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tions were concerned, Sweden and Nor- of receiving ambassadors for them. way should form one kingdom.
That, nevertheless, these privileges Under the terms of the Treaty of were taken from her by Sweden beUnion Norway was thus granted a most cause she was stronger than Norway. complete measure of Home Rule. She But that now Norway having grown in was given her own Parliament and her power and wealth, is in a position to own ministers in all departments ex- demand the realization of her first cepting in that of foreign affairs. She ideals. Moreover, he has pointed out could levy her own taxes, both direct with some force that Norway's merand indirect. She was to have the con- cantile marine ranks second in importrol of her own schools, and to retain tance in Europe, and third in the her ancient municipal institutions and world ; whereas that of Sweden is courts of justice. She could make comparatively insignificant. That it her own laws regulating bankruptcy, is, therefore, not right or just that the inheritance, and social matters in geu- control of the consular service should eral. No Swede could occupy any rest entirely with Sweden. Norway official position in Norway. With all should have at least an equal voice this, the king's prerogatives were lim- with Sweden with regard to the apited within remarkably narrow bounds. pointments to the consular posts. He was not empowered to dissolve the Further, that what Norway above all Legislative Assembly, and had only a desires is an assured prospect of peace, suspensive veto granted to him. That so that she may be able freely and is to say, - any law passed three times without anxiety to develop her indusin succession by the Storthing, or Nor- trial and commercial resources. That wegian Parliament, became valid, in she suspects Sweden of dabbling in spite of the king's veto. It will thus Continental politics, and hankering be seen that whereas Sweden is, and after foreign alliances which might inbas been since 1815, a limited constitu- volve, not only herself, but Norway tional monarchy, Norway is, and has also, in a Continental war — and that been during that period, in reality a if only for that reason it would be republic. In fact King Oscar at the prudent for Norway to demand compresent time is not, as his title would plete control over her own foreign indicate, king of the United Kingdoms policy. Moreover, he has contended of Sweden and Norway, but instead, that, as a general principle, justifying king of the kingdom of Sweden and in his opinion the whole course of Norpresident of the republic of Norway. way's political action towards Sweden Moreover, as president he is entrusted since the commencement of the union, with a lesser degree of power than is Norway is within her rights when she the case probably with the president of claims to be considered as a completely any other republic.
independent State, united, it is true, in The case for Norway has been fre- a defensive federation with Sweden, quently stated in English, French, and and sharing with her a common king German reviews, and is comparatively and royal dynasty, but in every other familiar to the readers of them. It respect free and autonomous, even in has, perhaps, been most concisely and respect of the full control and regulaeffectively advocated by Björnstjerne tion of her foreign relations. Björnson, the well-known politician Swedish statesmen and journalists and novelist. His arguments are that reply to these contentions of Norway under the terms of Norway's first con- by saying that, other things being fair stitution, she was to be a free and in- and equal between the two countries, dependent State, appointing her own there would be no objection, in view of consular body and ambassadors, to be the modern development of Norway's selected from her own citizens. That population, riches, and foreign trade, she was to have had power of conclud- to granting her an equal voice with ing treaties with foreign powers, and Sweden in the regulation of foreign
affairs. Also, that there need be no in Norway personally, and himself be insuperable impediment in the way of present in Christiania every year for a granting her an equal control over ap- certain period, so that since it has not pointments to the consular service. been permissible for him to depute his But other things are not fair and equal office to a viceroy. Again, in 1884, between the two countries, for Nor- the Norwegian Storthing insisted that way enjoys privileges and immunities the king's ministers should sit in the which Sweden does not. Should Swe- Slorthing and be responsible to that den make the concessions required of Assembly. On meeting with opposiher without obtaining any others in tion on the part of the king, they return, she would be a heavy loser impeached his ministers on the plea under the conditions of the union, it that they had tendered evil counsel to would no longer be a fair partnership. his Majesty. In the upshot they were Norway, she maintains, is giving too dismissed from their office and sublittle and asking too much. It should jected to a fine of eighteen thousand be noted here, that the alternative pro- kronor. posal of Norway, namely, that she The development of the more recent should have a separate foreign minis- phases of the dispute has been as folter, and a separate consular service, is lows. In view of the discontent oftenlooked upon by Sweden as wholly in- times expressed on the part of Norway admissible. The two countries are with regard to her share in the control already independent of each other as of the foreign relations of the two regard internal administration ; if there kingdoms, the king, during his annual were two foreign ministers and two visit to Christiania in the spring of consular services, the union, it is very 1891, submitted to the Storthing a proreasonably maintained, would be no posal initiated by the Swedish Council real union at all — an avowed separa- of State, having as object so to retion would be preferable.
organize the foreigu department that It has already been pointed out that the United Kingdoms should each Sweden was strikingly cousiderate and have a fair share in the regulation of magnanimous with regard to the terms foreigu affairs. This proposal was on which the union with Norway was somewhat summarily rejected by the originally drawn up. It has been a Storthing on the ground that the Norsource of vexation to her ever since to wegian people, as represented by the perceive that Norway has never Storthing, had, without even consulting evinced the slightest gratitude. As a Sweden, the right to decide the quesmatter of fact, Norway has been agitat- tions of a separate foreign minister and ing for one thing or another ever since a separate cousular service for themthe date of the signature of the Act of selves. Union. The history of the period has Thereupon the Conservative minisbeen one of continual aggression on try under the leadership of M. Stang the part of Norway, of patient resist- handed in their resignation and the ance and eventual concession on the Radical party headed by M. Steen came part of Sweden. Thus, iu 1835, the to power. It was understood that the Norwegians obtained the privilege of new ministry would insist on a sepabeing represented by their minister in rate minister of foreigu affairs and any Council of State which should deal would be satisfied with nothing short with matters of foreign politics. In of that. Nevertheless when the Stor1836, they insisted on being placed on thing of 1892 assembled, M. Steen and a footing of equality with regard to the his ministry found it would be politic appointments to the consular service. to sink that particular question for the In 1844, they obtained a separate flag time being, and instead to bring to the of their own for their ships of war. front the question of a separate consuAt a later date they insisted that the lar service. king must perform his political duties The Norwegian ministers' way of dealing with this new issue awakened sing any measure of importance to submuch indignation in Sweden. They mit it to the consideration and for the maintained that this project also con- report of a commission of experts, in cerned Norway only and could properly the instance of the bill for a separate be decided without in any way consult- Norwegian consular service it was not ing Sweden. Nevertheless it was soon thought advisable to follow the usual perceived that the king would not course of procedure. The experts, it sanction such a method of procedure, was easy to foresee, would pass a judgand therefore the ministers did not ment adverse to the scheme. venture to broach the matter officially It seems in fact clear enough that in a Council of State. They each spoke the consular question was only resorted privately and unofficially with the king to by the ministry of 1892, because it upon the subject, and on finding, as was not convenient at the moment to was to be expected, that his Majesty push the matter of the acquisition of a most decidedly considered that the separate or joint minister of foreign question did concern Sweden equally affairs. The ground had been cut unwith Norway, they tendered their res- der their feet by the proposal, emanatiguation.
ing from Sweden, to grant Norway a The king was thereby placed in a voice in the regulation of foreigu affairs dilemma; he could not form an effec- upon certain conditions. If this protive Conservative administration be- posal had been accepted, Norway would cause that party were so much in a have acquired a due proportion of inminority. Affairs were at a deadlock. fluence in the department in question, Mass meetings and popular demonstra- if she would only consent to undertake tions ensued for the space of a month her share in the common defence of
At last the Storthing petitioned the two kingdoms in proportion to popthe ministers to resume their port- ulation. folios, and to consider the consular This proper responsibility she has question to be postponed until further hitherto been able to evade in the folnotice.
lowing manner. Iu 1814 Norway had As to the intrinsic merits of the con- a population of eight hundred and sular question, it is difficult to see in eighty-five thousand inhabitants, and what respect the Norwegians have any an army of twenty-three thousand men just cause for complaint. It is true available for the defence of the United that the Swedish minister for foreign Kingdoms, and which could be sumaffairs has exclusive power to appointmoned to its colors at the call of the consuls, but he and his predecessors Swedish general-in-chief. At the preshave exercised that power with such ent time the population of Norway discretion that at the present time the numbers two million, and therefore, in majority of the consuls representing proportion to the increase, she should the united kingdoms are Norwegians be prepared to send fifty-two thousand and not Swedes. Again, as has been men into the field. But, as a matter of before mentioned, Norway's mercantile fact, she can now only fit out twelve navy is large, whereas that of Sweden thousand men. is small, consequently Norway derives Under the terms of the Act of Union the most use and advantage from the it was incumbent on Norway to furnish joint consular service. Nevertheless, a certain number of troops to the army Sweden contributes four - sevenths, of the line to be available for the erwhereas Norway contributes ouly three-vice of the United Kingdom, and a sevenths of the salaries and expenses. certain number to the reserve, a defenIt should be added that Norwegian sive force which should, under no preshipowners are as a body opposed to a text, be called upon to serve beyond separate consular service for Norway; the limits of the Norwegian frontier. and that whereas it is customary for By an unfortunate oversight it was nothe Norwegian Storthing before pass-where exactly defined in the Act of
Union what the army of the line should fifty-nine. Moreover, it is probable consist of, and what the reserve. The lhat, had it not been for the support of result has been that Norway has grad- the Social Democrats which was given ually abstracted from the army of the to the Radical side upon considerations line available for foreign service, and other than the questions immediately at added to the reserve available only for issue, the Left would have lost its mahome defence.
jority altogether. It is the same also with regard to At the present time the king is govships of war. Norway, with one of the erning with a minority in the Storthing, finest mercantile navies in the world, M. Stang continuing to be his minister. has grudged the expense of taking her But the arrangement can scarcely conshare in what should be the united fleet tinue very long, since the Storthing of Sweden and Norway, so that at the refuses to vote supplies. As it is, present time she has practically no Sweden bas had to defray the expenses battleships with which to help the of the consular and diplomatic services sister kingdom or protect her own com- for the period between July and Demerce in time of need.
cember, 1894. Moreover, during the The Swedish proposal of 1891, whilst course of 1894, the Storthing reduced it offered Norway a voice in the reg- the amounts contributable by Norway ulation of foreign affairs, naturally towards the King's Civil List and that contemplated a readjustment of such of the crown prince. Of course, such unfair conditions as these. But the steps as these have caused much illSteen ministry, not wishing to risk feeling in Sweden, and make it difficult their popularity by any increase of ex- for those in power to continue to act penditure, found it prudent to drop the with that prudent moderation which question of a separate or joint foreign las hitherto marked their policy. minister, and instead, to insist that the In the opinion of the present writer consular question should receive imme- that is the great danger of the present diate attention. A grievance of some situation. Sweden may be tempted to sort or another against Sweden was teach Norway a lesson. The thing necessary in order to keep the party would be so easily done. Norway has together, and furnish a cry for the elec- few soldiers, no fighting sailors, and no tions.
ships of war. Nothing would be easier So, in fact, Norway's argument comes than for Sweden to occupy Christiania to this. She says her merchant navy is with an army corps and blockade her large, therefore, she ought to have the ports with her fleet. She would then power of appointing consuls. But doubtless be in a position to dictate her when Sweden objects that in that case own terms for the time. But how long she should be prepared to pay more could Sweden maintain her advantage ? than three-sevenths of the joint vote, and how would it be possible for her she retorts that her population is small, to administer Norway after the troops and that the taxation should be in pro- and ships of war were withdrawn ? portion to population.
It seems clear that an irreconcilable The majority of the Steen ministry, hatred against Sweden would be enwhen it came to power in 1892, con- gendered amongst all Norwegians, that sisted of fourteen votes in a house they would slowly arm against the sisnumbering one hundred and fourteen ter country, and that eventually sopamembers. Although the consular ques- ration would be made only the more tion proved an effective party cry from certain for being deferred. an electioneering point of view, yet the Two other developments of the presmajority has nearly disappeared, inas- ent difficult situation are possible. inuch as the elections of 1894 resulted Either there may be a separatiou within a loss of ten votes, so that at present out war, or else some definite and perthe Conservatives of the Storthing manent arrangement may be come to number fifty-five and their opponents I whereby Sweden and Norway may maintain their defensive union under of her northern territory. If, on the one king upon conditions satisfactory other hand, the second alternative is to to them both. Of these two develop- come to pass, and the Act of Union is ments it is to be sincerely hoped that to be remodelled on a basis satisfactory the first is not a probable one to occur. to both countries alike, then it will be It would be a matter for the deepest needful for the Norwegians to give regret if Norway should attempt a proof of possessing some slight spirit separate national existence, and Swe- of compromise, and also to restrain den were to acquiesce in the matter. their undoubted powers of exasperation Norway with her two millions of in- within reasonable limits. Surely Swehabitants is not strong enough to stand den has had forbearance enough alalone. She would fall under the influ- ready, and ought not to be pushed ence or the protection of a foreign farther. power with the consequent loss of all
M. S. CONSTABLR. real independence, and probably part (H.B.M's. Consul at Stockholm.)
A LAWLESS ISLAND. - In the Lanca-mediate sale, but would give the trustees shire Chancery Court, Liverpool, Vice- liberty to apply for the reduction of the Chancellor Robinson heard the petition of rent if called upon to do so by the tenants Pownall o. Joule, in which Mr. Maberly, for life, or until further order. for the trustees of an Irish estate, sought directions under peculiar circumstances. The property, he said, consisted of Tory THERE is an interesting note in the Buland other islands, and Donegal holdings on letin of the Royal Gardens, Kew, on the the mainland. The land commissioners use of green glass in plant-houses. The had absolutely declined to accept the sur use of glass of a green tint has been for render of Tory Island, from which no rent half a century a characteristic peculiarity had been received for some years. From of the plant-houses at Kew, having been affidavits it appeared that for the years adopted in 1845–46 on the recommendation 1891-94 there had been a deficit on the of Mr. Robert Hunt, F.R.S., on the ground estate of £110 98., while Colonel Irvine, that while admitting light and chemical agent for the property, said that Tory power in the same proportions as white Island was in a state of lawlessness, and glass, it would obstruct the passage of those the life of any one going there to collect rays which produce scorching. Recent inrents would be in peril. A tax collector vestigations have, however, shown that the who went there had been set upon, stripped green glass used at Kew intercepts about of his clothing, and sent adrift in a boat, one-half of the effective influence of ordiwhile another was assaulted, and returned nary sunlight on the processes of plant-life. less of a man than when he went. Mr. Of late years the increasing haziness of the Astbury, for the tenants for life, said that sky, due to the smoke produced by the if the property were put up for sale it was rapid extension of London to the southvery doubtful whether it would be a good west, has produced the same effect at Kew sale unless they disclosed the whole of this as the use of green glass; and it has beshocking state of affairs, and if they were come obvious that in the future the plantdisclosed a sale would be perfectly hopeless, houses must be so constructed as to exclude because the people of this island, who were as little of the available sunlight as posprincipally women, were absolutely lawless. sible. Since 1886 the use of green glass There was a suggestion made by Mr. Price has, therefore, been discontinued in all the that, owing to the fall in the price of houses except the fern-houses and the palmproduce, principally oats, the rents should house ; and, it having been proved by exbe reduced, as other rents had been re- periment that even filmy ferns thrive better duced. If that were done, and a little under white than under green light, if patience exercised, perhaps something direct exposure to the sun is excluded, the could be done. After discussion, the vice- use of green glass will now be altogether chancellor said he could not direct an im- abandoned at Kew.