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not been wanting with Germany. The indefensible Russian policy against inhuman submarine war has brought Finland, with which secular ties of comtragic losses to Norway, losses not only mon traditions, in part also of common in ships, but also in human lives. Als language, united Sweden, furnished pomost seven hundred Norwegian sailors tent arguments for such a view. At first
la have found their deaths by German sub- Sweden had looked out for, and also marines or mines, some of them even by found, support with the Western Powdirect shots as they tried to save them- ers, which fought Tsardom in the Criselves in the lifeboats. The sinking of mean War. Later, especially from the valuable tonnage means a serious men- beginning of the present century, which ace to one of the chief trades of Norway. saw the rapprochement between Russia The shipowners may not lose their cap- and England, Sweden became more and ital, for the ships are of course insured; more attracted into the orbit of Gerbut the shipbuilding trade not being man diplomacy. able by far to fill the gaps, very many
When the world-war broke out, Sweof them already now find themselves den had just passed through a fierce unable to maintain their business. conflict over problems of military pre
Besides, the costly freights and enor- paredness, a conflict which assumed at mous insurance premiums have still times a pronounced political characmore inflated the prices of all articles of ter. The Liberal government in power consumption; all salaries have risen had been ousted in the spring of 1914 enormously. There is probably no by a seemingly popular movement, encountry in the world where life is at gineered with great skill by the Conpresent so expensive as in Norway, and servatives, but whose chief force was Norwegian public opinion does not hes- Royalty itself. King Gustavus succeeditate to put the chief blame on the sub- ed in forming a government of his own, marine war.
whose only task should be the reorganiResentment against Germany has zation of the defense of the country; been running high, and it culminated it was contended that these interests when in June last the police discovered would have been gravely compromised that a German diplomatic courier had had the Liberal government been mainbeen carrying bombs to Christiania tained; and the great argument for under the seals of the German Foreign strengthening the defenses of the counOffice, and that these most dangerous try was always the Russian danger. objects had been stored in different Such was the origin of the later so places within the city for weeks and famous Hammarskjöld Ministry. Promonths. This discovery put an end, claimed as a 'national' government, it practically speaking, to what might still was in fact the King's ministry. Its be left of pro-German sentiment in duration was said to be expressly limitNorway.
ed to the period necessary to carry out its military reform programme. Be
cause war broke out even before the ANTI-RUSSIAN SWEDEN
government had really set about its From the middle of last century a task, it stayed in power for three full strong anti-Russian sentiment domi- years (February, 1914, to April, 1917). nated Swedish public opinion. In Swe- At the general elections which took dish eyes Russia figures as the insa- place in the autumn of 1914, the Swedes tiable conquering power, continually renewed their declaration of allegiance on the lookout for expansion; and the to the two democratic parties; and the Socialists especially made very import
It is true that this fraction was nuant gains at the polls. In the popu- merically an unimportant element of lar Chamber they numbered 87 mem- the Swedish nation. Socially, however, bers and their allies, the Liberals, 57; they exercised a far greater influence while the Conservatives, who had been than their numbers and weight should fighting for the Hammarskjöld govern- entitle them to, and through their conment, got 86 seats. It is true that in nections at court and in the royal famthe Upper Chamber the Conservatives ily itself, they were able to gain poliwere possessed of a large majority; but tical power. The crisis of February, in the joint votes of the two houses pre- 1914, had shown that the King might scribed, in case of difference of views be able, eventually, to play a personal between them, for all votes of credits part, and even to supersede a governor of ways and means, the Liberals and
ment supported by a parliamentary Socialists among them had a narrow majority. majority.
This explains the uneasiness felt both Everything therefore seemed to pre- by the government itself and by the scribe a change of government. It did Riksdag. The government, which was not take place, because of the peculiar- far from 'activist,' so little felt sure of ity of the situation in Sweden as to the its being able to steer a clear course of world-war.
neutrality, that it concluded an arrangeWhen war broke out, fear of Russia ment with Norway, stipulating that, rose to its highest pitch. An attack on even if either of the countries were imNorth Sweden was generally anticipat- plicated in the war, this should, under ed, especially by the higher classes. It no conditions, entail hostilities between did not take place, but the fears had them. Because of their geographical been so strong that the political conse- situation, this in fact amounts to a sort quences were quite as important as if of anti-war-insurance: neither of the it had come. The whole of the landed countries would be a useful ally to one aristocracy, of the court, of the higher or the other group of the belligerents administration, of the military and when the frontier between them is connaval officers, not only declared their sidered as inviolable. sympathies for Germany, but openly The arrangement was entered into at advocated what they called an active the request of the Swedish government, neutrality, active in the interest of Ger- a fact which was taken by the Riksdag many as against Russia and the demo- as a proof of the honest intention of cratic powers of Western Europe. The the government to follow a neutral pollast point of view is not unimportant:as icy. The consequence was that the the Swedish Conservatives realized that relations between the two authorities their political power was threatened, were eased to a certain extent, and the their sympathies for Germany, and es- Liberal-Socialist majority of the Rikspecially for Prussia as the apparently dag preferred that the Hammarskjöld impregnable stronghold of conserva- government, even though conservatism, only became more intense. More- tive in complexion, should remain in over, the landed aristocracy had not a power, because it would probably be few affinities and ties of parentage with better able to control the 'activists' the Prussian Junkers. Finally, a clev- than a government toward which the erly led German propaganda obtained latter would feel no obligations whatgreat influence in Sweden from the very ever. The irresponsible agitation of beginning of the war.
the spring of 1914 had shown to what
lengths the Conservatives might go naturally the intermediary between the against their political antagonists. insurrectionary elements in Finland and
It was generally supposed that, dur- the Germans. At certain epochs an outing the first part of the war, the Swe- break of rebellion was expected in Findish people was equally divided in its land; and I know that leading Swedes sympathies. I am disposed to think feared that a wave of generosity in fathat the friends of Germany have been vor of the Finns might carry Sweden inin an actual minority from the very to war against Russia at the side of Finbeginning. But they have been noisy, land. Fortunately for Sweden and for and, in high position, able to play a the peace of Scandinavia, with the Rusvery dominant part.
sian revolution, which opened to FinThe course of events during the war land, as well as to Russia itself, a new has steadily tended to diminish the in- vista of liberation in peace and through fluence of the 'Activists' on Swedish negotiations, the last foundation for an public opinion. Their chief argument, 'activist' policy in Sweden vanished. it must be remembered, was the 'Rus- But unfortunately, the way in which sian danger'; and the government, the Hammarskjöld government handled through extensive military prepara- the foreign policy of the country had tions, showed that it shared these ap- caused serious friction with the Enprehensions. It is known that not the
tente powers. slightest symptom has been forthcom- Everything seems to indicate that ing, proving a disposition on the part the government from the beginning had of Russia to attack the Scandinavian had the best intention of following a kingdoms. This must be said to be a de sincerely neutral policy. But the circisive proof that those circles in Scan- cumstances were too strong for them. dinavia were right which maintained The geographical situation of Sweden, that the Russian danger was nothing the intimate connections of the court but a bogey. For if ever the tempta- with Germany, the dependence of the tion was great for Russian imperialism government on royalty, the temptato try and obtain access to the open sea
tions offered to Swedish exports in the in the northwest, it must have been form of fabulous prices paid by the Gerduring this war, when the Baltic and
- all tended to give to Swedish the Black Sea were both blockaded. neutrality a rather pro-German tinge.
As the activist’sentiment had chief. There is no doubt, however, that the ly been living on the threat of Russian Socialist leader, Hjalmar Branting, has danger, this circumstance could not but been voicing the sentiments of the matell heavily against it. But another cloud jority of Swedes when he, while stead. was constantly gathering - Finland.
Finland. ily advocating neutrality, has put the The continual, or at any rate recurring, blame for the war on the Central PowRussian defeats in the war inspired new ers. The pro-Germans were a minority, hopes in the Finnish patriots of a liber- but they decided the official policy of ation of their country. Some of them the country. even established connections with the At length this entailed such serious Germans, and several youths from Fin- consequences to the country, imports land went to Germany to be trained for from the West practically stopping, that officers and leaders of the national re- a change of government had to take bellion. As these sentiments were chief- place. ly represented in the Swedish-speaking In May, 1917, the Hammarskjöld part of Finland, Stockholm became government was succeeded by the
Swartz-Lindman ministry, whose task out the last remnants of this feeling, and it should be to obtain an arrangement it was the Swedish King himself who with England as to imports. It is very took the initiative of Scandinavian co characteristic of the situation that even operation. In November, 1914, he innow a Conservative government was vited the two other sovereigns, Haakon formed, Lindman, the Foreign Minis- of Norway and Christian of Denmark, ter, being the leader of the party in the to meet him at Malmoe. This has been Riksdag, and all of the members also until recently the only interview of Conservatives, though without any the monarchs. But three subsequent 'activist’ leanings. Even in 1917 the meetings of the prime ministers and Liberal-Socialist majority did not in foreign secretaries have taken place sist on taking office themselves, and the symptoms strong enough of the growConservatives were quite willing to take ing sense of solidarity between the three the risk. Perhaps the reason was that nations. they did not wish their opponents to The practical, tangible results of this inquire too closely to what extent the coöperation should not be exaggerated. administration had entertained rela- Even as among these three countries, tions with Germany. The recent dis- so proximately situated, so intimately closures of the cables from Argentine connected by common traditions, it make this suspicion legitimate at any soon appeared that the violent storm rate.
of the war attacks them from different The recent elections have shown the sides and forces them into divergent real situation in the country. The Con- attitudes. servatives willing to uphold the present Therefore we also see how few and foreign policy have dwindled from 86 far between are the common Scandinato 58, while the opposition has grown vian declarations or protests. Perhaps from 144 to 172 - a majority of three this divergence is best explained by the fourths in the popular Chamber. In different outlook on the war of the their internal policy the Conservatives three governments, as I have tried to can probably count on 12 more votes,
describe it in the preceding pages. representing two small peasant groups;
This difference of views has at any rate but even here their minority is barely tended to circumscribe very narrowly one third. Everything seems to point the field of action: only in a policy of to the definitive advent of political strict neutrality has it been possible to democracy in Sweden through the re- find the common denominator. And form of the Upper Chamber.
his policy has to some observers *Thus the conditions of a united demo- looked suspicious enough. The Scandicratic front will be created in the three navian coöperation had been opened at Scandinavian countries, and this can- the initiative of Sweden; the appearnot but have a beneficent reaction on ance of a certain Swedish hegemony their coöperation in foreign affairs. could hardly be avoided, because Swe
den alone has more inhabitants than
the two other countries put together. SCANDINAVIAN COÖPERATION
This has created the impression in some When war broke out, considerable quarters that Scandinavian coöperaresentment against Norway still reign- tion had certain German affinities, ed in Sweden: the dissolution of the impression, however, completely false. Union in 1905 was not yet forgotten. On the other hand, the change of govThe common danger of the war blotted ernment in Sweden, through which pro
Germanism will be completely elimina- of nations on the basis of Internationted, will, as has just been said, prepare al Law has made considerable heada still sounder basis for Scandinavian way during the war. Especially the coöperation, and other fields of work
common meetings of the three nationmay be opened. Initiatives in this direc- al groups of the Interparliamentary tion are not wanting. Thus the cham- Union, held during the war, have edubers of commerce and similar organiza- cated public opinion and have been tions of the three countries have just working on the governments. At their discussed possibilities of closer coöpera- initiative the governments have been tion as to currency, and even in respect trying to organize a common work on of tariffs.
the part of all the European neutrals, The calamity of the world-war, with in order to discuss the means of laying its sufferings and losses, has certainly the basis of a lasting peace, founded on drawn the three nations together. Al justice and guaranteed by a common though in a lesser degree than the bellig- will and by common institutions. erents, they have felt very hard what The Scandinavian nations have no war means. The military burdens laid illusions as to their power to enforce upon them have been heavy, entail- such a solution on the nations now at ing financial liabilities under which the war. Their whole-hearted support of budgets of the future will suffer for any effort bending toward the goal of a years to come. The entire population durable peace must only be taken as is groaning under high prices, and the a symptom of what is certainly their coming winter threatens to bring cruel dominant sentiment on the war: that want of the necessities of life.
this terrible crisis should at any rate The Scandinavian nations realize bring home to all nations the futility very clearly, however, that they do not and criminality of international war. suffer as the belligerents themselves; Several of our best minds hope and and their sympathies and active help believe that, if the Scandinavian counhave not been refused to the martyr tries succeed in maintaining to the end nations. Especially the appeals in favor their neutrality in the war, they may of Belgium have been met with a free perhaps in future serve as a common response.
meeting-ground for efforts toward a Hitherto the affairs of each nation wider international coöperation, perhave been considered as strictly na haps as an intermediary in the exchange tional and not pertaining to the do- of scientific and industrial, of artistic main of the others. The war has shown and literary experiences, which, during that this principle, anarchic and de- the first years of resentment, it will perstructive, can only lead to perdition; haps not be possible to arrange through and in the Scandinavian countries this direct channels. has been very clearly recognized. In all In this high mission of humanity of the three countries the movement Denmark, Norway, and Sweden would working for the formation of a league fain find a special field of action.