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Mail Tribune 100

Nov. 18, 1915


Salem — Whether a compromise will be reached between the state and the Southern Pacific Railroad Company as to the disposition of the lands embraced in the Oregon & California railroad land grant seemed dependent on two conditions when the state conference committee, which convened here today with Southern Pacific officials, recessed at noon after brief discussion of a plan presented by Governor James Withycombe.

Members of the committee said the conditions were whether the committee itself could agree, and whether the Southern Pacific would accept their plan.

The main provisions of the governor's plan were:

That the lands be classified and the timber sold at its market value, and the agricultural lands sold at a conservative figure to settlers. That the railroad be paid its equity of $2.50 per acre, and the surplus derived from the sale of land and timber be divided between the railroad company and the state on a percentage basis to be determined upon.

"I have no patience with this $2.50 an acre proposition," said Governor Withycombe, referring to the suggestion that the railroad receive only this amount, which was the price that the grant stipulated the railroad was to receive from settlers. "Neither do I think that the government has any claim to an equity in this land. The development of the state by its people has caused the land values to increase, and I think the equities in them are the railroad company and in the state."