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Bermuda, 1937, May
Bermuda Department of Health
Margaret Sanger Papers, Library of Congress Microfilm LCM 11:1173
For a handwritten draft, see Margaret Sanger
Microfilm, Smith College Collections S71:927; for another copy of
this document, see S71:932.
Bermuda, public health programs
Bermuda, birth control in
Bermuda, socioeconomic conditions
Bermuda, birth control clinics and leagues
working classes, children
working classes, living conditions of
fertility control, of physically disabled and diseased
The annual report for 1936 also disclosed the plans and
preparations in progress for an active campaign against syphilis
The Bermuda Hotel
Men’s Assoc. has asked the Health Dept. to
provide facilities for the periodic examination of all men and
women employed in hotels to insure as far as possible, that such
employees be free from communicable diseases.
Added to this group should be those who seek work in private
homes, food shops and laundries. It was requested to see that
employees have a health card to present to their prospective
employers to show they are in sound health and free from such
BERMUDA HEALTH REPORT
In the enlargement of clinics there will be a department for
advice in contraception to do its best to lessen the problem of
too many people untrained for useful work.
Here again is a forward looking influence and “While
the legislature was disinclined to put these diseases upon
the list of notifiable diseases it is likely to enact
restraining powers upon those people who habitually spread
This of course is unfortunate. The only way to stop the spread of
communicable or transmissible diseases is to treat them as such
and consider them as small pox, typhoid, measles and other
diseases should be treated--by isolation and treatment.
Bermuda is an ideal place to live in with no
“depressions” in sight or in the rear--at least in over 300
years and not since 1860. Before that time they had two (?) but
the question of taxation is interesting. There is no income
tax--no inheritance or death tax--no estate or gift or personal
property tax--no school, no nuisance, no poll or no sales taxes.
Only a tax for those who own real estate and that amount is at
the rate of less than $3.00 a thousand. Bermuda is not a
democracy and that’s why there is peace and contentment on the
Less than 10% of its citizens can vote. Only adult males owning
60 pound or $300 worth of land have the suffrage. But there is
one representative in the legislature for every 900 of the
population. Here you see every child and child of the colored
population well dressed and clean and tidy. Never have I seen so
large a group of working colored people so well fed and clothed
as you see all over Bermuda.
Here again are no criminal class. No gangs--no underworld--no
kidnaping--no lynchings. Never in the history of this island has
there been a lynching. There are no restrictions of race,
religion or color regarding acquisition of property. But only
2,000 acres of its 12,500 acres can belong to aliens (including
Americans). This makes the section of such aliens important.
They have a policy of selection and investigation and such alien
must make formal application to the Governor in
Council--his name is then published in the press and objections
can be raised and can be heard. The Governor investigates the
applicants reputation and standing and has power to refuse. This
power of the Governor’s has resulted in a homogeneous character
of alien residents and has prevented that most objectionable of
all booms--the land boom. Here there is only now beginning the
social service such as baby clinics but the health Dept. will
see to it that this sort of palliative interest patterned after
American ladies use of their leisure time will go hand in hand
with constructive social work. The Bermudean women themselves
see thru this and many of them have refused to join the ranks of
American to organize welfare clinics, baby creches etc. knowing
that it will encourage the diseased to breed and prolong the
lives of the types who become dependent and remain depend from
the cradle to the grave. Not a dependent but a resistant
population is what is wanted and here it has been and still
remains in Bermuda.
Copyright 2003. Margaret Sanger Project