Minister Graves to the Secretary of State.

No. 15.]

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a printed copy of the King’s speech from the throne, delivered on the occasion of the solemn opening of the extra session of the Riksdag, accompanied by a translation made at this legation.

This extra session of the Riksdag has been called to decide upon the necessary steps to be taken on account of the action of the Norwegian Storthing in declaring a dissolution of the union between Sweden and Norway.

I have, etc.,

Charles H. Graves.

Speech of His Majesty King Oscar II in the Hall of State at the opening of the Swedish Riksdag, extra session, June 21, 1905.

Good Gentlemen and Swedish Men: More than ten years have passed since I last called you, representatives of the Swedish people, to an extra session of the Riksdag. It was then a question of the interior affairs of the country.

It is matters of quite a different nature which have prompted me, so soon after the close of the regular session of the Riksdag, to ask you again to assemble for an extra session, setting aside all other public and private affairs.

To my sorrow, the Kingdom which for nearly a century has been united with Sweden by lawful bonds has, against my will and contrary to sworn agreement, taken steps with a view of freeing itself from these bonds. Accusations have been made against me for, having caused these steps by transgressing the constitution; but I have acted as my conscience dictated, and 1 am convinced that everyone who impartially considers the circumstances will vindicate me and find that my action, while it is in every respect in accordance with the constitution, has been prompted by a sincere and honest consideration of the welfare of both Kingdoms.

Meanwhile, what has happened is not only an infringement upon my rights as Norwegian King, but it also has as its object the dissolution of the union which by agreement with Sweden has hitherto existed. Thus this intimately concerns the Swedish people, and under these circumstances, in accordance with my duty, I have called you together in order that you may have an opportunity of consulting with me as to the steps and measures which are called for by the decision of the Storthing, and that we may take the steps which may be found most suitable for counteracting consequences thereof, which would be injurious for Sweden.

The proposition which I intend to lay before you in this matter does not imply the meeting of injustice by force. No matter how important the union may be for the security of the Scandinavian peoples, it is not worth the sacrifices which would be rendered necessary by acts of force. Surely a union thus forced upon Norway would be of slight use to Sweden.

Nay, may the Swedish people be led by wise self-control, and may God give Sweden strength and unity to regain within its own boundaries what it might lose by a dissolution of the union.

Invoking God’s blessing on you and your labors, I remain, good gentlemen and Swedish men, with all royal grace and favor, ever well disposed toward you.