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