospitalization
care under the supervision of the Director of MCH & CC Services.
The services are operated in the municipal hospitals with the assist-
ance of municipal physicians, institutional nurses, public health
nurses, nutritionist and health educator.
The diagnostic clinics consisted of the Pediatric, Orthopedic,
Ophthalmology, Otology, Plastic Surgery, and Neurology Clinics. All
these specialty clinics, except Pediatrics, were conducted by part-time
specialists from Puerto Rico, contracted to attend the particular
clinic in St. Thomas and St. Croix. Further diagnostic services were
secured by referrals to the Ophthalmic Institute, Presbyterian
Hospital and to the Neurosurgeon in Puerto Rico.


Orthopedic Program.-The consultant, an orthopedic surgeon from
Puerto Rico, was assisted by two municipal surgeons, the public
health nurses, and an orthopedic nurse who is also the physiotherapist.
In addition to clinical and hospital care, the orthopedic program
included physiotherapy, short-wave diathermy, ultraviolet radiation,
whirlpool baths, and other forms of hydrotherapy. The orthopedic
nurse-physiotherapist performed all the physical and therapeutic
measures in addition to massages and exercises. Cases of the neuro-
logical clinic, principally cerebral palsy, and other neuromuscular
disorders were reviewed in this clinic for evaluation.
108 cases were registered under this program during calendar
year 1954.
Ophthalmology Program.-During the year, the regular ophthal-
mologist resigned, and another eye specialist was employed. The case
load was rather large. Diagnostic clinic was held once a week in
St. Thomas for children and a limited number of adults. In St. Croix
the clinic was held once a month. No surgical services were rendered
to children. The operation of the clinic is similar to that of the ortho-
pedic clinic.
96 cases were registered under this program during calendar year
Otology Program.-This program operated with the staff of public
health nurses, institutional nurses, pediatrician and a specialist in
ear, nose and throat diseases. The otologist performed diagnostic
services, surgery and all therapeutic measures. The program could
not provide for the application of hearing aids and the teaching of
the use of these methods. Measures for prevention of deafness in-
cluded the removal of infected enlarged tonsils, and the medical
treatment of various sinus conditions. All tonsillectomy operations
were suspended from May to October, 1954, by order of the Com-
missioner of Health, due to the high incidence of poliomyelitis in the
neighboring islands bordering the Virgin Islands.
84 cases were registered under this program during calendar year
Plastic Surgery Program.-The program was initiated in the
orthopedic clinic. A plastic surgeon attended the clinic and examined
the various cases referred by the orthopedic surgeon. The cases of
cleft palate and cleft lip were referred to the Presbyterian Hospital
in Puerto Rico because of the lack of adequate facilities and personnel
for a procedure so highly specialized.
Eighteen cases were seen from both Knud-Hansen Memorial and
Charles Harwood Memorial Hospitals under this program during
calendar year 1954.


Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease Program.-This pro-
gram was started in September 1953, and consisted of three phases:
prevention, hospitalization and followup. All cases of streptococcal
infections were admitted to the hospital, as were all cases of diagnosed
rheumatic fever during the acute state. The arrested case or the
controlled rheumatic fever and the cases of potential rheumatic heart
disease weie followed in the cardiac clinic. Followup care was per-
formed by the public health nurses in the homes.
Twelve cases were registered udder this program during calendar
year 1954.
Heart Disease Program.-The heart disease program included
rheumatic heart disease in addition to congenital heart disease. The
case findings were from the reports in the new-born nursery exami-
nations, public health nurses, clinical examinations and school health
examinations. Arrangements have been made with Johns Hopkins
University through the Children's Bureau to perform surgery on any
case of congenital heart disease that may be benefited by that form
of therapy.
Ten cases were registered under this program during calendar year
Epilepsy Program.-This program was initiated late in 1954 and
was an attempt to organize the medical care and followup of the
cases. All epileptics were registered in the office of MCH & CC and
the Public Health Nursing Division. The cases were examined by a
pediatrician and medication started. Neurological consultation was
obtained and subsequently periodic examinations were made by the
psychiatrist. Cases requiring hospitalization were admitted to the
pediatric wards as regular admissions and treated under the crippled
children's program.
Some eight cases were registered under this program during cal-
endar year 1954.
In addition to the above programs, 1,872 cases involving miscel-
laneous conditions were treated under the crippled children's pro-
gram during 1954. In all, there were 261 children admitted to the
hospital and 2,108 examined and treated in the clinics under this
program during 1954. There were 3,970 clinic visits and 4,505
hospital days.
In the coming year a much more extensive program is anticipated.
In the crippled children's plan, the diagnostic criteria for admission
for services have been expanded to include the following disorders:
1. All orthopedic disorders of bones and joints causing deformities or
physical handicaps.
2. Neuro-muscular disorders causing physical handicaps or malfor-


3. Deafness.
4. Blindness.
5. Metabolic Disorders.
6. Congenital malformation of the heart.
7. Rheumatic Fever and Rheumatic Heart Disease.
8. Congenital Malformation of the Skeleton, Muscular System or Skin,
requiring plastic surgery or other curative procedures.
9. Burns.
10. Chronic Kidney conditions.
11. Foreign Bodies requiring surgical measures.
With such extensive programs every child in the Virgin Islands has
access to either Maternal-Child Health or Crippled Children's Serv-
ices. Thus, good health, provided by well-trained and qualified per-
sonnel in well-equipped facilities, will be the heritage of all children
residing in the Virgin Islands.

Dental Health Services

A Dental Health Program, based upon the Public Health Service-
CB Health Grants Manual was adopted and put into effect during the
year. This program is operated on an insular basis and (a) sets up a
policy for all insular dental clinics; (b) coordinates and makes uniform
clinical schedules; (c) points out dental health and administrative
needs and goals.
Two full-time and one part-time dental surgeons, four dental
hygienists, and one clerk constitute the staff.
Clinics were held in St. Thomas at the Knud-Hansen Memorial
Hospital and in St. John at the deCastro and Calabash Boom Clinics.
In St. Croix, clinics were held at the Charles Harwood Hospital,
Christiansted, at the Frederiksted Clinic, at the Hansen's Home and at
King's Hill. Topical Fluoride Treatment Clinics were set up in the
elementary schools and there was a summer clinic for the children who
did not receive Topical Fluoride Treatment during the school year.
In addition to the regular diagnostic, treatment, restorative, surgical
and dental services, a preventive program of topically applied fluoride
treatments was given as a routine for all school children in the islands,
and in two of the largest schools in St. Thomas there were installed
fluoridation plants to add fluoride to the drinking water. This latter
process is a special project approved by the Department of Health,
Education, and Welfare and sponsored by this community.
In St. Croix a progressive dental program with the assistance of
the Public Health Nurses was initiated. Nurses brought the children
to the various clinics. The Dental Clinic was moved to new quarters in
the Charles Harwood Hospital in Christiansted. Here the number of
adult patients increased as a result of inpatient population.


In St. John the establishment of a modern dental clinic in the
deCastro Clinic has attracted many adults and school children. The
clinic is better equipped to give all dental services that are needed.
In St. Thomas the addition of a part-time dentist, who gives 2 days
a week towards restorative cases has increased the services immeasur-
Sanitation Services
Insect and rodent control.-There is a high incidence of the Aedes
aegypti Mosquito, vector of dengue and yellow fever, on the island of
St. Thomas. This mosquito has been virtually eliminated from the
island of St. Criox by the DDT Residual Spray Program. It is recom-
mended that funds be provided for a similar program in St. Thomas.
The island-wide program of fresh water dam construction con-
tinued to be watched with care. Realizing that the reservoirs of fresh
water provided a source for certain types of infections, the Division of
Sanitation in connection with representatives of the United States
Public Health Service in Puerto Rico adopted a program for control of
such diseases. A study of the possible transmission of schistosomiasis
by snails found in such dams was done by the United States Public
Health Service at the suggestion of the local Health Department. All
snails found at present have been of species not known to transmit
schistosomiasis, and all attempts to innoculate them artificially have
been unsuccessful. It has become apparent, however, that legislation
is needed to control the areas around these dams to prevent mosquito
breeding, and to prohibit the transportation of live aquatic plants
which may contain snails of the species known to transmit schisto-
Water.-The treatment of the potable water supplies continued
under the Division of Sanitation. Weekly chlorination of individual
water supplies of all eating and drinking establishments serving 50 or
more people, government buildings, public and private schools, was
carried on. Bacteriological samples taken from these cisterns showed
that the percentage of cisterns contaminated has steadily decreased.
Garbage and sewage disposal.-The islands were kept free from rub-
bish and garbage during the year because of the cooperation of the
garbage removal unit of the Public Works Department. Litter
baskets purchased by the Division of Sanitation and distributed in
the business sections of town aided the orderly removal of rubbish.
The problem of nightsoil removal which was under the administra-
tion of the Health Department for 37 years has been transferred to
the Public Works Department. While this takes care of the mechan-
ical removal of nightsoil, the sanitary problems posed by this obsolete
and dangerous method of handling human excreta still remain for the


Health Department. It is an extremely weak link in the chain of the
fight against disease, and one which might lead to serious epidemics
of intestinal conditions. Because we are in a climatic belt where such
diseases as typhoid and dysentery are endemic, it cannot be too
strongly recommended that this method of disposal of human excreta
be abandoned. This can be done only by completing the sanitary
sewer system in St. Croix and by enforcement of the Sewerage Act in
both islands.
Mental Health
The Division of Mental Health conducted a program of community
education to promote positive mental health in keeping with one of its
major goals "to create community awareness that Mental Health is not
merely the absence of mental illness, but a state of well-being both
emotionally and physically, demonstrably evident in the ability to face
success and failure and to produce to fullest capacity."
This Division provided child guidance service, psychological service
and counseling service to the children in our communities and worked
closely with the Courts and Police Departments in determining the
mental and emotional status of offenders through consultations and
psychiatric evaluations.
A modest program of rehabilitation for the mentally ill returned
from St. Elizabeth and discharged from our local hospitals was insti-
tuted during this period, and plans are being made to place more
emphasis on this phase of the program.
The Division also contributed to the body of available knowledge
of the Virgin Islands people, thereby creating an understanding of the
behavior of Virgin Islanders within their own community. Every
attempt was made during the year to encourage the introduction of
attitudes, techniques and skills which enrich the social, cultural and
philosophical offerings available to our children and youth.
Mental Health Workshops were held in cooperation with the Na-
tional Mental Health Film Board in both St. Thomas and St. Croix.
The Fourth Mental Health Working Conference was planned around
the topic, "Changing Attitudes to Meet the Demands of our Growing
Society." Participants included health workers, teachers, and social
Although the Division of Mental Health has operated for the past
6 years with a skeleton staff and has made some strides, the limita-
tions placed on the program in meeting patient and community needs
are obvious. The benefits of the program could be substantially
increased and enriched by the acquisition of an adequate mental
health team. Every effort will be made in the new year to recruit
personnel for a complete team.


The purpose of the Nutrition Division is to help promote positive
health in the community by improving the nutritional status of indi-
viduals and families in all three Virgin Islands, and to help prevent
and control diseases in which nutrition is a factor.
This Division provided services to various health programs through
conferences with patients and professional personnel, preparation of
educational material, inservice training programs, and other activities
involving the Departments of Education, Welfare, and Health.
With the apparent increase in the number of diabetics known to
the Health Department, efforts were concentrated in this area. The
following services were provided: patient education for teen-age
diabetics and women in the child-bearing age; preparation of a
booklet "A Guide for Planning Your Meals" for use in educational
programs with diabetics; cooperation and participation in meetings
and conferences on "How Can We Best Help Our Diabetics."
Nutrition services to hospitals included inservice training meetings
with food service workers, evaluation of food service to tuberculous
patients, participation in nursing personnel staff meetings, case con-
ferences with medical and nursing personnel, cooperation in preparing
formula room procedures, and conferences with hospital patients. A
Diet Manual for use in Virgin Islands Hospitals was completed.

Public Health Nursing

The strenuous nature of Public Health Nursing in the Virgin Islands
has taken its toll as far as the morbidity rate of staff personnel is con-
cerned. We face a realistic problem of an aging staff-the average
age being 44.3.
The full complement of supervisory staff operated for a period of
only 4 months during the past year. Illness, study leave and one
resignation have contributed to this state of affairs.
In St. Thomas the addition of the public health nurse aides paid by
Community Chest Funds under the supervision of the Division of
Public Health Nursing has made a significant contribution in the
lives of the aged needing subprofessional home care. This project
was launched in May 1955 and promises to be of tremendous value
in the long run.
The training program of the Future Nurses Club made possible
through the Division of Public Health Nursing in St. Thomas is show-
ing results. There are 35 members, 16 of whom are doing volunteer
work in the hospital and clinics 10 hours per week per person.


Intradepartmental programs for increasing inservice training
included the following:
1. Planned periods of training for nurse-midwives in St. Croix conducted
by the Director of Public Health Nursing Services.
2. Mother and Baby Care Instructor Courses for Hospital, Public Health
Nurses and Nurse-Midwives.
Maternal child health services-Communicable disease control.-A
total of 404 smallpox vaccinations and 931 D. P. T. Immunizations
were completed with an increase of 87 percent and 40.2 percent re-
spectively over last year.
Maternity service.-The number of admissions to medical service
shows a decrease over last year but proportionately the ratio between
admissions and visits to clinic compare favorably with last year.
There has been a marked increase in admissions to nursing service
but there remains a need for increasing visits to the homes in this
area. No significant change is noted over last year.
A program for parent education was initiated in March 1955 through
the local chapter of the American Red Cross and the Virgin Islands
Department of Health. Classes in Mother and Baby Care aie being
conducted currently.
Prematurity.-During the past year, 47 home evaluations were
made in behalf of babies born prematurely. This shows an increase
in the amount of nursing supervision given over last year, but does
not reflect itself in the infant mortality picture to any appreciable
extent. Better reporting resulting in an increase in the number of
cases may account for this.
Child health.-There has been a 25 percent increase in the number
of admissions to nursing service with a simultaneous increase of 4
percent visits made to the home. Admissions to nursing service and
visits to children in the preschool age group reflect an increase of 60
percent and a corresponding 45.9 percent.
School health.-During the past year 1,288 visits were made to
schools by the public health nurses. The number of home visits to
children in school morbidity service has increased over last year.
Crippled Children's Services.-Nursing services to Crippled Children
have not kept pace with medical services rendered. Less than 40
percent of children seen in Crippled Children's Clinics received home
visits. Effort has to be made to change this situation in the near
future. Followup in the home, more complete recording and more
emphasis on post hospitalization referrals are indicated.

Laboratory Service
As of June 1, 1955, the Sanitation Laboratory was made a part of
the Division of Laboratories, but maintained the same functions of


carrying out examinations to determine sanitation of water, milk,
food supplies and examinations of utensils used in public eating places.
The fiscal period 1954-55 has been marked by a large volume of
work and several notable changes in the Division of Laboratories.
The number of examinations made by the Division continued to
increase, attaining a total of 71,799 which is 10,944 or 17.98 percent
greater than reported for the previous fiscal period. The work of the
various sections is distributed as follows:
1. Total examinations made by the Urinalysis Sections was 19,121-an
increase of about 57.8 percent over the previous year. A routine
analysis consisted of albumin, sugar and microscopic examination.
2. On 544 blood samples received for chemical examinations a total of
2,047 tests was performed, representing an increase of 42.7 percent
over 1954.
3. For the diagnosis of syphilis a total of 4,876 flocculation tests by the
Kahn and VDRL techniques was performed, a decrease of 585 com-
pared to the previous year. Thirty-one Spinal Fluids were received
for VDRL examinations. Only five darkfield examinations were
made for the diagnosis of lues from primary or secondary lesions. For
the diagnosis of gonorrhea a total of five cultures of exudates and 178
smears by the Gram's method were performed.
4. Parasitological examinations for this period amounted to 4,198 as com-
pared to 3,605 in 1954. This Division still retains its interest in the
public-health problem of intestinal parasites. Of the 3,770 speci-
mens submitted, 480 showed the presence of one or more intestinal
parasites which constitutes a notifiable disease. These 480 cases do
not include the findings of the intestinal parasite survey done in St.
Croix, March 28-April 1, 1955, by the V. I. Department of Health
and USPH Service, Technology Branch from Puerto Rico. The
types of parasites listed below were those found to be most prevalent
in the Virgin Islands:
St. Thomas St. Croix
Endamoeba histolytica -------------------- 33 21
Ascaris lumbrocoides----------------------- 34 48
Strongyloides stercoralis-------------------- 2 3
Trichuris trichiura------------------------- 104 212
Necator americanus __---------------___-- 13 8
Enterobius vermicularis--------------------- 1 1
Endamoeba coli--------------------------_ 53 23
Giardia lamblia---------------------------- 23 8
Endolimax nana -------------------------- 12 3
lodamoeba butschlii__----- _--_----------- 5 0
Chilomastix mesnilli _--------_------------- 5 0
5. Examinations made by the Bacteriological Section totaled 1,014-an
increase of 53.3 percent over the previous year. It is heart-warming
to see the progress made in this section when we compare the present
volume with the 23 examinations made in 1953.
The cultural method still displays its superiority over the smear
method in detecting tubercle bacilli. For the diagnosis of tubercu-
losis, 368 sputum specimens and 19 gastrics were received.


6. Obtaining of blood donors still presents a problem. It is felt that this
is due to a lack of public understanding as to why blood donations
are necessary. It is the hope of this Division to have by the end
of 1955 a large file of volunteer donors, so that instead of waiting
for relatives or friends to donate blood we can call volunteer donors.
Projects for 1955-56
1. Completion of the program for the control of parasitic infestation.
2. A program for isolation and identification of Enteropathogenic Escher-
ichia coli which has been causing diarrhea in children (1 month to 5
years) in nurseries of the hospitals and other institutions. This pro-
gram will get underway as soon as a reliable diagnostic antisera for
identification of Escherichia coli serotype 111, 55, 26, and 127 are
3. Blood Grouping and Typing of 400-500 people to be volunteer donors.
This will be done with the assistance of the local Red Cross Chapter.

Statistical Services

Though lack of personnel resulted in a curtailment of some routine
services, the Division of Statistical Services increased services to the
Crippled Children's and Maternal and Child Health Programs as
well as consultative services in certain areas, and also directed greater
efforts toward the improvement of morbidity-reporting practices in
the Health Department.
Pending final action by the Division of Personnel on the recom-
mendation of the Commissioner of Health that the Director be as-
signed definite responsibility for the execution of the new Vital
Statistics Law, the Division continued to supervise the application
of this law.
Vital Statistics

A total of 879 live births with a rate of 30.3 per 1,000 estimated
population indicates no significant change from 1953 when there were
871 live births and a rate of 30.6 per 1,000 estimated population.
There was an increase in number of deaths and death rate from 279
deaths and a rate of 9.8 per 1,000 estimated population in 1953 to
301 deaths and a death rate of 10.4 in 1954. The leading cause of
death (36.9 percent) was heart disease. The record of 36 infant
deaths and an infant death rate of 41.3 per 1,000 live births in 1953
was slightly improved in 1954 with 34 infant deaths and an infant
death rate of 38.7. There was an increase in foetal deaths from 32
in 1953 to 36 in 1954. There was little change in the marriage sta-
tistics: 243 in 1954 as compared to 247 in 1953. However, there was
a 50 percent decrease in number of divorces compared to the previous
371575--5-- 5


year. Estimated population for the year 1954 was: St. Croix, 13,065;
St. John, 786; St. Thomas, 15,202, representing a total for the islands
of 29,053.

Summary of vital statistics, Virgin Islands and each island-1954
[Birth and death rates per 1,000 population, infant and neonatal, maternal death rates, and fetal death rates
per 1,000 live births]

Virgin Islands St. Croix St. John St. Thomas

Number Rate Number Rate Number Rate Number Rate

Live births--.....--- ...--- 879 30.3 425 32.5 18 22.9 436 28.7
In home- .---... --.----- 95 110.8 76 117.9 5 127.8 14 '3.2
In hospital ------------- 784 189.2 349 182.1 13 172.2 422 1 96.8
Deaths.------------- ------- 301 10.4 166 12.7 3 3.8 132 8.6
Infant deaths .........------ 34 38.7 16 37.7 0 0 18 41.3
Neonatal deaths.---------.. 21 23.9 9 21.2 0 0 12 27.5
Maternal deaths-------.. 2 2.3 1 2.4 0 0 1 2.3
Fetal deaths ---------------- 36 40.9 17 40.0 0 0 19 43.6
Marriages ----------243 ..... 109 -----.-- -----.- 134
Divorces -------------------- 123 ....... 33 -------- --------- -------... 90 ------

I Percent of total.

Causes of death-fiscal year 1954-55
Cardiac and circulatory ...- _-------_-----__ 34 Pulmonary ___-----_------------------ 8
M F Total M F Total
Aneurysm, abdominal aorta- 1 0 1 Bronchopneumonia .---- --- 2 1 3
Arteriosclerosis, general --.-- 0 2 2 Pneumonia ----- .------- 1 0 1
Cerebral hemorrhage....---- 1 1 2 Pneumonia, hypostatic -...... 1 1 2
Hypertensive cardiovascular Pulmonary infarction........ 1 0 1
disease.------------- ----7 17 24 Genitourinary..---- ----------------------- 5
Infarction of myocardium..... 2 2 4 Hypertrophy of prostate .... 1 0 1
Cancer...--- --------.------------------ 10 Nephritis..---------------. 2 0 2
Bronchogenic--....- ------- 1 0 1 Prostatic abscess------------ I1 0 1
Of cervix--...---.-------- 0 1 0 Uremia -------------------- 1 0 1
Of colon___ --- ----------. 1 0 1 Tuberculosis--- ------------------------- 4
Of liver .....--------- 0 1 1 Pulmonary tuberculosis-.... 3 0 3
Of ovary --------- 0 1 1 Tuberculosis meningitis-... 1 0 1
Of prostate ----------------- 1 0 1 Other--- ------------------------------- 7
Of stomach----... .--------. 1 1 2 Injuries.--------------------- 2 1 3
Of uterus.-- -------- O 1 1 Toxemia of pregnancy---... 0 1 1
Rhabdomyosarcoma ........ 0 1 1 Chronic alcoholism ---------1 0 1
Gastrointestinal _-- ------------ 10 Anemia, acute--------......- O 1 1
Gastroenteritis..---------. 3 0 3 Inanition ._----------------_ 0 1 1
Heptatitis ---------- 1 1 2 Total deaths -..----.--------------------- 77
Intersusception...------ .- 1 0 1 Neonatal deaths .................. 8
Intestinal obstruction-..-... 0 2 2 Mortality rate (based on hospital ad-
Laennec's cirrhosis-------- 1 0 1 missions)----------- .--------- .4. 1 percent
Peritonitis ..---------------. 0 1 1

Ages of patients who died

Male Female Total

Under 2 years ..-- - - - --.- 5 0 5
3 to 12 years ------.------- -------------------------- 4 3 7
13 to 17 years -------------------------- 2 0 2
18 to 20 years---------------------------------------------- 0 1 1
21 to 30 years ----- ------------------ ----------------- 1 1 2
31 to 40 years-------------------------------------- --------- 2 1 3
41 to 50 years------ ----------------------------------- 3 3 6
ZI1to 60years ------------------------------------------- 3 3 6>
61 to 70 years ------------------------------------------------------------- 7 12 19
Over 70 years ---- -------------------------------------- 12 14 26
Total---- ---- ------------------------------------- 39 38 77


The Morris F. de Castro Clinic at Cruz Bay, St. John, is a small,
modern institution of four beds with clinic facilities. It was designed
primarily for outpatient services with provisions for emergency
detention of inpatients. Up to the present time, there has been no
resident physician on the island and medical services have been
rendered on a biweekly basis by the medical staff of the Knud-
Hansen Memorial Hospital in St. Thomas. Early in the new fiscal
year, however, a full-time resident physician is expected to be assigned
to St. John. The nursing staff ordinarily consists of a nurse-midwife,
assisted by one nurse-aide.

Health Education

This Division continued its work of strengthening the educational
programs of the various sections of the Health Department and of
integrating health education into activities of schools and of com-
munity groups. Though short of personnel and equipment, the
Division gave to all Health Department Programs the help they
requested in the planning and execution of the educational phase of
their work. However, there are a number of opportunities for educa-
tion that are not being used to full advantage. Recommendations
(other than additional staff and equipment) from the Director of
Health Education to better use these opportunities include:
(a) Orientation period for all new employees (to the specific job and to
the Health Department as a whole).
(b) Regular planned staff conferences.
(c) Adjustment of the new personnel classifications to more adequately
compensate for services that the job demands.
(d) More emphasis on in-service training.
(e) The formation of a committee of lay persons to work with the Health
Department Staff on matters concerning the public's health.
(f) Informal educational sessions for patients during the "waiting periods"
at hospital and other clinics.
The Division of Health Education serviced the Department's Pro-
grams through their special projects (such as the Institute on Pre-
maturity, Mental Health Working Conferences, Film Workshop,
Mother and Baby Care Courses, Seminars on School Health), through
exhibits and distribution of literature, through films and discussions,
weekly radio broadcasts, bimonthly publication of the Health Bulletin,
radio spot announcements and press releases, and through assistance
in the preparation, selection, and use of audiovisual materials.
The Printing and Graphic section of this Division took care of a
large part of the printing needs of the entire Health Department and
also did work of an emergency nature for other Government agencies.


Cancer Control
The early diagnosis of cancer poses quite a problem in an environ-
ment such as ours. Facilities for its treatment are available in the
area, but lack of personnel hampers all efforts at early diagnosis.
While it might be possible to do a fair job at the latter, under present
conditions deaths from the disease can be expected to increase until
such time as arrangements can be made for a more effective job of
early case-finding. Since frozen sections and cytological studies
cannot be carried out effectively, it is evident that the program must
Although it would seem that our present methods of handling biopsy
specimens will have to be continued indefinitely, improvement can be
made in this phase of the work by contracting for the services of a
pathologist in the nearby Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Such a
service is available, but due to lack of funds, we have not been able
to initiate it. The cost appears to be insignificant if one can visualize
the saving in human lives that may be accomplished.
The services of a full-time pathologist would be the ideal goal.
Barring this, it would seem that the next best solution to our problem
would be the employment of a consultant pathologist. The majority
of specimens would have to be sent overseas as indicated in the pre-
ceding paragraph. Reports, however, could be obtained in a matter
of 3 to 5 days rather than the present 10 days to 2 weeks. Then, too,
all specimens, whether of indigent or nonindigent patients, would
receive the same dispatch in processing.
The beginning of the next fiscal year will herald the addition of a
radiologist to the Medical Staff of the Department of Health.
Therapy will then be carried out in all its phases here in the Virgin
Islands, and the services of a pathologist will become more urgent
than ever. It is our sincere hope that the coming year will be a mile-
stone in our program of cancer control in the Virgin Islands.

Tuberculosis Control
During the past year the Tuberculosis Control Program was directed
by a member of the medical staff of the Health Department who also
worked as a municipal physician in the Knud-Hansen Memorial
All known active tuberculous patients are hospitalized. For this
purpose, 26 beds are provided in the hospital in St. Thomas. Active
cases from St. Croix and St. John are transferred to this hospital
where the average census was 23 during the fiscal period 1954-55. A
total of 10 active cases were found and admitted during this period.


No surgical procedures are performed at the present time although
a chest surgeon is available in St. Thomas. This is due to the lack of
a trained anaesthetist and of tomographic studies..
Case-finding was conducted through the cooperation of the staff of
the medical care and public health sections of the Department. This
was done through routine X-ray of admissions to the hospitals, X-ray
of food handlers for health certificates, and of all senior classes in the
high schools. This program will be continued with emphasis on
radiography of contacts of active cases.
Followup was conducted in the chest clinics in St. Thomas and St.
Croix and through home visits by the Public Health Nurses.
Education of the public was conducted with the assistance of the
Division of Health Education through the radio, films, exhibits, dis-
cussions and other media. The recently formed TB Committee of
the Women's League of St. Thomas should be helpful in improving
the attitude toward the disease.
There has been considerable decrease in the number of deaths (3
during this period). Improved housing, higher standard of living,
continued improvement in sanitation, a better informed public, in-
creased medical knowledge and facilities for treatment of the disease
are factors which have played a part in this decrease.

Heart Disease Control

The experience of the fiscal year 1954-55, especially in the latter
months, has emphasized most dramatically the need for a vigorous
heart disease control program. A virtual epidemic of coronary occlu-
sions (heart attacks) occurred. The individuals affected were struck
down without regard to their economic, political, social or moral
standing. Fortunately, the expanding facilities of the still-embryonic
Heart Disease Control Program were available for the early diagnosis,
adequate treatment and progress determination. Without these facil-
ities, it is, from a professional standpoint, a foregone conclusion that
several of the individuals would never have survived, much less been
returned to productive activity in the community.
The Heart Disease Control Program-more properly called the
cardiovascular disease program-is gradually being developed with a
threefold objective: (1) Prevention; (2) Treatment; and (3) Rehabili-
Within the scope of prevention, intensified education of the public
to an awareness of cardiovascular diseases has been conducted through
the media of radio, press, pamphlets, posters, object displays, group
discussions, lectures and the Virgin Islands Health Bulletin. Early
recognition and detection of those factors which promote cardiovas-


cular disease are being given increasing emphasis. Obesity, tension
states, respiratory infections, for instance, may all, with or without
other factors, play important roles in the development of cardiovas-
cular diseases and are no longer being treated as separate entities but
as primary phases of potential cardiovascular disease.
In the realm of treatment, increasing use has been made of electro-
cardiographic, radiographic, fluoroscopic, laboratory, hospital and
public health nursing facilities. The results have been gratifying
from the standpoint of the recovery of many patients seriously ill
with heart disease who might otherwise have had more prolonged
illnesses or possibly even have become fatalities. Mass radiological
surveys reveal a certain number of abnormalities in cardiac or great
vessel silhouette. These were referred to the Director of the cardio-
vascular program for evaluation and, where necessary, treatment.
In all the clinics, including those conducted by the Division of Mater-
nal and Child Health and Crippled Children, the specialty clinics,
the general hospital clinics and, in fact, wherever suspicion of cardiac
disease was found, the same plan was followed.

Diabetes Control
In June 1954 a plan was drawn up to promote the case finding,
education, evaluation, treatment, followup and rehabilitation of
people suffering with diabetes mellitus. Many difficulties were antic-
ipated but the period of this report has shown the reality situation to
be even worse than the forecast.
No funds were allocated specifically for the control of diabetes,
thus the program depended entirely on other programs of the Health
Department for support. A centralized diabetic register was initiated
and though incomplete at the present time, this register indicates
that diabetes is a sufficiently big problem in the Virgin Islands to
warrant the allocation of special funds for its control. Several of the
new cases registered are among the younger age group-children and
young adults.
Increased use of the home care services rendered by the Division of
Public Health Nursing resulted in better home care, more constant
negatives and consequently fewer hospitalizations and complications
of diabetes.
The program was greatly assisted by the Divisions of Nutrition and
Health Education in the preparation and use of literature and other
teaching aids for the staff and for the public. Conferences held with
both professional and nonprofessional staffs in all three islands
revealed a keen interest in the development of an active Diabetes
Control Program.


Medical Institutions
Municipality of St. Thomas and St. John.-The Knud-Hansen
Memorial Hospital in St. Thomas is a general hospital with a capacity
of 116 beds and 10 bassinets, divided into five services as follows:
Medical-Surgical------------------------------------- 24
Pediatric Service ---------------------------- --18
Obstetrical Service ------------------- -------------- 18
Tuberculosis Service---------------------------------- 30
Neuropsychiatric Service -------------------------- 26
In December 1954, the hospital's obstetrician resigned and for the
remainder of the year his work was performed by the two surgeons
with the assistance of 'other members of the medical staff. It is
expected that a new obstetrician will be appointed on November 1,
1955. On June 1, 1955, an ophthalmologist joined the staff, filling'a
long-standing need for proper handling of eye cases throughout the
islands. A radiologist is also expected to join the staff at the beginning
of the new fiscal year which will enable us at last to use the deep
therapy equipment which has stood idle since the opening of the
hospital. We are also hoping to add the services of a pathologist
during the coming year to aid the diagnosis of cancer and to perform
necessary autopsies.
During the year we have continued to use the services of medical
students from schools in the continental U. S. A., who come to the
Virgin Islands for 2-months externship to supplement their studies.
This has proved a most useful arrangement for us, lacking the services
of internes as we do. It is expected that we will continue to avail
ourselves of this valuable addition to our medical staff which costs
the local government only the cost of the students' transportation
and their board at the hospital. In fact, with the recent expressed
interest of another medical school in this project, we are hoping to
arrange a continuous and uninterrupted extern schedule for the
coming year.
One of the greatest needs in the services rendered is that of a medi-
cal social worker. While this position has been filled, there has been
a complete lack of service in this area, due to the fact that the medical
social worker has been performing duties totally unrelated to this field,
to the complete detriment of the work for which there remains an
almost total void. Until such time as the full time of the medical
social worker is devoted to social work, the medical staff will continue
to operate without the benefit of this important phase of medical care.
The addition of an admitting clerk to the business office staff seems to
be the simplest solution to this situation.



We are also hoping, in the coming year, to set up a proper medical
records library. For this purpose we will need a trained medical
records librarian with sufficient clerical assistance to provide us with
acceptable medical charts on all discharges, deaths and outpatients and
to process and gather data for the Division of Statistical Services to
During fiscal year 1954-55 there were 1,841 admissions to the hospi-
tal and 429 newborn admissions to the nursery.
The average length of stay in the hospital was 4 to 5 days. The
most active service was the Medical-Surgical Section, with 29 percent
of the total admissions. The tuberculosis and neuropsychiatric serv-
ices were relatively static due to the much longer length of stay in the
hospital necessary in such conditions. We had almost twice as many
female as male admissions, and the bulk of these fell in the 20- to 40-age
group. This is due to the very active obstetrical service (25 percent
of all admissions). Thirty-one percent (31 %) of our hospital ad-
missions (not including births) were children, under 17 years of age.
Our average daily census was 92.7 patients. The total patient-days
numbered 33,848.
There were 2,181 discharges from the hospital, 77 deaths and 8
neonatal (newborn) deaths. The mortality rate for the hospital,
based on admissions was 4.1 percent. It will be noted from the table
on causes of death that 34 or 44 percent of our deaths were due to
heart disease. Almost 50 percent of our deaths were in the hospital
for less than 3 days and, in fact, about one-third were in for less than
1 day. In other words, at least half of our deaths were beyond treat-
ment at the time they entered the hospital. Fifty-eight percent of
the patients who died were 60 years of age or over.
The most noticeable increase in work during the year took place in
the outpatient clinics. What is causing the steadily mounting attend-
ance we are unable to say, but that it is imposing a severe burden on
our limited resources is indisputable. There is no doubt, however,
that the large number of aliens on 29-day permits (temporary visas) is
creating a serious problem for us. Apparently, many of these individ-
uals come to our islands for the sole purpose of receiving medical care
for which, unfortunately, they are unable to pay. Since many of the
conditions for which they seek help are of an emergency nature, they
cannot be sent back immediately to their home islands. Conferences
have been, and will continue to be held with various Government
officials, including the local immigration officer, in an attempt to find
a solution to this problem. The obstetrical cases are in many ways the
most troublesome and the most numerous. It must be remembered
that children of aliens born in these islands automatically become
United States citizens and we have found women in our ante partum


clinics who have admitted to having delivered as many as five children
in our hospital.
Statistical report-fiscal year 1954-55

Charles Frederiksted Hansen's King's Hill Total
Harwood Clinic Home Home

Bed capacity.....---.......------ 62 12 92 150 316
Bassinets __------...........---- 11 4 ---- ----15
Average occupancy--- ...------- 46 11 10 113 180
Peak occupancy --..-------------- 68 12 11 120 211
Minimum occupancy ..----------- 21 6 10 103 140
Admitted during year .---------- 1, 628 717 1 37 2,383
Deaths in hospital .......------- 83 20 0 30 133
Births in hospital.....----------.. 239 170 0 0 409
Patient days ------------------... 17,761 4,356 ..----.....- ------ 22,117
Clinic visits--..--..... .--------- 4,790 1,006 ............-- -- 5,796
Major surgical cases .-----------.. 159 4 .------------------------ 163
Minor surgical cases_ .........--- 185 20 --. ---------- -.. ----- 205
Blood transfusions...-------------- 52 40 ----......--......------- 92
X-rays ------------------------. 1,321 240 _.-----... -........ ----- 1, 561
Total employees.--.-----. --------- 78 34 12 31 155
Total salaries------. ---------- $132, 370 $66, 120 $13, 220 $32, 700 $244, 410
Equipment .......... 0.... 6,000 1, 700 -...-- -----------. 7,700
Subsistence-.....----.--------.--- 29,000 12, 000 5,500 29,000 65, 00
Maintenance..------------------- 24, 550 10, 000 4, 400 9,400 48, 350
Total budget..-. --------- -- $191,920 $89,820 $23,220 $71, 110 $376, 070
Cost per patient per day ..----.... 10. 432 21. 875 5.743 1.998 .......
Average ration rate ....--------.-- .71 .912 .54 .49 --
Fees collected ------------------ $15, 061. 72 $4, 871 ------------ $19,932.72

Municipality of St. Croix.-The medical institutions of St. Croix
consist of:
1. The Charles Harwood Memorial Hospital, Christiansted-a general
hospital with a capacity of 62 beds, 11 bassinets
2. The Frederiksted Clinic, Frederiksted-a general hospital with a
capacity of 12 beds, 4 bassinets
3. Hansen's Home, Christiansted-a leprosarium with a capacity of 92 beds
4. King's Hill Home, King's Hill-a home for the aged and chronically ill;
capacity 150 beds
These institutions are under the direct supervision of the Assistant
Commissioner of Health for St. Croix, who is also responsible for the
preventive health programs on the island.
The medical staff was increased during the year with the addition
of a surgeon, thus providing the island with two surgeons. Even with
this addition, however, the island has still only 1 physician to every
2,000 of the population-a far cry from the accepted standard of 1
to 800. An obstetrician is badly needed, as well as at least one more
general practitioner. In St. Croix, as in St. Thomas, the services of
a radiologist on a consultant basis are needed with the addition of a
full-time radiologist in St. Thomas-early in the new year it is expected
that that long-awaited need can be filled. The need for part-time
pathological services are also as critical here as in St. Thomas.
Toward the end of the fiscal year a major reorganization of the
nursing staff was effected. For the first time, responsibility can be
371575--56-- 6


pinned on specific individuals, and it is felt that this should result in an
overall improvement of the services rendered.
The only facilities worthy of the name for the detention of mental
patients in St. Croix are the two rooms of the Charles Harwood Me-
morial Hospital. The original plan of rapidly transferring mental
cases to St. Thomas after diagnosis has failed because of the reluc-
tance of the common air carrier to transport them on regular flights.
This situation results in prolonged detention of mental cases in St.
Croix in facilities not really intended for them.
During the past year there was regular medical attendance, and the
health of the patients was more adequately provided for at the King's
Hill Home. The basic problem at King's Hill Home is that it is
not primarily a hospital but rather a home for the aged and infirm.
It should, therefore, be run as such with one section staffed by the
Health Department for those who are ill. In this way, the demand
on nurses would be less. The reorganization of the management of
King's Hill Home, therefore, deserves immediate consideration.
The general health on St. Croix during 1954-55 was good. There
was no serious epidemic of any kind. Even with the more vigorous
approach, only four cases of pulmonary tuberculosis were discovered.
The institution of the routine taking of 4 by 5 X-rays on all hospital
admissions resulted in the discovery of one of these. One case of
Hansen's Disease (leprosy) on the outside relapsed and had to be
readmitted to the Hansen's Home. No case of meningitis, typhoid,
or any other serious infectious disease was reported. The one excep-
tion was one case of .poliomyelitis, which was obviously imported.
All precautions were taken to control the spread of the disease and
as of now, 4 months later, no additional cases of poliomyelitis have
been discovered.
Plans and recommendations
1. Medical:
(a) Employment of a part-time pathologist on an insular basis.
(b) Employment of an obstetrician for St. Croix.
(c) Employment of 3 well-trained general practicioners-one for St.
Croix and two for St. Thomas.
(d) Continue efforts to relieve the Commissioner and his staff of non-
professional duties.
(e) Require younger physicians on the staff to seek residencies in
A. M. A. approved hospitals in order to meet the local need for
2. Nursing:
(a) Employment of additional graduate nurses, practical nurses, and
(b) Training of additional nurse-midwives.
(c) Employment or training of nurse-anesthetists for both islands.


Plans and recommendations-Continued
3. Miscellaneous:
(a) Increase salaries of technical personnel to help us retain personnel
in this hard-to-replace category.
(b) Employment of hospital administrator for St. Croix.
(c) Employment of medical social worker for St. Croix.
(d) Employment of additional clerical staff for Business Manager's
Office and Division of Laboratories, St. Thomas.
(e) Employment of a Medical Records Librarian for both islands or
training of present incumbents in an accredited hospital.
Equipment and structural needs:
1. Construction of facilities for the chronically ill in St. Thomas to relieve
the pressing need for beds on the Medical-Surgical Service.
2. Construction of children's ward adjoining the Knud-Hansen Memorial
Hospital, thus permitting us to expand the present Medical-Surgical
Service and provide patients with necessary peace and quiet.
3. Construction of a home and school for nurses to serve as an insular training
school to relieve our nursing problem.
4. Installment of switchboards and a call-system for physicians in the Knud-
Hansen Memorial Hospital.
5. Provision of necessary funds and equipment for the Sanitation Division
to carry on a vigorous mosquito control program in St. Thomas.
6. Reconditioning of Hansen's Home and King's Hill Home, St. Croix, for
which funds have been earmarked, is expected to start shortly.


Division of Procurement and Supply

The fiscal year 1955 saw many important changes made in the
Procurement and Supply organization of the government of the Virgin
Islands. Many of these changes were made as a direct result of certain
suggestions made in recent years by audit teams from the General
Accounting Office.
First, the office was moved from its old location in the Department
of Finance of the Administration Building to space formerly occupied
by the Public Works Department. This move resulted in more
space being made available to the Division of Procurement and Supply.
Such additional space was necessary, since bill No. 339 of the former
municipal council made provisions for the Division of Procurement
and Supply to operate a central warehouse where items used by the
government of the Virgin Islands could be bought at a minimum cost
on a reimbursable basis.
With the passage of the new Organic Act which resulted in the
combining of all activities into nine major departments, Procurement
and Supply was moved from the overall supervision of the Com-
missioner of Finance and placed under the Department of Insular


Affairs with the head officer being the Commissioner of Insular
Affairs. The officer in direct supervision was designated Head,
Division of Procurement and Supply, with the responsibility of the
entire Procurement and Supply problems of the government of the
Virgin Islands placed in one main setup with a branch office in St.
Croix. It is worthy to note that bill No. 49 of the new legislature
applies not only to St. Thomas, but to the Virgin Islands as a whole.
During the past fiscal year we have been able to institute many
improvements in the Division of Procurement and Supply. We have
developed our reference library by the addition of many volumes,
subscriptions, and schedules, to a point where we can safely say that
we can locate the source of any supply in a matter of minutes.
At present, work is being done on our Procurement and Supply
Manual which should be ready for distribution during the early part
of 1956. This manual will provide ample information as to Procure-
ment and Supply problems of the government of the Virgin Islands;
besides, it will serve as a reference volume for new and old employees
of this Division.
We are looking forward to a great future for Procurement and
Supply in the organization of the government of the Virgin Islands.
With the addition of several new employees at the start of the fiscal
year 1956, we hope to make rapid strides in property control and
reporting which we have been unable to do in the past. We also hope
to extend our central warehouse facilities to a point where more and
better service could be rendered to the using agencies not only in St.
Thomas, but also in St. Croix. We also hope to extend our inspection
program, and to take a more active and efficient part in the health
and welfare donable program which we were fortunate to be made a
part of during last fiscal year.

Division of Personnel

Given the authority under section 16 (a) of the new Organic Act,
Public Law 517, 83d Congress, chapter 558, 2d session, the Governor
consolidated the functions of approximately 21 agencies into 9 de-
partments. Under the reorganization, the Division of Personnel was
removed from the Government Secretary's Office and placed under
the Department of Insular Affairs.
This particular result of the reorganization has not yet given total
satisfaction in structure nor service. Theoretically and practically,
personnel administration has been found to work more efficiently and
to serve public administration better if placed close to the chief
executive. Personnel administration is a tool of top management.


Its function in controlling the number of positions and in administer-
ing service-wide standards and policies are invaluable assets to the
Governor's program.
Under bill No. 109 the First Legislature of the Virgin Islands,
approved March 31, 1955, establishing the new pay plan for the
Government Service, the Governor through the Division of Personnel,
was authorized to make a classification study of all positions in order
to determine appropriate placement of positions within the various
pay ranges of the new pay plan.
As early as January of 1955 the Director of Personnel had suggested
that, should a classification study be required in view of the planned
reorganization of the government structure, an outside agency,
be contracted with to perform the study. It was also suggested by
other sources that the study might be accomplished by the Classifica-
tion Section, Personnel Department, Department of the Interior.
By the time the study became imminent, however, no funds were
available to contract for the study, and the Department of Interior
was not in a position to make its personnel available. Consequently,
the Division of Personnel was advised during the latter part of April
1955 that it would have to do the study.
A total of 958 positions were classified, and 178 classes of positions
established. Neither of these figures include the unclassified service
which is composed of 43 positions (as of June 30) in addition to the
entire Department of Education, the Comptroller's Office and the
Office of the Legislature.
This year another new pay plan went into effect. This makes a total
of three plans since the merit system went into effect in 1947-49, 1952,
and 1955. This year's plan went into effect by authority of bill No. 109
signed by the Governor on March 31 to become effective on April 1,
This plan followed legislative bill No. 6, First Legislature of the
government of the Virgin Islands, which had the same purpose but
which was vetoed because in it the legislature allocated every position
within a salary range of the plan prior to a classification study or estab-
lishment of related job descriptions.
Bill No. 109 as finally approved was unique in several ways: It
established for the first time in our history a minimum rate of $1,200
per annum for government employees; and it included separate pay
schedules for two fields of employment; namely, teaching and nursing.
In addition, another special schedule was executively established to
provide compensation for physicians.
Generally, the bill contained three major sections pertaining to
pay-a schedule for teachers, a schedule for nurses, and a 12-range


section under which the executive, through the Division of Personnel,
was empowered to classify and allocate all other positions of the
classified service.
As the fiscal year came to a close and the fiscal effect of the plan was
simultaneously felt, the Executive Branch suggested that the revenue
structure might not permit full-force effect of the plan.
Not having been superseded by any recent legislation, bill No. 11,
Fourteenth Legislative Assembly, remained in effect. Signed on
May 23, 1949, this bill provides that any employee who is dissatisfied
with his classification or allocation may appeal to the Personnel Board
within 30 days from such classification or allocation, and that it shall
be the duty of the board to give such appeal a hearing.
During this fiscal year there was considerable distortion in the com-
position of the unclassified service. The first major problem arose
with bill No. 87. The bill amended section 9 (b) (the unclassified
service) of the Merit System law as follows:
Positions for which rates of basic compensation are specifically fixed, or expressly
authorized to be fixed by any Municipal Ordinance or Insular Law, in cases where
special circumstances require such action in the best interest of the Government,
whether or not such positions would ordinarily be included in the classified service.
[Underscoring supplied.]
This left the door open and within a month or so afterwards, the
entire Department of Finance and Telephone Service in St. Thomas
were placed in the unclassified service by ordinances fixing salaries for
employees in these departments.
Shortly after the pay plan went into effect the Division of Personnel
was notified that under the government reorganization as set forth in
Executive Order No. 1, the Department of Education was to be in the
unclassified service. This meant, in effect, that the matter of classify-
ing and paying employees in that department was removed from the
purview of the Division of Personnel and placed as a responsibility
of the Commissioner of Education and the School Board.
It was inferred from the Organic Act that the employees of the
legislature, although previously considered as being in the classified
service, were now in the unclassified service. By similar inference it
was determined that the employees of the Office of the Virgin Islands
Comptroller were also a part of the unclassified service.
During the year, particularly after the reorganization date of Jan-
uary 10, 1955, several attempts were made to revise the Merit System
law and thus bring it in conformity with the general reorganization
pattern. Attempts were also made to insert certain long-standing
needs for improvement, such as revised procedures on the certification
of payrolls. None of them reached the final state of approval by the


Bill No. 54, a revised Merit System law, passed by the legislature
on March 8, 1955, was vetoed by the Governor because it contained
several objectionable features. Among these were: (1) that the un-
classified service should include heads of specified divisions and policy,
supervisory or other positions, the salaries of which are specifically
fixed in the annual appropriation act; (2) appointment of members of
the Government Employees Service Commission had to be confirmed
by the legislature, and (3) a provisional appointee (that is, a person
appointed to a job without having taken an examination) could gain
permanent status after satisfactorily working in the job for a period
of 6 months.
Heretofore, two independent retirement systems were in operation-
one for the municipality of St. Thomas and St. John, and the other for
the municipality of St. Croix. With the dissolution of these two
municipalities and the formation of one government of the Virgin
Islands on January 10, 1955 under the new Organic Act, both systems
became inoperative. Because it was intended that a new insular law
would undoubtedly be passed giving coverage for all employees, the
refund of employee contributions was not contemplated except where
a person was separated from the service.
In the meantime, negotiations were begun between the government
and Public Administration Service of Chicago for conducting an
actuarial study and putting a new system into effect. By the end of
the fiscal year the Division of Personnel was already collecting perti-
nent information required by the study.
In December of 1953 an amendment to the Social Security Act
allowed employees of the Government to qualify for coverage, pro-
vided they were not already covered by local retirement systems.
The first employees to qualify thereunder were the insular employees
who were not under local retirement systems, and the per diem em-
ployees of St. Thomas. Insular employees were those persons whose
salaries were paid by contributions from each of the two independent
municipalities, and therefore not considered as employees of either
In September of 1954 another amendment to the Social Security
Act allowed coverage regardless of existing retirement systems. How-
ever, as mentioned above, the two municipalities were dissolved on
January 10, 1955 by the new Organic Act and the existing retirement
systems simultaneously became inoperative. Had this not happened,
a referendum would have been necessary in order to determine whether
all employees should be covered. But, according to the Social
Security Act, a referendum is not required where no retirement system
is operating. On this basis, the government of the Virgin Islands
entered into agreement with the United States Department of Health,


Education, and Welfare on December 31, 1954 to bring all employees
under the act.
By the end of the fiscal year the only groups remaining outside of
the agreement were the policemen and firemen. This was due to the
uncertainty of whether the Social Security Act definitely precluded
them from coverage, or whether they could be covered now that there
was no retirement system in operation to cover them. A clarification
was requested from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.

Distribution of employees as to major occupational groups (for classified service)

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

Clerical ----------------------------------------------..--- .. 110 54 164
Administrative..--.-----..--------...-- ---------...-------. 17 5 22
Supervisory -------------------------------------- 14 8 22
Professional..-- ------------.......... .....--------------- 78 61 139
Subprofessional .-.-----------....------ ........-. 60 41 101
Public safety--------------...------------------ --------.. 50 39 89
Inspectional --------------------...-------------------. 9 6 15
Equipment operators-----..------.........-----... --------. 60 30 90
Trades andlabor..---------------------------------------- 116 69 185
Housekeeping------------- --------------------------------- 54 41 95
Foodservice ----------- ------------------------------.. 16 20 36
Engineering ..--..--.... ......---------------------- 3 5 8
Total---------------------------------------------- 581 377 966
Unclassified ..----------------------------------------------------------------- 1358
Grand total ..---................................----------_--- ---- ---------- 1324

1 Includes Department of Education and miscellaneous positions but does not include employees of the
legislature nor Virgin Islands Comptroller offices.

Number of employees by department (classified and unclassified insular government)

District of
Departments St. Thomas District of Total
and St. John St. Croix

Police Court, St. Thomas ----------- -- 3 ------------ 3
Police Court, St. Croix--.... -------.. .------------------- 3 3
Governor's Office:
Administrative assistant to the Governor, St. John-...... 5
Administrative assistant to the Governor, St. Croix ------........------- 2
Capitol staff ------------------------------ ----6 13
Government Secretary's Office ...------------- ------------ 7 7
Tourism and Trade------ ------------------------------- 6 2 8
Insular Affairs..------------------------------------ -----. 36 12 48
Agriculture and Labor-----------------------------------... 8 10 18
Finance ------------------------------------------------ 42 18 60
Social Welfare -------------------------------- -----48 14 62
Public Safety ------------------- ------------------- 40 65 95
Public Works -----....------- --------------- 184 99 283
Health -----------.--------------.--------------- 214 187 401
Education.................................------------------. .. .. ------. 315
Total --- ------.......................------ .... ----------------- -------- ...- .. _1,316

Real Property Assessment

Real property.-Assessments of real property in the Virgin Islands
for the calendar year 1954 were made during the period January 1955
to April 955. Total assessed valuation of all real property amounted


to $19,791,004.90. Of this amount, $2,524,614.91. represents assess-
ments on real property belonging to individuals or firms granted tax
exemption. Real property assessments and taxes due thereon were
distributed in the following manner:

Assessed Taxs
valuation axes

St. Thomas.....------------------.----------------------- $9, 361,097. 07 $116,935.97
St. John --------. -------- --------..---------------- 675,923.00 8,456.0a
St. Croix ... .....------------------------... 7,229,369.92 89,636.47
Tax exempt property...................... .------------.. ------- 2, 524, 614. 91 31, 552.69
Total----------------------------------------- -19,791,004.90 246, 581.21

The increase in total valuation in 1 year (1953-54) amounts to
$969,674.08; increase in taxes to $39,866.03.

Tax Board of Review

The Tax Board of Review and Equalization met in St. Thomas and
in St. Croix during the month of June 1955. Six appeals were heard,
none upheld and four reduced.
Administration.-Under the Executive Order reorganizing the
government of the Virgin Islands, the functions of tax assessment in
St. Thomas and St. Croix were placed under the jurisdiction of a
single division in the Department of Insular Affairs, responsible for
the assessment of real property taxes and the recording of deeds,
mortgages, etc. The administration of the Trade Tax law was trans-
ferred to the Department of Finance.
Pursuant to the administration's policy to introduce a fair and more
lucrative system of real property assessment, every effort will be made
during the next fiscal year to urge the legislature to appropriate funds
to employ a group of mainland tax experts to revamp and reassess the
real property situation in the Virgin Islands.


Police Division

Training programs have been prepared to be given to the 14
recruits we contemplate enlisting when funds are made available.
Supervisory level courses were taken at the Cincinnati Police Academy
by the sergeant in charge of traffic and the lieutenant in charge of the
Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
Based on the investigations conducted by the Police Division, we
have a continued decrease in the number of major crimes committed


in the island of St. Thomas, but a considerable increase in the island
of St. Croix. Vehicular traffic enforcement activities took an upsurge
upon the instituting of a regular traffic enforcement program, espe-
cially in the island of St. Thomas. The period between February and
June 1955 shows a total of 581 summonses served for traffic violations
as compared to 34 for the same period of the year 1954. The overall
total of traffic summonses served for the entire fiscal year 1954-55 as
compared to the year 1953-54 is as follows: 760 in 1954-55; 95 in
Other activities within the Police Division, insofar as investigation
and general enforcement are concerned, remained on a comparable
basis to the year 1953-54.
The Traffic Bureau collected the sum of $1,992 for the issuance of
temporary driver's permits during the year, as compared to $1,764
for the previous fiscal year. The sum of $34,067.42 was collected for
the registration of private and public motor vehicles, motorcycles,
motorscooters, bicycles, operator's licenses and badges, busqoperators'
badges, dealers' licenses, transfers.
During the period from July 1, 1954 to June 30, 1955, the Bureau
of Criminal Investigation and Identification handled 186 criminal
cases. Of this amount, 148 cases were solved, leaving a remainder of
38 unsolved and pending.
During the fiscal year 1954-55, the officers of the Bureau finger-
printed over 1,000 persons, searched the files for over 1,000 criminal
records for presentation in court, issued over 100 police records to
aliens for various purposes, and made over 100 noncriminal investiga-
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been of great assistance
to our department in the processing of evidences involving violations
of Federal and local laws. The special agents who frequently visit
our department have provided a dependable source of assistance and
the relationship enjoyed by this department with the Federal Bureau
of Investigation is highly valued and appreciated.
During the fiscal year 1954-55 no inservice training course under
the direction of members of the FBI was held. However, on several
occasions, members of the Department were taken to the shooting
range at the Alexander Hamilton Airport for target practice by
Director of Police Morrell E. Davis.
A comparison of the number of criminal offenses committed on the
island of St. John shows that the incidence of crime was considerably
higher during the fiscal year 1954-55 than during the previous fiscal


Violations 1954-55 1953-54

Disorderly conduct------------------------------------------------------- 28 11
Assault and battery-........----------- ---- -------------------------- 5 ------
Petit larceny ---------- -------------------------------------------------- 4 ----------
Reckless driving ---- -------------------------------------------------- 3 --------
Trespassing-- ----------------------------------------------------------------- 5 2
Aggravated assault and battery -------------------------------------- 3------
Grandlarceny --- --------------------------------------------. 3 ----

. A field survey, conducted by the Commissioner, of the facilities,
equipment and personnel in the Department of Public Safety indicated
that the original recommendations made to the First Virgin Islands
Legislature for appropriations for the Department fell short of what
the actual needs would be in order to initiate an appropriate reorgani-
zation and a vigorous safety program.
The police service was found to be undermanned, untrained, and
improperly supervised. Insufficient effort was being made at enforcing
the law and a strongly entrenched policy of condonement was found to
be existing.
Police service, both in St. Thomas and St. Croix, is deficient because
of lack of vehicular transportation, motorcycles, and other facilities
necessary for the proper operation of a police department. The build-
ings which house the police divisions, both in St. Thomas and in St.
Croix, are inadequate.

Complaints and arrests made

Fiscal year July 1, 1954 to June 30,1955

Violatingmotor vehicle laws-- -------- 23 19 21 10 14 13 71 46 56 70 235126 704
Disorderly conduct_ --------------------- 25 27 12 14 8 10 10 8 14 21 9 15 173
Aggravated assault and battery------------- 7 3 10 2 1 0 3 6 4 0 3 4 43
Assaultandbattery...-----......---------- 2 10 4 3 5 7 2 5 5 3 5 4 55
Carrying concealed weapon ....--------- 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 3 0 1 1 1 11
Having unlicensed gun -. ------------ 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 3 1 9
Slander.--- -------------- 10 2 0 2 1 2 3 0 1 5 3 1 30
Petit larceny .-.. .........---..-- 7 0 2 8 1 0 0 2 4 1 2 2 29
Grand larceny ..---......------------- 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 7
Making threats .-.-------------- 3 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 9
G.ambling--.. -------- 1 0 0 0 0 7 2 0 0 4 6 0 20
Trespassing.. -------.--------------. 1 3 2 4 1 2 2 4 1 1 2 3 26
Violatingclosing timelaws---------------- 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 5 0 10
Violatingnickelodeonlaws....----------- 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 7
Violatingpolice regulations.--------. ------- 0 2 2 3 3 1 2 3 1 0 2 4 23
Exhibiting weapon_----------.------------ 2 2 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 3 1 13
Violatingsanitarycode.-------------- -----1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 1 0 5
Vagrancy--- ..........------------------. 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 3 9
Burglary, firstdegree--- ----------- 0, 0 0 7 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 10
Burglary, second degree -- ----- -- 0 0 0 6 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 9
Illegalentry-.......----------------------- 0 0 0 21 3 0 0 4 7 0 19 4 58
Perjury.------------------. 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 5
Forgery ------------------------------- 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 5
Illegalmedical practice _---- --------- 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1
Resisting arrest-----........------------. 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 2 0 1 7
Prostitution-......--------------- 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 9 3 0 0 0 13
Rape ---------------------------- 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2
Manslaughter--- .........------------- 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2
Violatinglotterylaws.------------------ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1


Report of the Juvenile Aid Bureau, July 1, 1954, to June 30, 1955


Assault ----- --------------------- 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Burglary ------- -------------- 7 0 0 3 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Disorderly conduct ..-------------------- --- 0 1 5 3 0 0 6 2 0 0 1 0
Home conflict. -------- 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
Larceny -------------------------------- ------- 5 1 1 5 1 0 3 1 4 0 5 3
Malicious mischief- .---------------------------- 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
Neglected children ---------- --- --------- -. 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0
Robberylto ---------- -----..... ..... 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
Run always ------------------------------------- 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 0 0 0 0
Sex offense subject------------------------ -- 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Sex offender------------------------------- 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Truancy-- -- ------------------ 0 0 4 0 0 0 2 3 1 2 1 3
Violation of educational laws------------------ 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wayward minor ---------... -------------------- 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Gambling ..----------------------------- 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Violation of police regulations ...-- ------- 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Forgery ---------------------------- 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Trespassing__---------_ ---------------- 0 0 12 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 4 0

Males under 16 ------------------- --------------------------------- 77
Males over 16...-------------- ------------------------------------------- 18
Females under 16 -......------------------------------------------------------. 35
Females over 16--------............----------------.------------------------------- 1
Total_............... ---- ---------------------------- 131

Cases carried to court, fiscal year 1954-55

Christiansted Frederiksted King's Hill Total

Total cases reported---------------------
Arrest cases ------.....- ---------------
Convictions ..........---------------........--------
Pending ...- --..... .. -.......... -......
Exhibiting of deadly weapons -..--....
Grand larceny----------- -----
Lewd and lascivious conduct- ........
Statutory rape-...--- -----------
Aggravated assault andbattery--------.
Burglary, first degree ----------
Escape from prison--------------
False personation-- ------------
Disturbance of the peace-------------.-
Assault and battery----- ---------
Petit larceny---------------------------
Illegal entry ...............----------------
Possession of unlicensed dog --------.
Vagrancy..-----..... --------------
Unnecessary blowing of horn ---------
Possession of property unlawfully ob-
Carrying concealed weapon ....---....
Burglary---------------- --------
Malicious killing of animal. -------
Having unlicensed gun--------
Violation police regulations----------
Murder, second degree.----
Forgery- -------
Burglary, second degree-
Accessory to burglary. ----
Violation motor vehicle ordinance .-----
Having dangerous animal...-------
Child support--------------------------
Disorderly conduct---.....------- --

567 335 114 1,016
166 90 41 297
120 67 67 254
12 29 .....-........ 41
1 16 10 27
2 14 1 17

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



3 -- -






-- -- -


Cases carried to court, fiscal year 1954-55-Continued
Christiansted Frederiksted King's Hill Total

Classification- Continued
Fraud ..---......-----... --..---------------------- 1 1
Mayhem ------------------------------------------ 1 1
Manslaughter..... ...-------------------......-----.....---- 1 1
Slander --------.----------------------- --------------1 1
Thlreat----------------------------------- -1 --1
Throwing of stones ...-------------.... ......--------------------- 1 .. ....... 1
Driving while under the influence of .--..... 1 ... 1
Thr eat --------------------------------- ---------------
Total..... ..------------ ----------- 135 126 40 301

Prison Division

Richmond Penitentiary.-Inmates assist in cooking, cabinet making,
the painting and erection of signs, marking of traffic lines on streets
and roads, cutting of wood for the kitchen, caring for livestock, and
caring for prison grounds.
Fishing.-Once or twice weekly, 12 inmates, accompanied by 2
guards leave the penitentiary around 5 a. m. for the purpose of catch-
ing fish. Most of the fishing is done around the southeast section of
the Island. The average catch per day is 50 to 60 pounds. How-
ever, the inmates have caught as much as 220 pounds in 1 fishing day.
The inmates are returned to the penitentiary around noon. Fish
caught vary in kind and are used for consumption by inmates of the

Fire Division

St. Croix and St. John.-The fire protection organization in St.
Croix was in the process of being established at the end of the fiscal
year, while St. John was entirely without fire protection. Until funds
are available in a sufficient amount to do what is necessary to improve
these conditions, we will have to face the fact that these weaknesses
One of the brightest spots in this picture was the expenditure of
funds to train two officers of the Insular Fire Service. These two
men gained considerable new experience, both theoretical and practi-
cal, from their association with the officers and men of the New York
Fire College. While it cannot be expected that their short period of
study will be sufficient to prepare them fully in every phase of fire
prevention and protection, it will surely go a long way to make them
conscious of the great need for better, equipment and properly trained
men to handle that equipment. This, together with the general
knowledge acquired, will whet the appetites of these men and act as a
stimulant for greater probing; and, together with the urge to improve
the Service generally, it will pay dividends.


Training has not, however, been limited to these officers. During
the fiscal year just ended, drills involving the evolutions which have
proved most useful and necessary were conducted weekly. During
Fire Prevention Week in October of 1954, demonstrations were held
at submarine base and at the waterfront in which all members of the
Service participated.

Civil Defense

In July 1954, the Director of Civil Defense met in conference at
Government House, St. Thomas with various heads of departments
and representatives of the local chapter of the American Red Cross
and coordinated civil defense activities so as to be prepared for any
eventualities during the hurricane season from July 25 to October 25.
In furtherance of this preparation, a hurricane alert drill was held on
September 2 in which the various government departments cooper-
ated with the American Red Cross in performing the services expected
of them in a real emergency.
The heavy rains during last September when the Bourne Field Low
Cost Housing area was flooded gave several volunteers of the Civil
Defense the opportunity to muster for service, but only limited serv-
ices were actually necessary. However, it gave the Director the
opportunity to see that certain equipment was necessary for personnel
in such an emergency. Thereafter, a supply of raincoats was ordered
and a supply of rubber boots was obtained from surplus property
which, together with metal helmets held in stock, are now available
for supplying volunteers who must render service in such emergencies.
Because of the hazards and problems presented by H-bomb fallout,
the Director made representations to the Federal Civil Defense Ad-
ministration for the loan of two monitoring instruments for measuring
radio activity and, in compliance therewith, two Geiger counters were
loaned to the islands until such time as the islands can purchase their
own instruments.
Four complete public address systems, purchased with matching
funds allotted by the Federal Civil Defense Administration, were re-
ceived during the year and represent a very valuable addition to our
equipment to warn the public in case of impending or actual emer-
Home Guard
The Home Guard is an organization carried over to the Department
of Public Safety from the old municipal government setup. The work
of these volunteers is highly commendable. They participate in
activities of a civic nature, conduct appropriate exercises and have,


on certain occasions, served as honor guards for dignitaries and other
high officials visiting the Virgin Islands. Aside from a small appro-
priation for uniforms, the Home Guard represents no other expendi-
ture to the government of the Virgin Islands. At the present time,
proper arrangements are being made with the Puerto Rico Depart-
ment in order that they may receive adequate military training in the
Army Reserve Unit Station in St. Thomas.
This organization participates in civil defense drills and hold regular
practice drills in order that they may always be prepared properly
.and effectively to assist in all cases of emergency.

Police Court

St. Thomas and St. John.-The judge of the police court is chairman
of the electoral boards of St. Thomas and St. John. On November 2,
1954, a general election was held pursuant to the revised Organic
Act of the Virgin Islands, approved July 22, 1954.
There were 3,766 persons registered in the district of St. Thomas
and 263 in the district of St. John. Two thousand six hundred and
ninety-nine votes were cast in the district of St. Thomas, and 199 in
the district of St. John.
At the request of one of the candidates-at-large, a recount was
had in the district of St. John on November 13, 1954, and in the
district of St. Thomas on November 15, 1954, resulting in no change
in the election.
Besides hearings of civil and criminal cases, the judge of the police
court conducts, several times each week, informal hearings in cases
brought before him upon the request of one of the parties. These
hearings serve a great social need, for ever so often the judge is called
upon to intervene and administer to the gamut of human ills, sufferings
and experiences, whether by assistance, words of advice, of consola-
tion and comfort, of admonition, or of warning. During the period
October 1, 1954 to June 30, 1955, three hundred eighty-three (383)
such hearings were held by the magistrate.
Bureau of Deeds and Records.-During the fiscal year, 941 documents
were handed in for recording. Of these, one document was withdrawn.
Adjudications.-Eighteen adjudications covering real property
appraised at $61,880.53 were recorded as title for the heirs.
Miscellaneous instruments.-One hundred thirty-one miscellaneous
instruments, including conditional sales contracts, easements, releases,
attachments, and cancellation of attachments, actions to quiet title,
escheat judgments, leases, etc., were also recorded.
The judge of the police court is the only notary public connected
therewith. As a consequence, unless the services of a notary are
obtained outside the office, no civil or criminal action may be com-


menced without the complainant appearing before the judge of the
court to verify his complaint. This situation is a great inconvenience
to the general public, because when the judge is occupied, whether
in hearing cases or otherwise, complainants have to wait or return to
the office to have their complaints verified.
It is, therefore, recommended that the Code of the Virgin Islands
be amended to give to the clerks of the police courts notarial powers
such as are exercised by the clerk and deputy clerks of the district
Section 23 of the revised Organic Act of the Virgin Islands empowers
the judge of the district court to formulate rules for. the police courts.
In the adoption and promulgation of such rules, it is recommended
that the judge of the police court be empowered thereby to appoint a
violations clerk whose function it shall be to accept appearances,
waiver of trial plea of guilty, and payments of fines in such traffic
violations as the court may deem proper. With such a procedure in
effect, persons wishing to plead guilty in such cases will not have to
sit in court awaiting the call of their cases. Provisions may also be
made for mailing of the fines.
St. Croix.-The revised Organic Act of 1954 has increased the juris-
diction of the police courts in civil matters in which the amount sought
or the value of personal property did not exceed $200 to similar actions
where the amount or value of personal property involved in litigation
to $500; the jurisdiction prior to the enactment of the revised Organic
Act was concurrent with the district court; it is now mandatory that
all such actions be instituted in the police courts for determination
since the jurisdiction conferred is exclusive. Consequently, a number
of cases that would have been disposed of by the district court are now
tried in the police courts. Of course, all judgments are subject to
review and appeal in the district court of the Virgin Islands.
The changes as to the language requirement in the electoral law
resulted in a marked increase in the registration of Spanish speaking
voters. This has added to the work of the registration board, as it
became necessary for the board to solicit volunteers to act as inter-
preters. The recount during the last general elections sharply illus-
trated the need for a requirement in the electoral law that a candidate
for public office, before requesting a recount, should be required to
post a bond to cover the costs of the recount which he should forfeit
if there is no material change in the results.

From July 1, 1954 to January 10, 1955, the Public Works Depart-
ment of the Virgin Islands was divided into two complete units.


These units were the Public Works and Fire Department of St. Thomas
and St. John, and the Public Works and Fire Department of St.
Croix. These two units have been resolved into one Public Works
Department, Government of the Virgin Islands. The Fire Division
was placed under the Department of Public Safety, and the Public
Works Department of the Virgin Islands assumed responsibility for
the operation of the Telephone Systems and Harbor Division, in
addition to the usual Public Works responsibilities.
In addition to the Water Division, Sanitary Engineering Division,
Utilities Division and Construction Division, a Records and Supply
Division has been added. With a new accounting procedure, the
complexities of administration of the Public Works Department on an
insular basis will be facilitated.
The maintenance of roads and highways included the cutting of
brush, replacing concrete culverts, scarafying, grading, rolling, patch-
ing and, in some cases, bituminous surface treatment of 27 rural roads
in St. Thomas.
In St. John, several streets at Cruz Bay were given a bituminous
surface treatment. On the Federal Force Account project, a Center
Line Road from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay was cut. Extensive drilling,
blasting, and bulldozer-work was performed.
Of 111 miles of gravel roads in St. Croix, most of them were graded,
filled or patched during the year. Approximately 60 percent of them
were done twice while the busier sections (30 percent) were gone over
3 or 4 times. Considerable trimming of trees and clearing of under-
brush on the sides was also done. All paved sections were patched as
found necessary from time to time.
A contract was awarded for $59,000 for asphalting of 3 miles of the
Sprat Hall to Hams Bay Road in the northern section of the island.
Five miles of the Northside Road from Christiansted to Clifton Hill
was seal-coated. Two concrete bridges were built on East and Fisher
Road equipment.-Our road equipment is fast approaching obso-
lescence. Two bulldozers on St. Thomas are 16 years old. The need
for more bulldozers, graders, and other road equipment is evident on
St. Thomas. We are in the process of repairing some of the better
pieces on St. Thomas. An asphalt plant is urgently needed. In the
near future, a survey will be made of equipment on the three islands
to permit exchanges between the islands and to replace wornout road
equipment as funds permit.
Sanitary operations.-Gutter flushing in St. Thomas has been limited
to those hours daily when pressure in the salt water mains can be
permitted to fall below that necessary to service the highest buildings.

I /


With a more adequate salt water pumping system, better service can
be given.
A study will be made to better schedule service operations to achieve
a more efficient service, resulting in a cleaner city. A time and motion
study as to movement of vehicles and men may result in more load-
packer type trucks and more machines for sweeping streets and gutters.
The operation of street cleaning and garbage removal services on
St. John are easily taken care of by the two men assigned to same.
On most of this island owners of private estates take care of this opera-
tion individually.
With regard to garbage removal on St. Croix, plans are underway
for the general use of only 20- or 25-gallon garbage cans, and the
establishment of a daily call service at each house. The system is
developing satisfactorily. From commercial establishments such as
restaurants, larger cans are used. A 10 cubic yard "load packer"
garbage truck facilitates this operation.
There are two salt water pumping stations being operated on St.
Thomas, each on a 12-hour schedule. The main purpose of these
stations is to supply salt water for sanitary flushing, gutter flushing
and fire protection. Recent observations have indicated that salt
water for the above services is being used at a higher rate. With the
full operation of the new Housing project and new high school, plus
the heavy influx of tourists and visitors, this can be understood. In
addition, the Virgin Isle Hotel has converted to salt water flushing
This increase will require larger salt water pumps in each of the
pump stations. An engineering study will be made of this situation.
Some of the buildings at the higher levels are without salt water for
flushing at certain times of the day and night because of increased
demands. It appears that an electric driven and diesel driven pump
in each pump station will take care of our needs.
There is no salt water pumping operation in St. John.
Salt water pumping operation in St. Croix was carried on as usual.
A total of 19,800,000 gallons of salt water was used for flushing
sewers, fighting fires, etc.
Some trouble has been experienced with the sewage lift stations in
that the sewage pumps at times do not seem to be able to handle the
loads. Various reasons have been suggested, including an excessive
amount of salt water being pumped per capital, possibility indicating
excessive fixture leakage, wastage due to excessive use of salt water,
infiltration of piping system, and excessive ground or surface water,
during rains, into manholes through square tops or holes in pipes.
This matter is being investigated before recommendations are made.


The nightsoil removal service has been transferred to Public Works.
This operation continues to function satisfactorily despite the physical
repugnance of the work. The sewer system will be extended, as
funds permit, in an effort to eliminate this unsanitary method of
waste disposal.
Water service.-During the last half of the fiscal year, St. Thomas
experienced a serious drought. Only 12.93 inches of rain fell between
November 1954, and June 1955. This 13,000,000 gallons of water
added to that which fell and was stored from July 1954 to November
1954, totaled 33,000,000 gallons. The ideal amount of water needed
at 250,000 gallons a day would be 85,250,000 gallons per year. Using
this as a top figure, St. Thomas would be short 52,250,000 gallons
per year. We are considering conversion of sea water and additional
storage facilities. The United States Navy warded off impending
disaster by hauling in from Puerto Rico over 10,000,000 gallons. On
June 30, 1955, we contracted for 610,000 gallons to be hauled from
Puerto Rico by a private firm.
In this crisis, efforts by the Inspector General, water plant personnel,
and other Public Works personnel have been commendable.
The operation of the potable water pump station has been carried
on in an efficient manner with proper records maintained to insure
proper control.
From the month of February, connections and extensions to the
potable water system were suspended to conserve water.
The chief source of potable water on St. John is from wells. Except
for the need of a new pump at the clinic at Calabash Boom, no im-
mediate problem on potable water is apparent. As the island de-
velops, however, central potable water sources should be provided to
insure a germ-free supply.
Potable water supplies on St. Croix are not as short as they are on
St. Thomas. Systems of wells, pumps and tanks are used for supply-
ing water to cities. Fifteen wells and windmills in the country
districts were regularly overhauled and maintained. A study showed
that there are 350 private wells with pumps, more or less, out of
service. A decision was made to maintain, in addition to the 15
well and windmills mentioned above, 5 water source locations on
the island, and have one maintenance man keep these pumps in repair
to insure an adequate supply. Cattle raisers have been discouraged
from exhausting these sources for their use in watering their cattle,
and were encouraged to drill their own wells.
Electric power.-Every 3 months a lighting schedule is submitted
to the Virgin Islands Corporation, Power Division, for lighting St.
Thomas and St. Croix. The Public Works Department is responsible


for lighting costs. A study is underway to remove cables, wires, and
lights from hanging over center of the main street and to place lights
*on telephone poles already installed.
A 12-hour schedule for lighting in St. John is maintained mainly to
accommodate the hospital. Some repairs have had to be made to
the diesels.
Plans are underway by VICORP to install a submarine power cable
between St. Thomas and St. John. This installation will permit the
shut down of the light plant on St. John. These two units could
then be used for standby service should there be a power failure.
Recently one of the units was overhauled and it is the plan to overhaul
the other unit. When the cable mentioned above is installed, these
units will have to be changed over from single to three phase to be
used as standby units. In any case only limited service will be avail-
able from the diesel generator units if VICORP makes extensive
developments in this regard.
Building repair.-Barracks Building No. 18 at submarine base was
completely renovated to be used as new headquarters for the Public
Works Department. The removal of stores and workshops to new
quarters at the submarine base is underway.
At the Charles Harwood Memorial Hospital the roof was painted,
nameplate installed and fencing erected around grounds.
At Frederiksted Hospital the roof was painted and nameplate
Limited funds did not permit extensive repairs to buildings, but
major repairs and painting were made on the following buildings:
Peter's Rest School, King's Hill Police Station, Princess School,
Customs House, Frederiksted, Government House (offices).
Building permits
Issued this year-----------------------------------------------_ 242
Cost of dwellings, repairs, etc--------------------_--------- $964, 770
Issued this year __-------------------------------------------. 125
Estimated construction cost------------------------- $680, 809
Building permits included a cistern storage capacity of 902,888 gallons.

St. Thomas Telephone System
During the last fiscal year, facilities of the telephone central ex-
change was increased to accommodate 200 additional telephones.
This involved a capital expenditure of $11,000.
One hundred and fifty (150) telephones were installed in May 1955.
This should reflect an increase in revenues of approximately $15,000
per year.


There are now 1,200 telephones installed on St. Thomas-150
assigned to the local government, 30 assigned to Federal agencies,
600 assigned to business, and 420 assigned to residential use.
Approximately 50 overseas calls are made daily. Our overseas
business increased in the last 3 years from $400 per month to $6,000
per month. Our gross combined yearly income from local and over-
seas business is about $100,000 per year.
Approximate capital expansion contemplated for the fiscal year
1955-56 is $40,000. This amount is insufficient to furnish services in
keeping with present demands.
St. John.-The chief means of communication between St. Thomas
and St. John is by radio telephone. Except for service visits by our
electrician and the maintenance engineer at Knud Hansen Hospital,
this operation is controlled by the Administrator for St. John.

St. Croix Telephone System
Due to the abnormally low telephone rates charged on St. Croix
and the correspondingly resulting deficit in operating funds, a rate
increase will be necessitated to balance the budget for this operation.
The present rates for St. Croix are $3.50 for party line service, and
$4 for private service, with no difference in price between residence
and business.
According to the budget report, the income for 1954 was approxi-
mately $19,000 and the operating cost was $36,000 or a loss of $17,000.
On July 1, 1954 there were 450 telephones in service in St. Croix,
and on January 1, 1955 there were approximately 650 telephones in
service, thereby increasing the revenue by about 50 percent or an
estimated $30,000 annual income. This estimated $30,000 income
for the Fiscal Year July 1, 1955 to June 30, 1956 would still be $6,000
under the 1954 operating costs of $36,000.
To make up this increasing deficit, St. Thomas' rates could be
applied to St. Croix with a possible resulting income of $45,400.

Harbor Division

In St. Thomas this operation has recorded a total of 2,947,288
gross tons of shipping with 868,399 gross tons being commissioned by
the United States or Foreign Governments. During this fiscal year
365 ships paid pilotage of $28,284.
An income comparison with other years is as follows:
1954-55 365 ships paid pilotage of---------------------- $28, 284. 00
1953-54 415 ships paid pilotage of ---------------_--- 27, 795. 00
1952-53 333 ships paid pilotage of --------------------- 24, 289. 00
1951-52 348 ships paid pilotage of --------------------31, 774. 00
1950-51 328 ships paid pilotage of----------------------- 25, 824. 25


A comparison of tonnages is as follows:

Year Number Gross tonnage
1954-55 ----------------------------------- 529 2, 947,288
1953-54 ----------------- 82 2,662,043
1952-53 ------------------------------------------- ------ 517 2,569,067
1951-52 ....---------------------------------------------------- 417 2,226, 929
1950-51 -------------------------------------------- 346 1,496,828
1949-50 --------------------------------------------------------335 1,794,697

In addition to the above, small boat traffic of under 100 gross tons
between neighboring islands continued as usual.
Since the ships visiting this port are of larger tonnage, an early
dredging of St. Thomas harbor will be increasingly necessary.
Consideration should be given to closing the wide opening left at
the land end of the jetty by the engineers at the Coast Guard
pier. Waves washing through the hole into the basin make the
berths alongside the bulkhead very uncomfortable and at times very
In St. Croix, the tonnage of ships was divided as follows:
Long tons
Christiansted--- --._-------.----------------- 20, 939. 25
Frederiksted -----._ ------ __---------------_ 17, 422. 00
Total funds collected by the United States Customs Department
:amounted to $18,923.25.
More ships would call at Christiansted and Frederiksted if these
harbors were dredged and if suitable docking facilities could be pro-


With the passage by the Legislative Assembly of the Virgin Islands
of the Social Welfare Act of 1943, the legislative base was laid a dozen
years ago for operation of governmental social welfare activities in
these islands on an insularwide basis. The extension to the Virgin
Islands of the Child Welfare title (in 1947) and the Public Assistance
provisions (in 1950) of the Federal Social Security Act, with the
requirements this act imposes that the programs be operated on a
statewide basis, further accelerated the consolidation of welfare
activities in the Virgin Islands. Although two municipal departments
of social welfare continued to exist until Public Law 517 came into
effect, these two municipal departments have been closely supervised
and directed by the Insular Department of Social Welfare in the area
of child welfare since 1947 and in the area of public assistance since
.1950. Consequently, this department did not have to move as far as


many others to bring our organization into accord with the new
Organic Act.
The two municipal departments (of St. Croix and of St. Thomas-
St. John) have been abolished, and their functions have been assumed
by one fully integrated Insular Department of Social Welfare.
With the abolishment of the municipal departments, there were no
separate municipal programs to be operated and no municipal budgets
to be administered, therefore, in accordance with the general policy
of the Administration, the positions of municipal superintendent,
St. Croix, and deputy municipal superintendent, St. Thomas-St. John,
were eliminated. Direction of all activities is now furnished through
the insular department. The offices of the municipal departments
have now become district offices of the insular department, and for
St. Thomas-St. John (with headquarters at Charlotte Amalie and a
branch office at Carolina, St. John) and one for St. Croix (with head-
quarters at Christiansted and a branch office at Frederiksted). The
branch offices are continued in order to provide full service to all
clients throughout all portions of the district.
One integrated budget has been put into effect covering operations
of the department throughout the Islands. This has resulted in elim-
ination of many complications which arose from the necessity in the
past, in the case of activities serving both municipalities, to finance
them from two municipal sources plus in some cases contributions
from Federal grants.
Provisions have been made for establishment within the department
of a new division of Institutions and special programs. For this
division, a supervisor has been appointed for St. Thomas-St. John and
the operation of the two institutions for the aged (Queen Louise Home
and Corneiro Home), of the small shelter at Hospital Ground, and of
the special programs (cancer program, house-keeping service for
feeble aged persons, special needs for needy families) have been dele-
gated to it. In St. Croix, this division has not yet been organized,
awaiting a decision regarding the management of the Kings Hill
Home. In the meantime, the small shelters there (Aldershvile) and
the cancer program are now being handled by the public assistance
division as a temporary measure. Appointment of an Insular
Director for this Division has been postponed until the decisions have
been reached regarding the St. Croix situation.
Apart from the extensive and specialized services and programs con-
ducted through the child welfare and public assistance divisions the
department, in its effort to fulfill its total mission in the Islands,
operated three institutions for the aged and conducted or helped to
conduct a variety of supporting services and programs.


Total expenditures of the department this year, $455,123, exceed
last year's total by $89,347, or by 24.4 percent. Of this increase,
$70,908 is accounted for by the increase in assistance to needy per-
sons, and $6,630 went into an increase in board payments for children
in foster homes. It will be seen that new monies available to our
department as a result of the new Organic Act went almost wholly
into improving the assistance rendered people, with a much smaller
amount going into salary improvements and other needed adminis-
trative costs.
The total of Federal funds used increased by $34,743, from $136,302
last year to $171,045 this year. Public Assistance used $36,936 more
Federal money than the previous year, but Federal Child Welfare
expenditures dropped by $2,192 (because of reduced Federal alloca-
tions). Total Federal expenditures represent 37.6 percent of the
grand total of all expenditures this year, as co pared with 37.3 per-
cent last year, 38.8 percent the previous year and 38.5 percent the
year before that. With the great increase in operations in our de-
partment, it is gratifying that the Federal financial share therein has
remained so nearly constant.
Virgin Islands funds expended for operation of the department in-
creased by $54,603, to match the increase in Federal contributions
and to maintain the balance between Federal and Virgin Islands
sharing in the operations of our department as reported in the previous
By programs, the increase in Public Assistance (including emergency
and work aid) was $79,958; in Child Welfare, $5,104 (despite the
reduction in. Federal funds available therefore ; in Homes for the
Aged, $3,568; and in miscellaneous programs, $717.
The cancer program continued in full operation throughout the year
in both municipalities, with the department responsible as in the past
for the management and financing thereof and the Virgin Islands
Health Department responsible for referral of cases needing care.
Lacking deep X-ray facilities in the Virgin Islands, our cancer program
is made possible only by the generosity of the Puerto Rican League
Against Cancer which furnishes our needy patients expensive X-ray,
radium and surgical treatment at their clinic in Santurce, P. R.,
without charge. A total of 9 patients from the Virgin Islands (7 from
St. Thomas, 2 from St. Croix) received treatment at the Puerto Rico
Cancer League clinic during the year under report, as compared with
10 last year and 11 the preceding year.
In recent years, the expenditures have increased materially. Ex-
penditures for the first 8 years (1944-45 to 1951-52) totaled $8,429.87,
or an average of $1,053.73 per year. In the 3 years since 1951-52,


expenditures totaled $5,711.46 or an average of $1,903.82. The
average number of patients increased from 7 per year to 10 per year.

The Queen Louise Home for the Aged, St. Thomas

Residents are housed in dormitories each with 4 to 5 beds. This is
very unsatisfactory for elderly people who crave the privacy of an
individual room and who are greatly disturbed by sick or noisy room-
The most urgent need is that a definite plan be made to house this
institution, along with other institutional activities of the department,
in more adequate premises. At the beginning of the year there were
17 residents, 2 were admitted and 4 died during the year. There were
15 residents when the year closed.
Total cost of operation of the home this year was $19,238, as com-
pared with $16,560 last year. The increase of $2,678 is almost entirely
accounted for by the increase of $2,549 in salaries, caused by the new
pay plan. Maintenance expenditures were reduced from $7,109 last
year to $6,167 this year, a saving of nearly $1,000. This was counter-
balanced by expenditures of $1,021 for improvement of buildings.
The average per inmate day for all costs this year, $3.04, is only slightly
higher than in the past 2 years, $2.83 and $2.99, respectively.


It is recommended that a medical institution for care of the chroni-
cally ill be established in the Virgin Islands, either by construction of
new facilities or remodeling of the Kings Hill Home. Also, that ade-
quate custodial care institutions be established in both St. Croix and
St. Thomas, under the management of the Department of Social
Welfare. If a new medical facility rather than the Kings Hill Home
is provided for the chronically ill, the latter could be developed into a
desirable custodial care institution.
Boarding home care of the aged should be explored as a desirable
means of providing more individualized care for aged persons and of
earning the Federal matching available therefore but not for persons
cared for in an institutional setting.
Deep X-ray treatment facilities should be provided within the
Virgin Islands so that our cancer patients, and others needing deep
X-ray treatment may not be obliged to travel to Puerto Rico therefore.


All expenditures (by objects of expenditure), fiscal year 1954-55, Department of Sociat
Welfare, Virgin Islands of U. S. A.

All Virgin

Public assistance:
Assistance ------- ------------------- $254,701.01
Administration __-----.------------ 76,219.24
Total cost Public Assistance program -------------- 330, 920. 25
Homes for the aged:
Queen Louise Home -- ---------------- ------------ 19, 238. 79
Corneiro Home -------- -------------------------- 2,176.64
Aldershvile Home ..--....----------------------- --. 988.49
General department administrative costs.......-------- 2, 555. 18
Total cost homes for aged ..-..----------------------. 24,959.10
Child Welfare Division:
Casework and foster homes. --------------------------- 52,184.86
Mandahl School..---_-------_ -------------------- 34,685.03
General department administrative costs ....--....------ 9, 696.29
Total costs Child Welfare Division..---....----- ------ 96, 566.18
Other programs: Community Chest expenditures...---------- 2, 677.70
Grand total expenditures ......---- --------------- 455,123.23

St. Thomas-
St. John

$97, 155. 35
39, 972. 67
137, 128. 02

19,238. 79
2, 319. 96

27,146. 17
34, 685.03
69,183. 50
2, 677.70
232, 724.61

St. Croix

$157, 545. 66
36, 246. 57
193, 792. 23

988. 49

25,038. 69
2, 343. 99
27, 382. 68

222, 398. 62

Public Assistance

The outstanding development of the year was the increase in
assistance rates to 106 percent of minimum needs, bringing real and
substantial improvement in the help we give our needy. Last year
grants represented 60 percent, and the previous year 48 percent, of
minimum needs for food and clothing, and approximately 100 percent
and 80 percent respectively, of rental costs. With the improved
standards, monthly grants this year averaged $14.43, compared with
$10.87 last year and $8.50 the year before. Over the 2 years, the
increase is nearly 70 percent. In the past year, the increase is nearly
33 percent."
The assistance caseload increased, as was anticipated, when the
new assistance standards came into effect and borderline cases hitherto
excluded became eligible. Unemployment and other circumstances
caused further increases. The total increase was 14 percent, from
1,464 last year to 1,673 this year. But this is still below the peak of
1,734 in June 1952. The soundness of the current caseload is re-
flected in the fact that the percentage of the caseload now in local
categories is only one-third what it was in 1952. The increase has all
been in cases eligible under Federal laws. The program in St. Croix
covers nearly twice as large a caseload as that in St. Thomas, because
of greater economic distress there.
Recipient rates in the Virgin Islands, this year as in the past 3
years, are lower than the national averages and than the averages in
neighboring Puerto Rico. This continues true despite the recent


increase in our caseload. For persons 65 years and over, our rates are
only 73 percent of the national rate and 68 percent of the Puerto Rico
rate. In the case of children; our rate is just below the national rate
but is only 43 percent of the Puerto Rico rate.
The first of planned annual administrative reviews of activities
and cases in the district divisions was conducted this year by the
Insular Division of Public Assistance, complementing Federal ad-
ministrative reviews which are conducted every 2 or 3 years.
Public assistance, in one form or another, has been a function of
government in the Virgin Islands for over a century. Denmark,
which controlled the destinies of the Virgin Islands for 250 years
before their transfer to the United States in 1917, was poor in resources
but benevolent in its administration of the Islands, and aid to the
poor was an accepted responsibility of government during the Danish
administration. Thus, the public assistance principle of cash as-
sistance to persons in need has long and deep roots in these islands.
There was a sound base upon which to erect a public assistance
program under the Federal Social Security Act of the United States,
and there has been widespread community acceptance of the program
and its purposes.
During this year a major advance was scored when a portion of the
new revenues available to the Islands were channeled into public
assistance to provide grants at 100 percent of so-called minimum
needs for food and clothing (leaving other items in client budgets
without change). This was a most valuable and welcome improve-
ment. Admittedly, however, existing standards for determining
minimum needs for all items are at rock bottom and even 100 percent
thereof fails to provide an adequate level of living. Further, it is
regretted that the arbitrary ceiling of $160,000 which exists on the
Federal annual participation in the Virgin Islands public assistance
program has not yet been lifted, as urged upon Congress. This
ceiling, if not removed prior to June 1956, will result in a substantial
loss to the Islands Government (which they can ill afford) in the fiscal
year 1955-56, the first full year during which the new assistance
standards will be in effect. It is earnestly to be hoped that Congress
will act favorably on this matter before that date.
Administrative developments have kept pace with the changes in
the public assistance program briefly outlined in the foregoing. In
the Danish days, poor relief was determined by citizens doing volun-
teer service on poor commissions in each island. Departments of
Social Welfare came into being in each municipality soon after the
transfer of the Islands to the United States and gradually undertook
more activity and assumed more responsibility in the field. In
1954-55, the final step in consolidation of the program throughout


the Islands was achieved through the new Organic Act which abol-
ished the separate municipalities and set up one treasury and one
legislature for all the islands. Now ill local contributions to the
Public Assistance Fund come from one source, thereby making im-
measurably easier the maintenance of uniform assistance standards
throughout the Islands.
The following uniform policies have been established by the Insu-
lar Department of Social Welfare, and are effective throughout the
Virgin Islands of the United States:
1. Eligibility for assistance shall be determined for all persons applying
for aid in accordance with the same policies and procedures and on
the same standards.
2. Any person who feels that he is eligible for assistance has the right
to place an application and have his case studied and a decision made
on the basis of all the facts.
3. All applications must be studied and a decision made promptly. The
facts upon which the decision is based must be discussed with the
applicant, and he must be explained the basis of the decision.
4. The amount of assistance shall be determined in each case on budget-
ary standards and on policies regarding income and resources that
are uniform for all the Virgin Islands and that are uniformly applied.
5. Each person has a right to a written notice of the decision made by the
agency on his application.
6. Any person whose request for assistance is denied or is not acted upon
promptly by a District Office, or who is dissatisfied with the amount
of assistance awarded him, has the right to appeal to the Insular
Department and has the right for a fair hearing of his appeal thereby.
The hearing of this appeal must be conducted by persons who have
not taken part in the original decision.
7. No restrictions must be set up to dictate or control the way the person
uses the assistance he receives.
8. All information secured by the agency concerning the individual or
family in order to determine eligibility and the amount of assistance
shall be used only for the administration of public assistance.

The Federal public assistance law requires that aid must be given
to all persons in need within each State on uniform standards estab-
lished for the State. No waiting lists are permitted.

Comparison of caseloads, 1952-55 (exclusive of emergency assistance)

Virgin Islands
Number of persons in June June
1952 June June 1955
1953 1954

Old-age assistance ----------------- ...--... 674 690 679 689
Aid to dependent children--..----....--------------- ..- ------- 715 624 571 757
Aid to the blind--...------. ----..------- -....... .. ........ .. 45 42 37 34
Aid to the disabled---- .... ..----- ....-----.........- ....- ... 20 55 79 104
Total Federal categories---- ----------------- 1, 454 1, 411 1, 366 1, 584
General assistance-...--------------- --------.. ---... 280 172 98 89
Grand total ... _------__ ----._ ..._-.... ....-- ..--.. 1,734 1,583 1,464 1,673


It will be noted that the main caseload increase (as compared with
1954), came in Aid to Dependent Children. In this category, the
drop in public works employment resulted in reduced income for
many parents, and the impact of our improved budgetary standards
was naturally greater in cases covering families with many children
than in cases of single adults.
In order to note the extent of the program in each island, the fol-
lowing summary of their respective caseloads in June 1955 is included

Caseloads by islands, June 1955

Category AldVirsgin St. Thomas St. John St. Croix

Old-age assistance .----.. .. ___-----------__ 689 243 26 420
Aid to dependent children--. -------_-_-- __- 757 256 5 496
Aid to the blind ------------------ ----- ._ 34 12 0 22
Aid to the disabled ............. ----------_ 104 26 2 76
Total Federal categories --------.. -._.._ 1,584 537 33 1,014
General assistance--- -...-- 89 30 8 51
1,673 567 41 1,065
Percentage by islands of total caseload ........ 100 33.9 2.4 63.7

It will be observed that the program in St. Croix, with a slightly
smaller population than St. Thomas, covers nearly twice as large a
Applications received during the year, 497, are much higher than
last year's 341. In 1953-54, the total was 412, and in 1951-52 it
was 572. The increase this year includes the new cases resulting
from the broadening of the caseload caused by the improvement in
assistance standards.
It is interesting to note that the total applications received in the
two districts this year are nearly alike-253 in St. Thomas-St. John
and 244 in St. Croix, whereas in the past applications in St. Croix
numbered about 1% times those in St. Thomas and St. John.
Applications approved for assistance totaled 369 while those denied,
withdrawn, or otherwise terminated totaled 113. Only 67 applica-
tions were pending at the end of the year. Practically all applications
were approved or otherwise disposed of within the 30-day standard
set by Federal procedure.


Monthly assistance budget

Child 13 to Child 6 to Infant to
Item Adult 18 years 13 years 6 years

Food __-------------------- ------------------- $12.00 $12.00 $7.50 $5.00
Clothing _...-- --- -- -3.-- 3.50 3.50 2.50 1.50
Rent .... --------------- 6.00 1.50 1.50 1.50
Fuel_ . ..-- ..------------------ ---- 1.00 .25 .25 .25
Total .................. --- ----- --. 22.50 17.25 11.75 8.25
Comparative totals:
1954 ------------------------------------- 18.00 11.25 8.75 6.25
195394 ........----------------- ....... 14.40 9.00 7.00 5.00

Already this year the above several considerations had to be
earnestly taken into account in dealing with the application of the
new standards to families with children. To meet the several prob-
lems, monthly maximums were placed upon ADC grants based on $18
for the first child in the family, $12 for the second child, and $10 for
each additional child, plus $12 for the first adult and $6 for the second
adult included in the case. In addition a family maximum of $100
was established.
In addition to the allowances indicated in the foregoing, we provide
medicines (and medical appliances) for clients not hospitalized (they
receive free hospitalization in the municipal hospitals of the Islands.)
These medicines are supplied by this department, as needed, through
vender payments to suppliers.
The necessary legislation to authorize establishment of a Pooled
Medical Fund to meet on a prepayment arrangement costs incurred
for medical care, was passed during the first session (January to
March 1955) of the new legislature (as an amendment to the Social
Welfare Act of 1943. This will prove particularly valuable in elimi-
nating the heavy excesses over Federal matching maximums which
occur when the high costs of illness must be paid, as incurred, as
direct assistance. Under this plan, only the small monthly contri-
bution to the Pooled Medical Fund is charged as assistance for each
case, hardly ever causing any excess over Federal maximums, and all
payments made from the Fund for medical care for cases in Federal
categories, no matter how much these payments total in a given
month for a given case, are thus shared by Federal funds.
This year's improvement in assistance standards is reflected in the
average grants. The overall monthly average per person in June
1955 was $14.43, in June 1954 it was $10.87, and in June 1953 it was
$8.50. Over the 2 years, the increase is nearly 70 percent. In the
past year, the increase is nearly 33 percent.
Total assistance expenditures in all the Virgin Islands for 1954-55
were $254,701. This is $70,907 or 38.6 percent above last year's


figures, and is 2Y times the figure in 1949-50, the year before the
Federal program came into effect in the islands. This increase is the
direct result of the improvement in standards which raised food,
allowances by 41 percent and clothing allowances by 40 percent.
Assistance to continuing cases in all the islands totaled $246,612 or
$70,383 more than last year. In St. Thomas and St. John, the total
was $92,715 as compared with $65,823 last year. In St. Croix, the
total was $153,897, as compared with $110,405 last year.
Federal matching supplied this year $112,280 (last year $78,667) of
the total of $246,612 spent for aid to continuing cases. Only $4,093.71
of expenditures in Federal categories were not matchable (representing
$2,046.85 in Federal matching not earned).
The local share of assistance expenditures naturally also increased
in order to achieve the gains outlined above. For continuing cases,
the local share this year, $134,332, compares with $97,560 last year,
and $103,859 and $100,524 in the two previous years. The increase
in the Federal share $33,613 nearly equals the increase in the local
share, $36,772. General assistance expenditures reduced from $17,-
225.81 last year to $16,968.38, despite the fact that assistance stand-
ards for general assistance cases were improved exactly like those for
other categories.
Administration of the program increased in cost this year not
because of any increase in the number of personnel employed, but be-
cause of a long overdue improvement in salaries which accompanied
the application of the new Organic Act to the Virgin Islands. Total
administrative costs this year, $76,219, are $9,050 more than last year.
The increase was all in salaries, other costs having reduced slightly
during the year.
With the fine improvement in assistance rates and the rise in admin-
istrative salaries, the overall cost of the assistance program in the
Virgin Islands for 1954-55 totaled $330,920, as compared with
$250,962 last year and $247,250 the previous year.
Altogether, the Federal share of the 1954-55 program was $144,589,
or $36,936 more than last year's $107,653. The Virgin Islands share
was $186,331, or $43,023 more than last year's $143,308. The
Virgin Islands share of an improvement in standards is naturally
more than the Federal share since the former must include all the
cost of improvements in local categories besides its share thereof in
Federal categories.
An administrative review of the public assistance program was
conducted by the Insular Division of Public Assistance during the
fiscal year. This review consisted of a study of all administrative
practices in the District Offices and a detailed case by case review of


about 20 percent of the caseload (individual cases selected on the
basis of every fifth case in each category). This administrative
review was completed for St. Thomas and St. John. The St. Croix
review will be completed by August 1955.
Inservice training of staff has continued throughout the year with
emphasis on preparing staff to do a better job in the administration
of the public assistance program.
All new workers have been given a complete orientation period and
have had close supervision until they learned the job. Regular
supervisory conferences and regular staff meetings have been held in
each district office.
The active and continuous staff participation in the development
of policies and procedures has given staff good training in the reasons
and basis for the new policies and procedures and has thus rendered
them better able to operate under them and to interpret them to
There is a serious problem in securing and holding trained social
work staff to carry out adequately the responsibilities and achieve
the goals of the department. The improvement in social work salaries
in the new pay plan will aid in this respect, helping to make our
positions more attractive than before as compared with mainland
salaries and with remuneration in other services in the Islands.
The most important recommendation is that the United States
Congress enact legislation in the next session to remove or increase
the ceiling of $160,000 annually which now applies to Federal partici-
pation in the Virgin Islands public assistance program. With the
new standards of assistance in effect a full year (instead of only half
a year as was true last year), Federal matching earned by the Virgin
Islands will crash the ceiling. It will be difficult, if not impossible,
for the Virgin Islands to absorb the loss of this Federal matching,
with the probable unhappy result that the gains made this year will
have to be rolled back. The Federal act should also be amended to
provide equitable matching for the Virgin Islands in the ADC pro-
gram, where now no allowance is made for the caretaker of ADC


Number of cases aided and average assistance payments, Department of Social Wel-
fare, Virgin Islands of U. S. A., month of June 1955

Number of cases and persons aided Average payments per case and

All St. St. St. All St. St. St.
Vs Thomas John Cro Virgin Thomas John Croix
Islands Islands

Federal categories:
Old-age assistance-cases.... 689 243 26 420 18. 56 18.83 16.70 18. 52
Aid to dependent children:
Cases --------- 201 67 3 131 35.26 34.82 12.50 36.01
Adults ----------- 136 45 0 91 0 0 0 0
Children ----...... 621 211 5 405 0 0 0 0
Total persons -.... 757 256 5 496 9. 36 9. 11 7. 50 9. 51
Aid to the blind-cases..---- 34 12 0 22 18.36 18.17 0 18.47
Aid to the disabled-cases--- 104 26 2 76 19.27 19.02 16.50 19.43
Local categories:
General assistance:
Cases ---- 87 30 8 49 18.79 17.82 16.16 19.81
Persons ..---------- 89 30 8 51 18.37 17.82 16.16 19.03
Total of continuing-
cases ------------ 1,115 378 39 698 21.65 21.57 16.25 21.99
Cases in all categories-persons-- 1,673 567 41 1,065 14.43 14.38 15.46 14.41
Emergency assistance:
Cases --- 4 4 0 0 4.70 4.70 0 0
Persons ---------- 4 4 0 0 4.70 4.70 0 0
Trust-fund payments-cases- 10 9 1 0 8. 25 8.17 9.00 0

NOTE.-Cases in OAA, AB and AD and the trust funds each represent 1 person. The figures reported
for the Federal categories include vendor payments for medical care and cases that received only such pay-
ments to conform with reporting instructions of the Bureau of Public Assistance, while the figures reported
for the local categories exclude vendor payments for medical care and cases that received only such payments

Child Welfare

Casework service was provided to 412 children living in their own
homes or with relatives (151 in St. Croix and 261 in St. Thomas).
This service was rendered to the children, their parents and relatives.
It helped greatly to improve parental understanding of children's
problems and helped the children to a better adjustment in all areas.
The foster care program continued to be one of the most active and
encouraging phases of the division's activities. The caseload expanded
to 71 children under care as compared with 53 in June 1954 and 48
in the previous year, an increase of 34 percent. A total of 111 chil-
dren were cared for during the year.
A most valuable improvement was the increase in the board rate
achieved when a uniform rate of $30 per month was established
throughout the Virgin Islands, as compared with $25 in St. Thomas
and $15 in St. Croix in the previous year.
As a combined result of the increase in caseload and the improve-
ment in board .rates, Government expenditures for board payments
increased to $17,004.33 (St. Croix $7,818.45; St. Thomas $9,185.88),
as compared with $10,374.24 (St. Croix $4,432.43; St. Thomas
$5,941.78) the previous year.


One of the most encouraging developments has been the increase in
families willing to take children in foster care. This, together with
improved finances enabled the division to place most of the 25 children
on last year's waiting list. On June 30, 1955 only nine children were
awaiting placement because of inadequate funds.
The basic emphasis of all child welfare services is to work with the
child in his own home. Where this is not possible, because of some
specific problem and it is necessary for the child to live away from his
own home he must be helped to return to that home in the shortest
possible time consistent with his individual needs and the conditions
in his home, and he must be given every help to adjust and get along
The division provided services directly to 412 different children. At
the end of the year 187 children were receiving services, 74 of whom,
were living in their own homes or in the homes of relatives.
Improvement in finances enabled the division to increase the num-
ber of children in foster home placement from 53 on July 1, 1954 to 71
at the end of the year. This was made possible by an increase in the
number of families; both in St. Croix and St. Thomas, offering their
homes to this program.
Early in the year both municipal councils appropriated additional
funds to increase the foster home board rate to $30 per month through-
out the Virgin Islands, as compared with $25 in St. Thomas and $15
in St. Croix during the last year.
During the year the Foster Parents Club, which was organized last
year in St. Thomas for the purpose of discussing problems related to
the care of foster children and methods to use in helping them, met
The petitions for the adoption of children in the Virgin Islands are
handled in the district court. Every year many petitions are filed
directly with the court by relatives, step-parents, god-parents and
nonrelated persons with whom parents have left children. At the
request of the court, the division accepted responsibility for providing
adoption studies in these cases. During the year 10 studies were
completed. In each instance the court accepted the division's recom-
mendation. Adoption was granted in nine cases and refused in one
Detention care was furnished to 44 different children for a total
of 661Y days in the limited and rather crude facilities located in the
forts at St. Thomas and in Christiansted and Frederiksted, St. Croix.
The use of these centers decreased during the year as every effort was
made by the division and the police department to limit the use of the
centers because of their inadequacy. These facilities are little better


than jail cells and need to be moved to a more desirable location where
a program other than "custody" can be put into operation. Improve-
ment in this program is one of our most urgent needs.
The Insular Training School for Boys operated with a decreased
enrollment. While it served 37 different boys, the total in residence
at the end of the year was 25, as compared with 34 on July 1, 1954.
This decrease was due to two principal factors. First, available funds
made possible a larger number of foster home placements, thus reduc-
ing the number of children needing institutional placement. Second,
when the institution was an activity of the municipality of St. Thomas-
St. John, placement of boys from St. Croix was limited to 10. This
limitation was removed late in the year but placement of additional
St. Croix boys was postponed pending relocation of the school in St.
Aftercare supervision was provided by the Child Welfare Division
to 33 boys released from the school.
Regular staff meetings and individual conferences were instituted
as a part of the administrative and inservice-training process. Im-
proved staff morale, professional growth, and awareness of the problems
and needs for the boys are evident.
Plans to reorganize the program structure of the school were inter-
rupted by the proposal. to relocate the school on St. Croix. In the
meantime this phase of organization is being given careful study and
will be put into operation during the next fiscal year.
The group plan, in operation since December 1951, has continued
to be a valuable tool in helping boys resolve their problems, improve
attitudes, and make satisfactory adjustments. Boy morale, behavior,
and attitude showed marked improvement during the year.
The health department continued to provide medical services,
medicines, and weekly visits to the school by Public Health nurses.
The mental hygiene clinic provided some psychological and psychiatric
services. Health conditions remained good throughout the year.
The boys actively participated in several projects for improvement
of the school's physical plant, including painting roofs and exteriors
of buildings, repairing and replacing storm shutters, repairing and
replacing kitchen and dining room screens. At year end, projects were
being planned for boy participation in the rehabilitation of buildings
at the school's new location in St. Croix. Total expenditures for the
school amounted to $34,685.03 as compared to $41,669.75 in 1954.
The following chart shows age distribution of the boys residing at
the school on June 30, 1955. In June 1954 the average age was 14.1.
This year it is 14.6.


Chart No. 5

Ages of boys in residence June 30, 1955
Age group -
St. Croix St. Thomas Total
12 years -__- ..-- ...- _-----.__ --__ ___.... __...... 1 2 3
13 years --- -----. ....----------------------- 1 5 6
14 years --- -------- ---------- -- --____ ... 1 6 7
15 years .. -. .------------.. ..-.. ......-- 2 4 6
16 years .--------------. ---. ------....-.. .. -... 1 0 1
17 years --- -----.--- --.......-------. 0 2 2
Total -. -----------------.... 6 19 25

Early in the year the removal of the Mandahl School for Boys from
Estate Mandahl, St. Thomas, to a more desirable site was proposed.
After a careful study of prospective sites, Estate Anna's Hope, on
St. Croix was selected. The St. Croix Municipal Council concurred
with the proposal and granted authority to the Governor to transfer
the school to this new location.
A home for girls presenting problem behavior is still a serious unmet
need in the Islands. An application for funds to finance the estab-
lishment of such a home made to the Phillip Murray Foundation last
year received some favorable consideration but unfortunately a grant
was not made. The Women's League, other civic organizations, and
individuals are interested in and sponsors of .this project.
The Insular Training School for Boys, at Estate Anna's Hope,
St. Croix, plans to use only part of the 225 acres comprising this
property and will not require all of the buildings situated thereon.
A section of this property could be utilized for girls. A coeducational
school providing a proper program and adequate supervision would
be following the present-day trend.
The division and the police department in St. Thomas and St.
Croix continued to share responsibility for the operation of detention
centers. The division continued to provide probation services to the
juvenile courts. A need still exists, however, to secure legislation to
establish a juvenile court outside the framework of the criminal courts.
The Federal Inter-Departmental Committee for Children and Youth
has appointed a subcommittee to study the needs of children living
in the Territories of the United States. This committee is presently
developing a report on the needs of the children of the Virgin Islands.
Although improved finances permitted an expansion of the foster
family home program during the year, an urgent and growing need
still exists to provide care for a larger number of children. There is
a large and increasing number of children whose homes and families
are inadequate and for whom foster care is badly needed. In specific
cases, where it meets the child's needs, foster family care is both more
helpful and less expensive than institutional care. Therefore it is


both economical and efficient to develop this program to the fullest
extent possible.
A small institution or other group care facility for girls is greatly
needed. Certain types of problems cannot be handled in foster
family homes.
Serious consideration will be given to the possibility of using a
section of Estate Anna's Hope, St. Croix, to establish a facility for
girls with a proper program and adequate supervision.
We shall urge revision of the juvenile court laws to provide adequate,
modern, and uniform laws affecting juveniles throughout the Virgin
Islands and to provide for centralized administration thereof.
Detention facilities are greatly needed in both Islands where a pro-
gram somewhat better than the mere "physical custody" furnished
by the present facilities can be provided.

From July 1, 1954, to January 10, 1955, the tourist development
program for the Virgin Islands was conducted by the Tourist Develop-
ment Boards, a five-member board for St. Croix, and a seven-member
board for St. Thomas and St. John. The chairman of the St. Thomas-
St. John Board was the overall chairman for the Virgin Islands.
An executive director and three assistants were employed for St.
Thomas-St. John, and an executive director with one assistant for
St. Croix, where an airport information clerk was added in December
On January 10, 1955, under the new Organic Act, the tourist de-
velopment program became completely unified, or insular, in its
approach. The boards were abolished. A Department of Tourism
and Trade was established and a commissioner appointed. In addi-
tion to the Division of Tourism, the Department of Tourism and
Trade was given the duty to establish a Division of Commerce and
Industry and a Division of Public Relations when funds became
available for their operation. The staffs have remained the same with
the addition of the commissioner.
An advertising campaign for St. Croix in the Fall of 1954 in 10
stateside newspapers resulted in 653 inquiries.
Under the insular program, the Wendell P. Colton Co. of New
York has conducted a spring and summer advertising campaign in
18 newspapers and 6 trade magazines, produced a Virgin Islands
summer stuffer for travel agent distribution, and a three-island folder
for fall distribution. In connection with this advertising program, the
Colton Co. conducted a New York "Virgin Islands Information Office"
from March through June, which received more than 3,000 inquiries,


distributed 18,000 Virgin Islands folders, and has furnished informa-
tion to personal callers or by telephone.
During the past year, 120,000 folders, brochures, and stuffers
have been printed, 50,000 post cards, 8,000 travel agents' newsletters,
2,500 copies of the revised edition of the Travel Agent's Handbook, and
7,500 mimeographed hotel and guest house tariff sheets. The new
three-island 16-page folder is now on the press; 40,000 copies will be
The Virgin Islands were represented at the 24th Annual Travel
Congress of the American Society of Travel Agents, held in San
Francisco in November 1954. A Virgin Islands hospitality room,
appropriately decorated with posters and display material was visited
by more than 450 travel agents and persons of allied interests. Virgin
Islands films were shown, literature and souvenirs distributed, and
rum cocktails donated by our "Cruzan" and "Old St. Croix" rum
distillers were served.
Many travel agents, travel writers, film producers, and other
tourist officials have visited our offices during the past year. Litera-
ture, information and sightseeing trips have been given, interviews
arranged, and special boating and fishing trips included when desired.
Thanks are to be especially given to the hotels and guest houses for
their hospitality. The cooperation of all has made this important
part of our program a great success.

Hotel and guest house facilities

Hotels and Guest
Island guest
houses capacity

St. Croix .----------... ------------------------------ 9 293
St. John I .. -------------------------------------------- 3 30
St. Thomas--------------............... ------------------------------ 24 1,028
Total --------------------------- 36 1,351
1 The above does not include Caneel Bay Plantation which was closed during the year for extensive reno-
vations. It is expected to reopen on Jan. 1, 1956 with accommodations for 100 guests.

During the past year a new hotel and guest house on St. Croix,
two new guest houses on St. Thomas, and additional accommodations
added to existing hotels increased our guest capacity by 93.
Deplaned passengers in the Virgin Islands have continued to show
a steady increase. Caribbean Atlantic Airlines, the main carrier to
the Virgin Islands, added extra flights during the peak of the tourist
season. Pan American World Airways increased their flights to three
Northbound and Southbound flights landing on St. Croix. Previously,
there was 1 round trip weekly landing on St. Thomas and 2 on St.
Croix. British West Indies Airways inaugurated two weekly flights
to St. Thomas. In spite of these additions, there were many times


when these facilities were inadequate to carry the increased traffic.
There have been many complaints from hotels, guest houses, travel
agents, and tourists concerning this lack of service. It is hoped that
we may have direct service soon from New York and Miami. Infor-
mation booths installed at both air terminals have been a great service
to our tourists. The booth in St. Thomas is under the supervision of
the Virgin Islands Corporation and the one in St. Croix is under the
Department of Tourism and Trade. The runway at St. Croix has
been extended 1,000 feet permitting the landing of four-motored
planes. A study is underway at the present time for enlarging the
St. Thomas airstrip.
Trafic figures
Caribair __-_------------------- ---------- 25, 000
Cruise Ships -------------------------- ------- 11,000
Pan American ------- -------------------------- .. 4, 000
Military --------------------- ---------------- 26, 000

Total ---------------------------------- 66, 000
Caribair--------------- --------------------- 30, 871
Cruise Ships ---------------------------------- 13, 323
Pan American ------------------ ------------------ 4, 600
Military ------------- --------------------- 30, 000

Total ---------.--------------- ------- 78,794
Caribair-------------------------------------- 32, 427
Cruise Ships---------------.------------------- 16, 000
Pan American ------------------------------------ 5,200
Military ------ ----------------------------- 18, 000

Total ..--------_. ---------------------- 71, 627


During the year the provisions of the new Organic Act were put in
effect by Executive Order. However, no changes of any particular
significance to the island of St. John occurred during the year.
The medical needs of the Island continue to be handled as heretofore
by doctors from St. Thomas making regular weekly visits to the
Island, and the two nurse-midwives stationed on the island. A
resident physician for the Island will be obtained during the next
Because of the sudden increase in population due to imported labor
for work on the construction program now in progress at Caneel
Bay, our sanitation problems have increased.
The Island's law enforcement agency is taken care of by a 4-man
police force, comprised of 3 patrolmen and 1 sergeant in charge of


the unit. Each officer is stationed at a separate district on the Island,
the sergeant being stationed at Cruz Bay. Because of the law-
abiding manner of the inhabitants, this size force was considered
adequate. However, with the importation of hundreds of laborers
from Puerto Rico and the neighboring British islands to work on the
construction project at Caneel Bay, the police and court records show
there has been a sudden increase in crimes from mere petty violations
to the more serious crimes of grand larceny, aggravated assault, etc.
Because of this, the one-man police force of the district cannot be-
considered adequate any longer.
During the 1954-55 severe drought, the large reservoir which was
recently built at Cruz Bay to take care of the town's need during
such periods went dry. It is believed this was due to the sudden
increase in population, since it had taken care of the needs during the
previous year's drought. This situation should be improved by the
building of another storage tank to take care of the overflow, during
rainy periods, from the present tank.
The people of the Coral Bay area have no public water supply on
which to rely. A catchment and reservoir should be constructed
to take care of the needs of the residents of Coral Bay.
Boat transportation between the islands of St. John (Cruz Bay)
and St. Thomas (Red Hook) still remains a problem. The two old
boats now being used have been severely criticized by the United
States Coast Guard, and should be replaced. Due to their age the
cost of operation and upkeep is most uneconomical.
Communication on and between the islands is still maintained by
means of radio telephone.
Appropriations for a continued program of road development
during the next fiscal year have been approved. The Public Works
Department is expected to reorganize its functions and program for
the island, which should result in greater efficiency. Consideration
is being given to the hard surfacing of the main road from Cruz Bay
to Coral Bay.
Appropriations for repairs to the Administrator's residence, comple-
tion of the police sergeant's residence and public library, renovation
of the ruins of Enighed, building of a nurse's home, public works
storehouse and equipment storage shed, and other projects were
requested and approved. It is expected that work on these projects
will begin during the next year.
Power is still furnished on a limited schedule by the small munic-
ipal-owned plant at Cruz Bay. Improvements were made to the
distribution system resulting in improved service to the consumers.
No further improvements or expansion are being considered, since
the Virgin Islands Corporation is under commitment to furnish power


to the island via submarine cable from their plant in St. Thomas
within the next fiscal year.
With the completion of the Caneel Bay Resort, the potentialities
of the island's tourist business should be greatly enhanced.
The new elementary school now being constructed at Cruz Bay
should be completed in time to accommodate classes at the beginning
of the next school year.
Portable fire units should be placed on the island and a voluntary
:fire-fighting unit be organized under the jurisdiction of the fire division.

Three of the major problems of the Virgin Islands are the fresh
water supply, the lack of adequate housing, and the dearth of hard-
surfaced roads.
As previously stated, every effort will be made during the coming
year to alleviate the shortage of fresh water during the dry season.
Many areas of the world are plagued with the problem of fresh water,
and it is not expected that the Virgin Islands will find a permanent
solution to this problem at this time. We shall make every effort to
increase our fresh-water supply as soon as the engineering survey is
made some time during the next fiscal year.
In view of the fact that the legislature has appropriated $210,000
for slum clearance and low-cost housing, we are going ahead during
the next fiscal year with the assistance of the Federal Housing Ad-
ministration with a long range housing program. During the past
year several congressional groups visiting the Virgin Islands became
aware of our great need for adequate housing and slum clearance.
With the return of matching funds and the appropriation of $350,000
for roads and highways, considerable road and highway improvements
will be made during this coming year. Road construction is a very
expensive operation, and it will be several years before the roads of
the Virgin Islands will approximate the average road system in the
United States.
It will be necessary during next year to make every effort to im-
prove qualifications of teachers in the elementary and high schools
in order that our high schools might be accredited.
Some progress has been made in accounting and property manage-
ment and it is anticipated that much greater strides will be made in
these fields during the coming year.
It is anticipated that, with the return of internal revenue matching
funds and the recognition of our deficiencies, an era of economic pros-
perity and public pride will come to the Virgin Islands of the United