communiqué to the meetings of the Dutch-Scandinavian committee
with the delegation from Finland on the 23rd-24th of May, 1917, 25th of
Dutch-Scandinavian committee has received on Wednesday and Thursday
23rd and 24th of May, 1917 the Finnish delegation consisting of
comrades Yrjö Sirola and Karl Wiik.
representatives of the Finnish party executive and the Finnish Social
Democratic parliamentary group, carried their view about the way to
organize the legal position of Finland at best. According to their
opinion, this view is shared by the politically mature elements among
the Finns. According to this argument, the mentioned question must be
looked as a question of international law character and should find
treatment there where international problems, inter alia, are all
discussed. Thus in the coming peace congress.
requirement is motivated by the defenceless situation in which Finland
would be, if, in the future nationalistic or even imperialistic
tendencies should get the upper hand in Russia. The gratitude which the
Finnish nation owes to the revolutionary elements in Russia, as those
through which also Finland has been freed from Tsardom and the
reactionary elements in the Russian State Duma, cannot fully free the
people of Finland from the duty to secure its own future on the most
firm basis. The status of Finland must be built on a basis which
guarantees Finland the full possibility of a free development, and the
Finnish people cherishes the tender hope that the Russian democracy
will recognise this demand and can enforce that on Russian side of the
realisation of the Finnish demands will meet no obstacle.
The autonomous status of Finland has allowed up to now, despite of
all defects, a substantial cultural development of the country. Biggest
of these shortcomings was that the decision on Finnish matters lays in
Thereby it has happened that interests
opposite those of the Finnish nation have influenced the decision of
Finnish questions. Such a state of affairs has sometimes led to
reckless neglect of the interests of the Finnish people, and must be
felt definitively in regard of the self-consiousness of the Finnish
people as a humiliation. The attempts of Finland to a larger right of
self-determination are motivated by her whole historical development,
which never similarly motivated Russia.
order of Finland, her laws, her form of culture, language etc., are
also so unlike to those of the Russian nation. Consequently the Finnish
people strives for the conquest of the largest possible independency
which can be realized and adequately protected.
bearers of the Russian revolution have written the freedom of the
peoples on their flag. This fact has strengthened the conviction in the
Finnish people that right now the wish of the Finnish people for
complete independence should be realized, as the only reliable manner
to carry the national demands of the Finnish people and which means
avoiding the conflicts which could arise from a continual arrangement
The social democrats of Finland honour
completely the principle assured by the international social democracy
of the self-determination rights of all peoples and demand that also
the Finnish people would be allowed to decide its status by itself.
They appeal to their comrades in the other countries and hope that
these which have pronounced so often their sympathies to the
aspirations of the Finnish proletariat will give their very same full
support also now.
As regards the other political
questions, the delegation, as it has not received a mandate in this
respect, is limited to express their personal opinion, and they will
later inform of the attitude of the party in writing or verbally. The
social democratic party of Finland has, of course, declared itself in
favour of a general conference.
The Swedish Labour Movement Archive and Library. The 1917 Stockholm
Peace Conference. Documents. Arbetarrörelsens arkiv och
Holländsk-skandinaviska kommittén, box 1. hect., Document No.: P/19C. 3 p. Translation from German by Pauli Kruhse.
Events of 1917-1918 and later