Open main menu

Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/116

This page needs to be proofread.


108 F. G. YOUNG 1905 the report to the legislative committee to investigate the books and accounts of the state land agent the expert clerks say: "We are unable to find a starting point from which to begin to check the accounts between the present time and April 1st, 1899. (The time at which the farms were turned over to the State Land Agent). "It is our opinion that a system of bookkeeping should be maintained in the office of the State Land Agent that would show the system upon which the busi- ness is handled, and the results, whether good or bad, in rela- tion to the school fund. Up to date there seems to have been no attempt to keep such a set of books." 1 The rising school fund was a favorite subject of notice by Oregon governors. They seem to have been content, how- ever, so long as the inflow at the top was in excess of the leak- age at the bottom. An ex-governor in his statement before the same investigating committe of 1905 attributes the con- fusion then existing in the state's land business to "the very imperfect manner in which the records of the Land Office of this state have been kept for thirty years." The administration of the school fund tested with regard to its being kept loaned and producing an income makes a fairly good showing. Until the early years of the present century the idle balances of cash on hand were due to ex- cessively high rate of interest prescribed to the board in charge of the fund. In 1903, however, the unloaned balance amounted to nearly one-third of the whole fund, and there was no mal- adjustment in rate of interest prescribed to necessitate such a condition. Land Funds Administration. The proceeds from the sales of the internal improvement grant of 500,000 acres, of the swamp land grant, of the tide lands, and the five per cent of the proceeds of sales by the national government of lands within Oregon, comprised the moneys going into the land funds. These were like the trust funds in that they were easily ac- i Report of Committee to Investigate Books and Accounts of State Land Agent, 1905, pp.