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1899. The Collection of Decrees of the Grand Duchy of Finland. Nr 28.

(To be announced from the pulpit.)


To the Governor-General of Finland.

When you on the 18th of May declared the extraordinary Diet ended, the representatives of the Estates informed me about the feeling of anxiety brought to them by the forthcoming change of conscription in the Grand Duchy of Finland and the promulgation of the Manifesto given on the 3rd of February.

To my great sorrow, I observe of the addresses by the land marshal and the speakers of the Estates that the Estates have not been responsive to the perspectives for the common benefit of the Empire which have made these measures unavoidable, and thus have taken a role of expressing improper criticism about them. I order to you make it publicly known that the said criticism is wrong and is inconsistent with the fact, that Finland is part of the Russian Empire, thereof inseparable.

I also will, that the people of Finland is aware that when I ascended the Throne I assumed as my holy duty to take care of the well-being of all the peoples under Russian Sovereignty, and I also desired to preserve in Finland the distinct form of her internal legislation granted to the country by My High Forefathers. In addition to this I have, as a heritage from the past, undertaken the charge of explaining by means of legislation the relation between the Grand Duchy and the Russian Empire. To accomplish this, I have confirmed the Fundamental Rules given on the 3rd of February which describe the procedure to be followed when issuing general laws within the Empire which also are applicable in Finland. The work of the extraordinary Diet should be continued and the preparation of the final form of the conscription act should be done in accordance to the specific procedure expressed in this law, which itself will stand unfaltered now and in the future.

I expect you to work tirelessly, in demonstrating to the people of the country the true meaning of the measures taken to strengthen the bond between the Empire and the Grand Duchy, and I hope that the obedient allegiance of the Finnish people, about which I have no doubts, will be manifestated in deeds and will bring you assistance in fulfilling My orders.

N I C H O L A S.

The Gracious Rescript above has been delivered on 8/20th of June 1899 to the Office of the State Secretary for Finland.
The Constitutional Conflict in Finland, an article by a member of the Finnish Diet in The North American review, August, 1899. Russian view in July 1899 on the same subject. (Cornell University Library)

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Translated from the official Finnish document by Pauli Kruhse (). .