11 FEBRUARY 1905, Page 2

A serious deadlock has arisen between Sweden and Norway over

the question of the separate Consular ser- vice which Norway seeks to establish. Both Governments admit that the negotiations cannot be continued on the stipulated basis, and the King in Council, while ordering them to be suspended, appeals to his subjects in both countries not to allow any difference of opinion in the matter to weaken the bond of union between them. That this is no mere form of words is shown by the significant spepch delivered by Dr. Hagerup, Minister of State, before the Storthing on Wednesday at Christiania. The Norwegians, he declares, are most anxious to maintain peaceful relations and a good understanding with the Swedes, but " the present conditions of union are indefensible, and cannot continue without endangering such relations. It is therefore our task to see that unrestricted provision shall be made for the assumption by Norway of the national and international position to which she is entitled as a sovereign State." He goes on to add that the Government, holding that the present situation demands co-operation between the Storthing and the Cabinet, is prepared to resign if its remain- ing in office is likely to impair the unanimity of the national demand. Meantime, King Oscar, whose health is far from robust, and who has recently celebrated his seventy-sixth birthday, has banded over the reins of government to the Crown Prince till further notice.