Address of the Norwegian Government to His Majesty King Oscar resigning their Offices
Christiania, 6 June 1905.
To the King,
In State Council at the Castle of Stockholm, on the 27th May,
it has pleased your Majesty, in reply to our humble resignations, to
"It being evident to me that no other Government can now be
formed, I do not comply with the resignations tendered by the
According to the Fundamental Law of Norway it is incumbent
on the King of Norway to procure for the country a constitutional
Government. At the very moment the policy of the King prevents
the formation of a responsible Council, the Norwegian Royal Power
has ceased to be in function.
By your Majesty's Resolution the constitutional relationship
between your Majesty and the responsible Ministers of the Crown
has further been brought into a position which does not admit of
being maintained. In a constitutional country no Government, nor
any single member or the same, can be forced to continue against
his will with the responsibility of a Minister, when their responsible
advices in important questions vital to the country are not followed
by the King, who, according to the Constitution, is free from
responsibility. As it is, in these circumstances, the unquestionable
right of every single member of the Ministry, as a free man, to resign
his charge, so this will generally also be a duty towards the country
for the maintenance of its constitutional rights.
Your Majesty has declared that no other government can now be
formed. Your Majesty has found this to be so evident that the
King of Norway has, during these serious days, remained at the
Palace of Stockholm without making any attempt to restore the
country to a constitutional position.
The policy which has found its expression in your Majesty's
position towards the question of sanctioning the Consular Law is,
in our opinion, incompatible with the Norwegian Constitution.
But no more than any new Government can assume the
responsibility of this policy, no more can we, by remaining in
our offices, render ourselves accessory to it. It is, therefore, our
duty to retire from the management of our offices, and instantly
to give the Storthing due notice thereof.
This will now be done.
Profound and irreconcilable political differences have thus
shattered the frame of the constitutional Norwegian Kingdom.
Matters and circumstances have been stronger than the will of the
individual. But the dissolution of the Union which has now been
initiated by your Majesty's above-named Resolution - certainly taken
with a heavy heart, but also with a clear understanding of its
consequences - may yet, so is our hope, within a short time prove to
have been the beginning of better and happier days for the two
nations whose prosperity and welfare your Majesty has always had
Finally, we beg to present to your Majesty our most humble
thanks for the personal graciousness and kindness shown to us
during the time we have had the bonus to be members of your
We beg your Majesty to receive the assurance that we fully
realize your Majesty's difficult position, and we beg to profess our
unaltered high esteem. But before all things must stand our duty
towards the country.
(Signatures of all the members of the Ministry.)
6 June 1905.
British and foreign papers. 1904-1905, Vol. XCVIII (98),
London: Foreign Office, 1909, p. 794-795.
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