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Statement by the President Upon Signing the Virgin Islands Corporation Act.

June 30, 1949

I HAVE today signed H.R. 2989, an act to incorporate the Virgin Islands Corporation.

The principal objective of the new corporation will be to bring about the utmost possible development of the economic resources of the Virgin Islands and thus enable the people of the islands to attain a standard of living more nearly commensurate with that prevailing in the continental United States. In order to achieve this objective, the Corporation is authorized to undertake an improved land utilization program, promote the tourist trade, and to engage in various other undertakings. In particular, it is directed to encourage private capital to enter into industrial, agricultural, commercial, and related enterprises in the Virgin Islands. To this end, the Corporation is authorized to make loans to any person for the establishment and development of such enterprises, whenever loans are not available from private sources. All loans by the Corporation must be so secured as reasonably to insure repayment, and the total amount of loans outstanding at any one time cannot exceed $5 million.

I am gratified by the action of the Congress in providing a Federal charter for the Virgin Islands Corporation. The action carries out the recommendation which I made to the 80th Congress and again to the present Congress, that the Congress enact comprehensive, long-range legislation for the economic development of the Virgin Islands.

I am confident that the Virgin Islands Corporation under its new charter will make a significant contribution toward making the islands economically self-sustaining, and raising the standard of living of its inhabitants.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 2989 is Public Law 149 (63 Stat. 350).

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Virgin Islands Corporation Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/229660

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