Page images

United States Public Health Service and the United States Army, which gave material aid in connection with the continuation of the mosquito control program.

During the past year, conditions in connection with the operation of houses of prostitution in Honolulu became intolerable and the Governor ordered law enforcement officials to bring about the elimination of all such establishments. The order was effectively carried out, resulting in the closing of all known houses and an immediate decline in the reported number of locally acquired venereal disease cases.

Although substantially increased appropriations, both local and federal, were available for tuberculosis control, resulting in a marked extension of case finding activities, our hospitalization and isolation and rehabilitation facilities continued to be inadequate and this disease continued to constitute one of the Territory's major health problems, the statistics showing no decrease in the high death rate. The continued high incidence of rat-borne endemic typhus, which decreased only slightly from the previous year, was also a subject of concern.

It was hoped that the expansion of Leahi Tuberculosis Hospital, and the extension of rodent control measures, with funds appropriated at the 1945 legislative session, and the completion of Honolulu's two refuse incinerators, long delayed by labor and material shortages, would help to alleviate these conditions in the not too far distant future. Other 1945 legislation, significant in relation to community health, included requirements for premarital physical examinations for syphilis and for compulsory immunization against smallpox, diphtheria and typhoid fever, the transfer of food inspection jurisdiction from the counties to the board of health, and the creation of a licensing board for nurses and of a commission which was given ample authority and funds to undertake a comprehensive study of hospitalization facilities and costs and to report on the feasibility of establishing a governmental system of health and burial insurance.

PUBLIC WELFARE There seems little doubt that the uncomfortable living conditions, with poor facilities for sanitation, under which a large number of the Territory's people had been forced to live due to wartime overcrowding and lack of housing facilities, augmented the spread of tuberculosis and other communicable diseases and contributed to the causes of mental breakdowns. The completion during the year of additional locally financed housing units and marked progress on the Federal Public Housing program during the latter part of the year promised some early relief of this situation. Action by the Territorial legislature extending the scope of the Hawaii Housing Authority

program offered the hope of long range betterment of permanent housing conditions.

Although the number of persons receiving direct relief, as that term was formerly used, through the Territory's department of public welfare showed a steady decline during the years following the outbreak of war, broadening of the department's public assistance programs, increases in allowances to meet increased living costs and the necessity for meeting special problems arising out of war conditions (e.g., care of dependents of alien internees) brought total expenditures by the department to a substantially higher level than existed in 1941. Expenditures by the department during the past fiscal year totaled $2,095,235.35, including $376,924.33 in Federal funds, compared with total expenditures of $1,401,316.92 during the 1940–41 fiscal year. Objects of expenditure were as follows: General assistance, work relief and war assistance, $207,544.81; old age assistance, $279,881.32; aid to dependent children, child welfare services and juvenile receiving home, $556,179.41; aid to the blind, $18,921.50; medical and dental care and hospitalization, including tuberculosis patients, $532,111.68; burial, $7,538.20; administration, $393,058.43.

The public welfare fund closed the year with a balance of $2,391,045.21 compared with $1,942,623.55 on hand at the previous year's end.

Old-age and survivors insurance payments, administered in the Territory by the Federal Security Agency, increased during the year despite the fact that many persons eligible for retirement continued to work. As of June 30, 1945, $54,215.48 per month was being paid to 3,399 beneficiaries in Hawaii and lump sum death payments totalling $122,759.05 were made to 1,375 persons during the year.

Hawaii's fishing industry was virtually eliminated by the war. During the year 1940, the city's health department inspected more than 5% million pounds of fresh fish while the quantity inspected in 1944 had dwindled to several hundred thousand pounds. However, during the latter part of the fiscal year, the efforts of the Territorial board of agriculture and forestry to reestablish the industry were beginning to show results and it appeared that substantially increased quantities of fresh fish would soon be available to Hawaii's people, to whom that food, which was a highly important element in their prewar diet, had been almost completely unavailable for 3 years.

The absence of sea foods and a continuing shortage of poultry niade the shortage of meat, which became acute during the past year, particularly burdensome in Hawaii, resulting in the necessity for stringent controls, effected under the Governor's emergency powers, over slaughtering and the distribution and use of fresh meat. At the fiscal year's end, the War Food Administration, which had assisted in the procurement of staple foods for the islands for 34 years, had promised

674156–46 2

its help in this situation. This help was particularly needed and appreciated in a community which, out of its limited allocations of food for civilians, transported on limited civilian shipping space, fed more than 70 percent of its restaurant meals to armed forces personnel. Available liquor continued to be rationed to consumers, with more than 148,000 valid purchase permits outstanding at the end of the


The past year has seen the release of some park and school facilities by the military. However, many recreational areas and school buildings were still being devoted to military use and thousands of school children were continuing to accommodate themselves to the many difficulties imposed by inconvenient hours of instruction, inadequate teaching staffs and recreational facilities and temporary makeshift quarters. On June 30, 1945, two of the largest high school plants in Honolulu, one public and one private, were still in use as military hospitals. Another large private school and its grounds was still in the hands of the United States engineers. Since the start of the war, more than 800 public school units (classrooms, cafeterias, gymnasiums, auditoriums, etc.) were turned over to the military authorities or the OCD. The entire school plant or a large part of it was given up in 26 different public schools, 8 of which were converted into hospitals. At the outbreak of war, the staff of the department of public instruction totalled 3,411. Almost one-half of this staff left the service during the war, a substantial number going into key positions in the various war agencies. Although there was some loss of enrollment, particularly in the high schools which many left to meet the community's insistent demand for labor, all of these factors inevitably resulted in overcrowding and disruption of schedules. However, the children's morale remained at a high level, which undoubtedly made its impression in their homes and contributed in no small measure to the maintenance of a high level of community morale under conditions which might well have bred widespread hysteria and unrest. In addition to their contribution of labor to the production of sugar and pineapples, mentioned elsewhere, Hawaii's school children raised over 3 million pounds of vegetables in school gardens and approximately three times that quantity in home gardens sponsored by the schools. The more than 10,000 children enrolled in homemaking classes during each year of the war made countless stretcher covers, surgical dressings, hospital jackets and gowns, and other vitally needed articles. The Territory's school children were given second

place among all states and territories in per capita purchase of war bonds and stamps during the past year.

During the year 1944-45, the University of Hawaii had succeeded in rebuilding its instructional staff from the 1943 low of 77 to a total of 95, compared with the prewar staff of 123. Student enrollment for credit during the year was 3,500, compared with the prewar figure of 2,765 (exclusive of summer session students). Of these, 1,575 were members of the armed forces and 200 were war workers. In addition, some 70 uniformed persons were auditors in credit courses and 1,100 were enrolled in noncredit courses offered by the Adult Education Service. The university also served military personnel by correcting 71,460 lesson papers submitted to the United States Armed Forces Institute.

Both the university and the school department were given additional funds at the 1945 legislative session. At the fiscal year's end, the former was taking steps leading to the acquisition of extensive additional lands as the first step in its ultimate broadscale expansion program and the latter had started an implementation of the Governor's announced programs for a better pupil-teacher ration throughout the school system and for improvement and expansion of adult and vocational education. The legislature also made upward adjustments in teachers' salary schedules.


The surrender by Hawaii's children of a large part of their recreational areas for military or other emergency use constituted a far from insubstantial contribution to the war effort. Of Honolulu's 110 prewar parks and playgrounds, 45, containing 476 acres, were occupied by the military authorities for barracks, defense installations, storage areas, etc.; 2, containing 9 acres, were used entirely as victory gardens, and at the year's end additional areas totalling 133 acres had been assigned to the Federal Housing Authority for emergency dwellings.

In addition, 235 bomb shelters had been erected in the remaining park areas.

At the end of the fiscal year, 6 areas, containing 30 acres, had been rehabilitated and returned by the Army and the work of demolishing most of the bomb shelters was in progress.

In spite of these handicaps, and of acute manpower and equipment shortages, government-sponsored recreation programs for children continued throughout the war and the authorities in charge were also able to devote a substantial amount of their time and facillties to the provision of entertainment for men and women of the armed forces.


During the past year, the Office of Food Production, which had theretofore operated as a part of the OCD, was placed under the supervision of the Territory's department of agriculture and forestry. Local production of fresh produce, as well as of beef, pork, and milk, showed gratifying increases during the past year and indications existed that even larger areas would be devoted to the cultivation of truck crops in the future.

The Department's division of forestry was active during the year in surveying the Territory's water-shed areas in relation to present and future agricultural and domestic water requirements. It pointed out that the forest cover of the islands had suffered more damage from fire during the war than at any time in history, due to the extensive use of these areas for combat training operations.

The entomology and animal industry divisions continued to concentrate their efforts on inspection and fumigation designed to prevent the importation into the islands of plant or animal pests or diseases which are prevalent in areas from which large numbers of aircraft and surface vessels are continuously reaching Hawaii. During the past year, 6 types of immigrant insects had been discovered, all of which had probably gained entrance on aircraft and one of which was considered of sufficient economic danger to require extensive efforts to search out and provide natural enemies.

As is elsewhere pointed out, the fish and game division made good progress in obtaining the relaxation of naval controls and in other steps which it is hoped will lead to the reestablishment of the Hawaiian fishing industry.

Departmentally sponsored legislation enacted at the 1945 session of the legislature included acts enlarging the authority of the department to make tests for bovine tuberculosis, and in connection with reports by commercial fishermen and fish dealers, and an act providing for the regulation of economic poisons and comprehensive laws relating to the grading, labelling and marketing of agricultural commodities and of seeds.


Increasingly acute adult manpower shortages and nonavailability of heavy machinery for the extension of mechanization continued to handicap the production of sugar and pineapples. Since the start of the war, sugarcane land in cultivation declined almost 30,000 acres, or about 12 percent. About one-fourth of these lands was taken for Army and Navy purposes and the remainder was abandoned because of wartime production difficulties. However, the diligence

« PreviousContinue »