19 AUGUST 1905, Page 1

The Referendum which the Swedes demanded that the Norwegians should

authorise before separating themselves from Sweden was taken on Sunday, and the result revealed unexpected unanimity. Although 84-87 per cent. of the electors voted, there were only 184 dissentients against 368,200 votes in favour of secession. This is unprecedented in history, and would suggest manipulation of the ballot papers but that any trickster would have allowed the opposition something more of a fair show. The result is to be considered by the Swedish Riksdag at the end of the present month, and it is believed that the Bernadottes will probably agree to one of their number being selected for the vacant throne. They should be quick with their assent, for already a Republican party is lifting its head, and the national poet, Bjornson, has proclaimed himself on that side. The Referendum, with its astonishing result, is of itself proof that a wave of enthusiasm is sweeping over the land, and carrying away even that minority which exists everywhere, and which from some innate perversity or hatred of popular tyranny must vote against the cause that is acclaimed.