(To be announced from the pulpit.)
We NICHOLAS The Second, by the grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, Tsar of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland etc. etc. etc. make it known to all our loyal subjects: The Grand Duchy of Finland which since the beginning of the present century has formed an integral part of the Russian Empire, enjoys, with the generous consent of the ever-lamented Emperor Alexander the Blessed and His Lofty Successors, particular institutions adapted to the local circumstances of the land, for her internal administration and legislation.
But apart from the local legislative needs in Finland deriving from the characteristic social structure of the land, the administration of the Empire brings forth also other legislative questions concerning Finland, which because of their close association to the general interests of the Empire, cannot be exclusively treated by the institutions of the Grand Duchy. On the manner in which questions of this kind are to be decided, the existing legislation contains no definitive provisions, and this absence has resulted in significant inconveniences.
To remove these obstacles We have seen it, in constant consideration for the welfare of all Our loyal subjects without any bias, advantageous for the completion of existing decrees and to be complied with by the appropriate institutions of the Empire and of the Grand Duchy, to lay down a firm and unshaken procedure to be followed in preparation and enacting of generally applicable laws within the Empire.
While We preserve in force and effect the present provisions concerning the enactment of such local decrees which extend exclusively to the needs of Finland, We have deemed it necessary to reserve for Our discretion the exact definition of subjects for the general legislation of the Empire.
In order to accomplish this We have under Our Own Supreme Hand sanctioned the hereby proclaimed Fundamental Rules to be complied with regarding formulation, examination and promulgation of laws, which are passed for the Empire, the Grand Duchy of Finland therein included.
Like Our Ancestors bearing the Imperial Crown We see this closest union with the Empire as a guarantee for Finland's prosperity. Sheltered by the Russian supremacy and strong through her protection, Finland in the course of nearly a whole century has advanced uncessingly in the path of peaceful development, and it has been a great pleasure to Us to find, from the loyalty allegiances lately received from the Estates, that there lives in the hearts of the Finnish people the consciousness of devotion to Us and to Russia.
We are confident that the cooperation between the institutions of the Empire and the Grand Duchy of Finland, based on the firm rules of law in the legislative matters concerning their mutual interests, will serve to the better security of the real advantage and benefit of the Russian Empire.
Given in St. Petersburg on the 3rd day of April in the year eighteen hundred ninety nine from the birth of Christ and in the fifth year of Our reign.
The signature below has been written by The Imperial Majesty with His Own Supreme Hand:
The copy affirmed by: Chairman of the State Council MIKAEL. Countersigned: State Secretary of the State Council P. Haritonoff.
Copy.At the text above the Imperial Majesty has under His Supreme own hand written: "To be as herein".St. Petersburg, on the 3rd of February 1899. Chairman of the State Council
2) This procedure is to be followed for both those laws relating to the whole extent of the Empire, the Grand Duchy of Finland therein included, and also for such laws which are confined to the Grand Duchy, if they affect the general interests of the Empire or are associated with the imperial legislation.
3) The motion for a Gracious assent to introduce a bill (1st and 2nd clause) is proposed by the competent Imperial Minister and the Minister State Secretary for Finland, after consulting with each other. When the Governor-General of Finland deems it necessary, for the needs of administration in the Grand Duchy, to complete the existing laws in compliance with these rules, then he shall, for their further preparation, communicate his proposals on the matter to the competent Imperial Minister and to the Minister State Secretary for Finland.
4) When a Gracious assent to introduce a bill for the Empire, the Grand Duchy of Finland therein included, is received, the Imperial Minister enters into communication with the Governor-General of Finland, the Minister State Secretary for Finland and the Imperial Senate of Finland requesting their opinions about the contents of the said bill.
5) As far as concerns those bills which according to the internal administrative procedure of the Grand Duchy of Finland are submitted to the Finnish Diet, a written statement from the Diet is also required in issuing the laws mentioned in the clause 2 of these Rules. The statement of the Diet is to be formulated at the next ordinary assembly unless there is a Gracious order to summon the Diet to an extraordinary assembly.
6) After the receipt of the opinion of the Governor-General of Finland, of the Minister State Secretary for Finland, and of the Imperial Senate of Finland, and when required (clause 5), of the Finnish Diet, the Imperial Minister submits the bill to the State Council following the procedure stated in the Regulations of the State Council. The copies of the statements of the Senate and the Diet are enclosed with the proposals.
7) This bill is examined by the State Council according to the general procedure, and with the participation of the Governor-General of Finland, of the Minister State Secretary for Finland, and also of those Senators of the Imperial Senate of Finland who are particularly called upon by the Gracious selection.
8) The most Graciously confirmed decision of the State Council concerning the above bill is promulgated as ordered both in the Empire and in the Grand Duchy of Finland.
Chairman of the State Council (signed) "Mikael". The copy affirmed by: State Secretary of the State Council P. Haritonoff.