Address of the Storthing to His Majesty King Oscar justifying their Action with regard to the Government of Norway and the Dissolution of the Union

Christiania, 7 June 1905.


Your Majesty,

All the members of the Ministry having this day in the Storthing resigned their office, and your Majesty having, in a Protocol of the 27th May of the present year, officially declared that your Majesty is unable to procure for the country a new government, the Constitutional Royal Power in Norway has thus ceased to discharge its functions.

It has therefore been the duty of the Storthing, as the representatives of the Norwegian people, immediately to authorize the members of the resigning Ministry, in the capacity of the Norwegian Government, to exercise for the present the authority vested in the King in accordance with the Fundamental Law of the Kingdom of Norway and the laws in force, with such modifications as are necessitated by the fact that the union with Sweden, which implies a joint King, has been dissolved, in consequence of the King having ceased to act as Norwegian King.

The course of this evolution, which has been stronger than the desires and will of the individual, has led to this result.

The Union entered upon in 1814 has from the very first moment been differently construed by the two peoples, both as regards its nature and dispositions. From the Swedish side the exertions have been directed towards extending the partnership; from the Norwegian side towards limiting it to what has been prescribed in the Act of Union, and for the rest to maintain the exclusive right of both kingdoms in all matters which are not described in the Act of Union as being of a Union character. This radical difference in the conception of the nature of the Union has given rise to much misunder-standing between the peoples, and caused much friction. And in the Swedish conception, which during the last negotiations between the kingdoms has been maintained by the Swedish Government towards Norway, the Norwegian people has unavoidably seen a violation of its Constitutional right, its independence, and its national honour.

The Union was justified as long as it was able to contribute to. the furtherance of the welfare and prosperity of both peoples with the maintenance of their independence as sovereign States. But above the Union stands for us Norwegians our Norwegian, for the Swedes the Swedish, native land. And more valuable than a political union is the feeling of solidarity and free concord of both peoples. To this sympathy between the Norwegian and the Swedish people, which ought to secure the prosperity of both peoples, and be their strength outwardly, the Union has become a danger.

While the Union is now being dissolved, the Norwegian people has no higher desire than to live in peace and good understanding with every one, and not least with the people of Sweden and with the dynasty under whose rule our country, despite much bitter Union strife, has made such important intellectual and material progress.

With the testimony that the work of the Norwegian people and their struggle for the complete independence of the country has not arisen from any animosity against the Royal House or the Swedish people, and has left no bitterness against either, the Storthing respectfully begs to solicit your Majesty's concurrence with a view to obtain permission for a Prince of your Majesty's House to be elected King of Norway, on condition that he renounced his hereditary right to the Throne of Sweden.

The day when the Norwegian people elects its own King to ascend the ancient Throne of Norway will initiate an era of tranquil years for Norway, of a good and hearty relationship to the Swedish people, and of peace, unity and faithful concord in the North, for the defence of the culture of the nations, their freedom and independence.

Fully satisfied hereof, the Storthing ventures to express the confident hope that that which has now happened will be found to be best for all as well as for your Majesty, for whose person the Norwegian people will keep unabated their high esteem and affection.

7 June 1905.


British and foreign papers. 1904-1905, Vol. XCVIII (98), London: Foreign Office, 1909, p. 796-797.

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