1891. The Collection of Decrees of the Grand Duchy of Finland. Nr 13.

(To be announced from the pulpit.)

To the Governor-General of Finland.

When you, following my command, declared on 8/20th of January this year the Diet of the Estates of Finland opened, the Land Marshall and the Speakers of the Estates have at the same time as they expressed the feelings of their loyal allegiance, considered it to be their duty to let me know about the anxiety aroused in the land by certain measures taken, in accordance with my prescriptions, to bring about a closer union of the Grand Duchy with other parts of the Russian Empire.

My incessant care about the welfare of Finland and her internal progress as well as a multitude of manifestations about my benevolence and trust in her population do not justify this kind of state of mood in the land.

It is only by a false conception about the basis on the relation of the Grand Duchy to the Empire and to the Supreme Authority, and by dissemination of these fallacies among the population, harmful to its true interests, that such a deplorable interpretation might have been presented.

Finland, which from the beginning of the present century, and partly even earlier, has belonged to the Russian Empire and has been subject to her rule, received, by the will of the ever-lamented Emperor Alexander I, a specific structure for her internal administration and a most gracious assurance of the preservation of her rights, privilegies, religion and fundamental laws. His August Successors have also confirmed this assurance.

These rights and privilegies of the land, particularly the ecclestiastical order and laws not only retain their force for the present but they have in many aspects further developed to meet the changing needs of the population of Finland. Thus the lot of Finland under the Russian sceptre has proved that her union with Russia has not prevented the free development of her local institutions, and the prosperity gained by Finland is an indisputable proof that this union suits to her own interests. The lack of uniformity between some Finnish statutes and all-Empire acts, as well as the deficient accuracy in the rules concerning the relation of the Grand Duchy to the Empire unfortunately instigate wrong impressions about the real meaning of the measures taken to achieve aims which are common to all parts of the Russian Empire. I hope however, that the common sense of the Finnish people will disperse this fallacy and the proper understanding of its own interests will make it to devote herself to further strengthening of the bonds that unite Finland to Russia.

I will entrust you on My behalf let it be known to My loyal subjects in Finland that I will show to the Finnish people the same benevolence, care and trust as earlier, and I will preserve intact the rights and privileges granted to it by the Russian Sovereigns, and that I have no intentions to alter the basis on which the internal administration of the land has been laid.

I have confidence in the allegiant feelings of all the Estates presented by the Land Marshal and the Speakers of the Diet. I will heartily thank you for them and I expect, justified by the devotion of Finland's population to Me, a unanimous cooperation in fulfilling of My plans to strengthen the political bond between the Grand Duchy and the Empire.


     In St. Petersburg, on the 28th of February 1891.

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

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