Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, Transmitted to Congress, With the Annual Message of the President, December 1, 1873
My Lord: I have the honor to inclose copy of a letter I have received from Count Wachtmeister, forwarding for the information of Her Majesty’s government a memorandum of the disabilities to which foreigners residing in Sweden are subjected by the Swedish laws.
I have, &c.,
The Lord Stanley, M. P., &c., &c., &c.
Monsieur: Par une note du 24 dumois dernier, M. le Ministre d’Angleterre s’est adressé à M. le Baron d’Ugglas, faisant alors les fonctions de ministre des affaires étrangeres, avec la demande d’obtenir pour le compte du gouvernement britannique des renseignements complets sur les disqualifications (disabilities) auxquelles la loi suédoise assujettit les étrangères résidant en Suède.
Je me vois maintenant à même de fournir ces renseignements, et je m’empresse de vous les transmettre en joignant ci-près le mémoire élaboré sur ce sujet au ministère de la justice.
Mr. Pakenham, &c., &c., &c.
Relative to the disqualifications to which foreigners settled in Sweden are subject, on the ground of existing Swedish statutes.
Swedish subjects only are eligible for election to the “Riksdag,” (the Swedish legislative chambers.) (See § 22 of the “Riksdag” regulations.)
It does not appear, either, that foreigners are entitled to take part in the election of members of the “Riksdag,” or of members of the municipal administrative bodies. (See § 8 of the statute relative to municipal administration in the rural districts; § 10 of the statute relative to municipal administration in towns; § 4 of the statute relative to church vestries (“Kyrkoråd”) and school committees, (“Skolråd;”) §§ 3, 5, and 7, of the statute relative to the “lands ting,” (boards elected in provincial districts for the management of local communal affairs,) all of the 21st day of March, 1862, compared with §§ 6 and 14 of the “Riksdag” regulations.)
Offices of trust and service under the government may, as a rule, only be filled by natural-born Swedish men.
Foreigners may, notwithstanding, in certain cases, be called and appointed:
Firstly. To the post of professors or teachers at the universities, with the exception of posts for theological instruction; they may also be appointed teachers, or in any [Page 1413] other capacity, at other scientific, industrial, and artistic institutions, and also to the medical profession.
Secondly. To military posts; not, however, to that of commander of a fortress. (See § 28 of the constitution, “Regerings Formen.”)
Foreigners belonging to countries in which Swedish subjects are entitled to inherit property also possess the same right in Sweden, (see chap. 15, § 2, of the statute of inheritance, “Arfda Balken,”) so that they may thus become the holders of real and personal estate in thisMdngdom.
Foreigners may not otherwise hold real and personal estate in Sweden without the special permission of the King, (see the royal proclamation of the 3d October, 1829;) but there appears to be no legal hinderance to foreigners possessing the usufruct of real and personal estate on lease or otherwise.
Foreigners may not act as the guardians of minors or others. (See chap. 20, § 8 of the statute of inheritance, “Arfda Balken.”)
With reference to the right of foreigners to exercise trade and industry in this country:
Foreigners are permitted to be part owners of vessels registered either for home or foreign trade; but they may not possess more than one-third of the tonnage of Swedish vessels, nor be the managing owners.
Foreigners who have obtained permission of the king to dwell in the kingdom, may, also, after special inquiry in each case, obtain permission to exercise trade, manufactures, mechanical employments, or any other calling. (See the royal statute of the 18th June, 1864.)
It should be specially observed that the King possesses the prerogative of adopting foreigners as Swedish subjects by act of naturalization. (See § 28, sec. 2 of the constitution, “Regerings Formen.”)
The manner of such naturalization and its conditions are determined by the royal statute of the 27th February, 1858, which enacts generally—
That the rights of Swedish subjects may, on application to the King, be obtained by foreigners who have attained the age of 21, are of good repute, have resided in the kingdom for three years, and who possess the means of supporting themselves.
That such application shall be accompanied by a certificate of the age of the candidate, the country to which he belongs, the time when he arrived in the kingdom, his character, and the religious faith he professes.
And that the candidate, provided the application be granted, shall, within the term prescribed by the King, and before the proper authorities, attest that he has ceased to be a subject of the foreign power to which he formerly belonged, or otherwise resign, in writing, all the political privileges and rights he may possess in the said foreign country and the candidate shall also take the oath of allegiance to the King as a Swedish subject.
Thus naturalized foreigners enjoy the same rights and privileges as natural-born Swedes, except in so far that they cannot be appointed members of the council of state, (“Statsråd.”)