1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Norway
NORWAY (see 19.799). The population of Norway, according to the preliminary results of the census of Dec. 1 1920, had increased to 2,646,306, from 2,393,906 in 1910. Of the 1920 population, 1,863,300 (70.34%) were resident in the country districts and 785,700 (29.66%) in the towns. The urban population forms a constantly increasing percentage, a phenomenon which reflects the advancing industrialization of the country.
Emigration has always been greatest from the country districts and has deprived the land first and foremost of a large part of the peasantry's young manhood. During 1901-10 63% of the emigrants were males, and of these 72% were single. The incidence of emigration was greatest between the ages of 20 and 25 years, and next in the age-class of 15-20 and third 25-30. During 1910-20 emigration slightly but steadily decreased owing to the better opportunities of work at home, and the many hindrances to travel caused by the World War. The number of emigrants was as follows:—1911, 12,447; 1912, 9,105; 1913, 9,876; 1914, 8,522; 1915, 4,572; 1916, 5,212; 1917, 2,518; and 1918, 1,226. The greatest number of Norwegians emigrate to the United States, a few to Canada. The respective figures for these two countries are: 1911, 11,122 and 1,304; 1912, 7,776 and 1,287; 1913, 8,568 and 1,281; 1914, 7,723 and 775; 1915, 4,388 and 169; 1916, 4,865 and 320; 1917, 2,344 and 168; 1918, 1,179 and 30. It was estimated in 1921 that Norwegians outside the homeland numbered about 1,600,000, making a total of about 4,300,000 of Norwegians and descendants of Norwegians in Norway and America. The average yearly percentage of increase in the Norwegian population in 1900-10 was 0.66, and in 1910-20 was 1.02; for the country districts it was respectively 0.62 and 1.04, and for the towns 0.74 and 0.96.
Norwegians are, as a nation, of a comparatively pure race. Until the World War only two foreign races had domiciliary rights in the country, i.e. Lapps (or Finns) and Quains (Kvaenerne) or Finlanders. The first belong to the historical, ancient race of northernmost Norway, the last have immigrated from Finland during the last 200 years. The Lapps (speaking strictly, the Swedish description of folk who live in northern Norway are called “Finns”) belong to the Mongolian race, and the Quains are derived from the scattered tribes of the population of Finland.
In 1910 18,590 Lapps were found in Norway, 0.79% of the whole population; and 7,712 Quains, 0.30% of the population. The majority of both these races live in the two northernmost provinces, Finmark and Tromsö, where their number, in comparison with the total population, is large. Of the 39,126 inhabitants of Finmark in 1910 (43,997 in 1920), 10,330 (26.4%) were Lapps, 5,398 Quains (13.8%). Of the population of Tromso, 80,772 (90,637 in 1920), 6,279 (7.8%) were Lapps and 1,618 (2.0%) Quains. The figures of the proportions between the Norwegian and the immigrated population in 1920 were not available in 1921, but it can be said with certainty that they have not appreciably altered since 1910. Neither of these two small groups show any inclination to become fused with the Norwegian-born majority. As regards the Lapps there is even a movement in force to assert a separate national culture on the basis of the national tongue of the race and its own traditions by accentuating their ethnical solidarity and by defining the land boundaries of the Lapps. The Norwegian Lapps held meetings in 1920 and 1921 of representatives of their different tribes, at which they discussed common interests, and laid their claims before the Norwegian Government. They wished no longer to be called Lapps or Finns, but Samer, which they consider to be the original name of their race (Suomi being the Finnish name for the Republic of Finland). As the organ of their efforts towards emancipation they commenced the issue of a paper Samealbmug (“the same people”) at Vadso in Sept. 1921. This propaganda for Lapp political aspirations, being hostile to Norway, could not be ignored, and has caused considerable unrest, particularly in northern Norway. In addition to Lapps and Quains, there were about 56,000 foreign-born residents in Norway in 1910, some of them of Norwegian descent. The number of foreigners was appreciably added to during the World War, principally by the entry of Russian and German fugitives, but also by French and English emigrants. The majority of these established themselves in Christiania and near by, and helped to increase the already too pressing house shortage. Not a few returned to their native country at the termination of the war.
According to the general census of Dec. 1 1920, the following towns had over 10,000 inhabitants:—Christiania, 260,920; Bergen, 91,081; Trondhjem, 54,520; Stavanger, 43,883; Drammen, 26,174; Haugesund, 16,563; Aalesund, 16,547; Christiansand, 16,543; Skien, 16,503; Fredrikstad, 15,579; Christiansund, 15,183; Tonsberg, 12,583; Larvik, 11,391; Fredrikshald, 11,218; Sarpsborg, 10,881; Horten, 10,413; Arendal, 10,358; Tromsö, 10,071. The boundaries of towns are fixed by law, and they do not always coincide with town-built areas. In addition to the actual towns there were many town-like rural centres which differed from the typical country community of a single farm, with its buildings occupied by a peasant with his family and servants. These areas with buildings are of a town type called “house collections” in the census, and in 1910 232,154 people, or nearly 10% of the total population, lived in such; towns and “house collections” together accounted for 39% of the population of Norway, while 61% lived scattered about the country, for the greater part in single farms and cottages.
Although 106 boys for every 100 girls are born in Norway yearly, women are in a greater majority than they were in most countries before the World War. In 1902 there were 1,076 women per 1,000 men, and this proportion has remained fairly constant. The reason for this ratio is to be found in the greater mortality and emigration of the men. The excess of women varies in different parts of the country; it is greatest in the towns, which have 1,206 women to 1,000 men, while in the country there are 1,058 women to every 1,000 men. Only in Finmark are there more men than women.
In Norway the oldest and youngest age-classes are the strongest numerically, while the age-class 15-40 is less than in most other countries. This is the result of emigration and of the high mortality in the middle age-classes of the male population. Of the 1920 population 35.4% were under 15 years, 35.8% between 15 and 39, 17.8% between 40 and 59, 11% 60 and over.
The average number of marriages contracted annually during the period 1911-15 was 15,320. During 1915 they were 15,940; (1916) 17,312; (1917) 18,086; (1918) 20,031; (Jan.-Sept. 1919) 15,608; (Oct. 1919-Sept. 1920) 18,032—or an average of 6.66 per 1,000 inhabitants yearly. The lowest marriage rate during this period was 6.10 in 1912 and the greatest (in 1918) was 7.77 per thousand. The number of divorces is increasing; while in 1896-1900 it was only 0.76 per 100 marriages, it was 3.32 in 1912, 3.28 in 1913, 2.69 in 1914, 3.52 in 1915, 2.96 in 1916, and 3.11 in 1917. In the later years somewhat over 60,000 children were born annually, representing a birth-rate of about 25 per 1,000. The birth-rate is comparatively low, and has been decreasing during the whole of the century. In 1896-1900 it was 30.44 per 1,000; the figure sank gradually to 23.42 in 1915, but increased a little during the following years, except in 1919 when it was only 22.47. per 1,000. About 7% (1896-1900 average 7.44%, 1911-19 average 6.93%) of the births were illegitimate.
Mortality has always been comparatively low in Norway, and in the long run its rate has fallen. The yearly deaths amounted to from 30,000 to 35,000. The yearly average death-rate per 1,000 inhabitants was: (1896-1900) 15.70, (1911-15) 13.34 (with the lowest figure in 1911, 12.98), (1916) 13.62, (1917) 13.35, (1918) 16.7—the great influenza epidemic,—(1919-20) 13.48. The Norwegian mortality rate for men varies from the general rule. It shows a falling mortality to 12 years of age, and thereafter a marked rise to 22 years; the rate then falls to 34 years and then again rises. While infant mortality (under 1 year) is lower in Norway than in any other European country and the mortality among the very young, and those over 50 years, is very low, the mortality between 20 and 30 years is higher than in any other country. The cause of this has not been determined, but tuberculosis is a strongly contributing factor. Mortality is higher in the towns than in the country, except among males of 17-25 years, and females 15-39, at which ages the country population has a higher rate of mortality than the town population. The total number of deaths in 1917 was 31,613. The principal causes of death, besides senile decay with 15.26% of all deaths, were pulmonary tuberculosis 13.47%, cancer and sarcoma 7.84%, apoplexy (apoplexia et embolia cerebri) 5.65%, organic heart disease 5.24%, inflammation of the lungs 5.17%, chronic bronchitis—catarrhal inflammation of the lungs 3.75%, and congenital debility 3.66%. In the terrible mortality year 1918, with 41,228 deaths, influenza was given as the cause of 7,248, 17.58% of all cases. Tuberculosis, which yearly carries off 2 per 1,000 of the population, prevails most seriously in Finmark, where the deaths from that disease in 1917 were 4.40 per 1,000, in Tromsö province the figure was 2.93, in Nordland 2.77, in North Trondelag 2.34, and in South Trondelag 2.34 per 1,000, while a high figure prevails in all the provinces of northern Norway. Energetic efforts to check this disease have been made by the Norwegian Anti-Tuberculosis Association, founded in Christiania on June 29 1910. On July 1 1920 this Association comprised, besides 2,287 life members, or industrial contributing members, 591 local associations with a total membership of 78,500, and 535 town and district corporations. The National Association, which is under the patronage of the king and queen, receives a State subsidy (for 1900-21, 25,000 kroner). It publishes a quarterly journal, of which over 20,000 copies are issued. The secretariat is in Christiania. For the combat of tuberculosis the Norwegian Government has established five sanatoria—Reknes sanatorium at Molde, Landeskogen sanatorium in Seteadalen, Vensmoen sanatorium in Saltsal, and coast hospitals near Fredriksvaern (on the eastern side of Christiania Fjord) and in Vadsö (Finmark). The work against tuberculosis in the large towns has been much hindered by the shortage of housing accommodation. Official communications from the communal offices in Christiania alone in Sept. 1921 reveal the fact that 15,000 people were without accommodation. The poorer classes were crowded into rooms which were too confined; many had already been condemned as insanitary. The tuberculosis section of the Christiania Health Committee state in their report for 1921 that 40% of the accommodation which had already been condemned as unfit for human habitation had again been put into use. Out of 381 newly reported tuberculosis families in 1920, 8.14% lived in rooms without kitchens, 37% in quarters of one room and kitchen, 35.43% in two rooms and kitchen, and 11% in three rooms and kitchen; only 18.64% of this accommodation was found to be satisfactory from the point of view of health. Only 22.75% of the sick had their own room, 77.25% shared a room with others, up to 8 or 10 sick in the same room. A proposal for house rationing, which was rejected by the Christiania Town Council in 1919, therefore came to the front again in the autumn of 1921. Similar housing conditions existed in Bergen and Trondhjem.
Railways.—Norwegian railways underwent great development after 1910 when the plan adopted by the Storthing on July 9 1908 for the extension of the railways of the country was being carried out as far as the more important lines are concerned. The total length of railways in operation in July 1920 was 3,286 km. (2,041 m.). To this must be added the Dovre railway between Domaas in the northernmost part of Gudbrandsdal over the Dovrefjell to Trondhjem, opened for traffic on Sept. 19 1921, which has a length of 158 km. (98 m.) from Domaas south over Dovre to Storen station on the old Hamar-Trondhjem line. The total length of the Norwegian railways was therefore 3,444 km. (2,139 m.) late in 1921. Of the total rail length 2,290 km. (1,423 m.) are standard gauge (1.435 metres between rails); the remainder, exclusively branch-lines or small private railways, are narrow gauge, for the greater part with a gauge of 1.067 metres. Among the newest railways is the line between Kongsberg and Hjuksebö, opened February 11 1920, quite a short line (37 km. or 23 m.) but of great importance because it was the first section of the projected trunk-line through Norway's “Sørland” (southern part) between Christiania and Stavanger.
After the completion of the Bergen railway in 1909, no event in the railway field attracted greater attention than the opening of the new railway across Dovre. The trunk-line between Christiania and Bergen (492 km., 306 miles) constitutes Norway's main connexion with the outer world. The trunk-line (553 km., 343 m.) between Christiania, Eidsvoll and Domaas 214 m.; Domaas and Stören 98 m. and Stören and Trondhjem 32 m., constituted in 1921 the main connexion between South and North Norway. It was in fact the spine of the railway system, and no later line of importance can be constructed without having some reference to the Dovre railway. Its importance from an economic and military as well as from a traveller's point of view is obvious. In 1908 the cost was estimated at about 17,000,000 kroner (£944,000), and the final cost is estimated at 61,000,000 kroner. The Dovre railway was officially opened on Saturday Sept. 17 1921 by the king at Hjerkinn, the highest point of the line, 1,017 metres (3,334 ft.) above sea-level, and was marked by great celebrations at Trondhjem. On Sunday night, Sept. 18, when a special train left Trondhjem for Christiania a serious collision with the north-going express from Christiania took place not far from Trondhjem. Six persons, all men of prominence, were killed, and thirteen injured.
The Rauma railway starts from the southern terminus of the Domaas-Dovre railway and was under construction in 1921 between Romsdal and Aandalsnes, a tourist centre at the outlet of the Rauma into Romsdals Fjord. It was intended to carry this railway westward to Aalesund. The Domaas-Björli section of this railway, the eastern half, was ready for working about the end of 1921. Domaas had already become an important junction. In the westlands districts, interest in the development of railway construction had increased considerably during 1920-1, and two railway committees were working in Bergen on the investigation of several plans. One of these relates to a connecting line between the Dovre railway and the Bergen line, and a probable solution inclines to the laying of a broad-gauge line of about 200 km. between Torpe station on the Bergen line (274 km. east of Bergen) and Kvam station 66 km. south of Domaas, the estimated time of construction being 10 years and the cost 36,000,000 kroner. This railway is not, however, included in the scheme worked out by one of the chief railway authorities for a construction period of 12 years (starting 1922) at a total cost of 273,000,000 kr. (£15,000,000). The railway authorities have also worked out a general scheme for the future development of the railways of the country at an estimated cost of 1,300,000,000, kroner. This scheme was to be brought before the Storthing in 1922. The Storthing had, however, in 1921 already approved the immediate commencement of work on the construction of the Sunnan-Grong section of the proposed great trunk-line, Norway's greatest railway project through Nordland. Up to July 1920 an invested capital of 412,120,000 kr. had been sunk in constructed railways. The interest-earning capacity of this capital has shown a falling tendency in recent years, and in the working-year 1917-8 the working expenses for the first time in the history of the railways of Norway were greater than the traffic receipts. The railways afterward worked with a deficiency which was for the period mentioned 7,550,000 kr., in 1918-9 2,510,000 kr., 1919-20 3,530,000 kroner. The reason for this deficiency is first and foremost the extraordinarily increased expenditure on wages, and secondly the high price of coal during and after the World War. Although all rates had been more than doubled, yet it had not been possible to cover expenditures. Freight increases finally brought strong protests from traders, and at the third Scandinavian Trades Meeting held in Christiania on Sept. 13-14 1921 the traffic question was one of the principal topics of discussion; an urgent appeal was made to the authorities concerned to look into the matter of traffic between the three Scandinavian countries as regards relief by reductions of charges and freights. The general director of the Norwegian State Railways immediately promised to comply with this appeal.
Work on the conversion of railways to electrical power was resumed, after having been practically stopped during the World War. The line between Christiania and Drammen, the first electrically operated railway in Norway, and the section from Christiania to Asker (23 km.) with heavy local traffic, was to be worked on this system from Jan. 1 1922.
Roads.—The Norwegian system of roads is being steadily expanded by new construction and by rebuilding. A thorough revision of highways legislation (which dated from 1851) was made by the Highways Law of June 21 1912, which came into force July 1 1913. Public roads are either high roads or parish roads. By high roads are understood (1) the more important highways which connect Norway with neighbouring states or provinces, (2) roads which, within a province, convey through traffic between two or more districts or form the principal means of access to towns. All other roads are considered as parish roads. The high roads are controlled by a Director of Highways for the whole country, who is directly under the Department of Public Works. In addition there is a provincial Direction of Roads for each province, consisting of the head of the province and two elected members of the provincial council. Norway's high roads in 1915 had a total length of 13,146 km. (8,165 m.), parish roads 20,139 km. (12,510 m.), a total of 33,285 km. (20,675 m.) of public driving roads. There were in 1921, on the average, 110 km. of such roads for every 1,000 sq. km. of the total land area of Norway.
Simultaneously with the Highways Law of 1912 a “Law for the use of Motor Vehicles” was passed, which opened all the roads and avenues of the country to automobiles. Including motorcycles, the total number of motor vehicles in Norway in Jan. 1921 was about 14,000, while 30,000 licences had been issued to motor drivers. About 270 motor routes have been opened up over the whole country and these play a big part both in general passenger and goods transport, as well as in tourist traffic. Among the most important routes which connect areas of the country where railways do not exist are the following:—Otta-Geiranger-Stryn-Domaas-Aandalsnes; Fagernaes Tyin-Laerdal; Fagernaes-Bygdin; Gol-Laerdal; Dalen-Haukeli-Odda; Christiansand-Aaseral-Mandal; Christiansand-Arendal; Osebykle (Setesdalen)-Arendal-Evje; Kragerø-Tørdal; Notodden-Kviteseid; Elverum-Trysil-Faemund; Stenkjaer-Namdalseid; Sjøveien-Saetermoen-Finsnes; Vardø-Vadsø-Tanen.
There were two Norwegian automobile factories in 1921, but both imported finished parts.
State-Subsidized Steamer Services.—In the inland State-subsidized steamer services it was necessary during the war to make restrictions from 1915, and in 1917 freights had to be materially increased, both on coast and local routes. These restrictive measures especially affected northern Norway (the provinces of Nordland, Tromsö, and Finmark) whose communication with the rest of the country became greatly restricted. In 1917 it became necessary to impose very considerable extra taxation on the public to maintain the necessary service, especially on the northernmost portions of the country. From Feb. 1917 to the end of Nov. 1918 steamer services between Bergen and Newcastle were entirely stopped, and the same was the case with the Christiania-Fredrikshavn route from the end of April 1917 to the end of Oct. 1918. When the contracts with the coastal service companies expired on July 1 1921 the State contribution to this service was materially reduced. For the financial year 1921-2 the State contribution to the northern Norway routes was placed at about 11,500,000 kroner. The Bergen Steamship Company in 1921 established an express route between Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Bergen with railway connection to London and Christiania, so that travellers between these two places were able to do the journey in 70 hours, of which 22 were on the sea.
Tourist Traffic, which prior to the World War had been a source of revenue of no little importance, was practically entirely suspended during the World War. It failed in 1915, revived a little in 1917, but in 1918 was again less and the few foreign travellers were practically all Danish and Swedish. There were many of these in 1919 and 1920 and besides them, as before the war period, a large proportion of inland travellers. But in 1921 the character of the traveller traffic changed, in that it consisted again of a great stream of foreigners, Americans, Englishmen and Hollanders, the latter due no doubt to the fact that in Aug. 1921 the Queen of Holland travelled through the tourist centres of Norway. In April 1921 a Norwegian State Railways Travel Bureau was opened in Norway House, London, which acts as a central office for tourist traffic to and from Norway and England. The big English “floating hotels” in 1921 resumed their visits to the westland fjords of Norway.
Telegraphs and Telephones.—Telegraphs and telephones have been very thoroughly developed during recent years, especially wireless. The management of the State telephones is combined with that of the State telegraphs, at the head of which there is a Director of Telegraphs, who is under the direct jurisdiction of the “Trade Department” (properly “The Department for Trade, Sea Transport, Industry and Fisheries,” established by decree of the Storthing of June 28 1916). In 1912 the Storthing approved a plan submitted by the then Director of Telegraphs (Thomas Heftye, born 1860, killed in the railway disaster at Trondhjem Sept. 19 1921, Director of Telegraphs from 1905, formerly a minister of State, senior lieutenant in the engineer service), whereby in the course of a few years by an extraordinary appropriation a telephone trunk-line would be constructed from Trondhjem to Vadsö. At the end of 1919 the main line was ready northwards to Tromsö and lines were extended for local telephone service from different points in East Finmark, with branch-lines to the islands and fishery properties and northwards to the regions inhabited by the Lapps. In 1921 the Storthing made an extraordinary appropriation, outside the usual construction budget, for district lines in the few parts of the country still without telegraph or telephones. In 1921 there was a telephone on nearly every farm.
The first two radio-telegraph stations, Sørvagen and Røst, were opened in 1908 in the Lofoden fisheries district; in 1910 the Telegraph Service took over from the navy the Tjöme station in the outer part of Christiania Fjord, and Flekkerøy, a little southwest of Christiansand. In 1911 came the more powerful stations, on the Rundemanden in the neighbourhood of Bergen, and at Ingøy, a little to the north of Hammerfest. In connexion with this, the Norwegian Government in 1911 erected a post-office and radio-telegraph station at Ankershavn, on the eastern side of Green Harbour, Spitzbergen; later a mining company erected four smaller stations in West Spitzbergen, which are connected with Norway through this Spitzbergen central station. In Aug. 1919 a wireless station was erected at Ostervaag on Biörnöya (Beeren Island), also by a private mining company. And in Sept. 1921 a station of the Norwegian Radio Company established mainly for daily weather forecasts to Reykjavik, Ingøy, and Fauske was opened on Jan Mayen. All these stations are comparatively small. However, Norway obtained one of the world's largest wireless stations (Marconi system) in the autumn of 1919 in Stavanger, intended for direct communication with stations in North America. Lastly there are powerful new stations on Tryvanshøiden near Christiania, Udsire on the island of the same name south-west of Haugesund, at Bodö in Fauske province, a little to the east of the town Bodö, and in 1921 the construction of a large station close to Trondhjem was begun. The stations at Tromsö and in the neighbourhood of the head of Varanger Fjord have been taken in hand and with the Bodö, Trondhjem and Christiania stations will form a trunk system of wireless telegraphy over the whole country.
Shipping.—Before the World War the Norwegian merchant fleet ranked fourth in the world with a total gross registered tonnage of about 2,600,000. In proportion to the population Norway's commercial fleet was greater than that of any other country. The war has essentially altered this position. Nearly half the Norwegian fleet was sunk and 1,200 non-combatant Norwegian seamen perished. Nevertheless the Norwegian fleet was in 1921 about as big as before. In the second year of the war several hundred thousand tons of new and old ships had already been purchased from foreign countries, and new vessels were contracted for in various parts of the world. It is calculated that between one-third and one-half of Norway's tonnage in 1921 has been built within the three or four preceding years. This new fleet was constructed without Government subsidy. The sudden and violent derangement of values in 1920, however, brought many of the ship-owning firms, who had to replace their war losses at top prices, into serious financial embarrassment. Before the war only 10% of the Norwegian fleet was engaged in traffic with Norway; the majority ran on more or less regular routes between foreign ports. Regular liner traffic on fixed routes had developed rapidly, but was stopped by the war. After the war the lost ground was quickly regained, and the tonnage owned by the liner companies increased by the addition of new vessels especially built for regular-line service. Several new lines were also started. The tonnage of vessels engaged in regular-line traffic was 130,340 gr. reg. tons in 1910, 298,275 gr. reg. tons in 1916 and 400,000 in 1920. The development of the regular-line trade was thus satisfactory, but nevertheless the total tonnage owned by the liner companies was in 1921 not more than 1⁄5th of Norway's total ocean-going tonnage.
The greater part of the Norwegian tonnage was operated on a time charter (tramp) basis before the war. The war brought a change also in this respect and in other ways altered the conditions of employment. Norwegian ships were withdrawn from trades which had previously absorbed a great deal of Norwegian tonnage, as for example the trade between India and China, the West Indies trade, the Black Sea trade, etc. The British coal trade laid claim to most of this tonnage. Thus in the summer of 1916 no less than 159 Norwegian ships with a total tonnage of 173,119 gr. reg. tons were constantly running in the coal trade between England and France alone, and national supplies required three times as much Norwegian tonnage as was necessary before the war.
Over 26,000 men (sailors, firemen etc.) and officers (masters, mates and engineers) were in 1921 employed aboard the vessels of the Norwegian merchant fleet, and about 17% (more than 112,000) of the entire male wage-earning population (about 660,000) earn their living directly or indirectly by the sea.
Norway's maritime laws are in advance of the legislation of most other countries. This applies in particular to provisions concerning the crews and their conditions of work. An act of July 11 1919, which came into force Jan. 1 1920, established the daily hours of labour on board Norwegian ships in harbour at eight hours, in the tropics seven hours, between 7 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon. At sea the work of the deck is divided into watches throughout the 24 hours in the usual manner. The work of the engine-room crew was, however, to be divided into three watches in the 24 hours to such extent as the number of men permits. By an Order in Council of May 31 1918 a manning schedule for Norwegian vessels was established, giving the number of mates, engineers and hands according to the size of the vessel. The two-man cabin system has also been adopted, and sanitary arrangements to meet the strictest hygienic requirements are obligatory.
In several Norwegian ports (especially in Christiania, Christiansand, Stavanger, Bergen and Trondhjem) the harbours have been considerably extended and modernized. The question of establishing a free harbour has been discussed in all these cities and on June 20 1919 the Government appointed a committee to examine whether a Norwegian free harbour ought to be established and if so, where. This committee reported in Oct. 1921. It recommended the construction of a free harbour, calculated to cost 31,000,000 kr., between two of the islands in the fjords near Christiania.
Water-Power.—Since electrical power transmission opened the way to bringing great quantities of power to suitably situated industrial centres, it has become possible to utilize Norway's greatest natural asset, water-power. It has been the foundation for the industrial development of the 20th century in Norway. Though Norway itself lacks coal, she has come forward into the front rank of power-producing countries. No country in Europe has nearly as great wealth of water-power, not only in proportion to the population, but absolutely. And this power is the cheapest and most conveniently distributed in the world. The total water-power of Norway is estimated to amount to at least 15,000,000 H.P., which with reasonable regulation and development can be utilized the year round, day and night. More than half of this power is admirably situated for big industries, as the fall of the water in many cases is direct into deep fjords, where power stations, factories and quays can be erected in ice-free, well-sheltered harbours, available for the largest ships. As a result of the sharp steep slope on the west of the country, the Cascades in the Westland and northern Norway not infrequently have a fall of 1,500-3,000 ft., often in connexion with large high-lying inland lakes, which permits of practical and effective storage of water and renders the regulation of the flow economical and convenient.
Of the 15,000,000 H.P. available the Norwegian Government owns about 2,000,000, of which about 75,000 H.P. is developed, and a corresponding amount of power is owned by Norwegian communes, but the rest are in private ownership, either of single persons or companies. About 1,200,000 H.P. had been developed by 1921, of which 250,000 H.P. are used to supply the general requirements of lighting, household purposes, agriculture, trade, small industries, tramways, etc., while about 95,000 H.P. are used in large industries. A further 250,000 H.P. were under development in 1921 primarily for public and communal purposes. The increase in the requirements of the country is shown by the following figures: in 1907 about 250,000 H.P. had been developed, in 1913 about 750,000 H.P. and in 1920 upwards of 1,200,000.
A portion of this store of power will be available for transmission to central Europe, poor in water-power. The scheme was in 1921 so far advanced that already the Governments of Norway, Sweden and Denmark had appointed a commission of experts to investigate the question of the transmission of power from Norway, through Sweden to Denmark. And from Denmark, it is not a long extension to Germany. The distance from Norway to Denmark and Germany is 300 and 450 miles respectively. The fact that in 1914 five times as many water H.P. were employed as steam H.P. in metal industries and mechanical workshops is evidence of the part water-power already plays in the industries of Norway as compared with imported coal. In the textile industries likewise about 5 times, in the paper industry 10 times, in the foodstuffs industry 4 times, and in mine workings double as many water H.P. as steam H.P. are employed, and in the chemical industry water-power is employed (about 400,000 H.P.) almost exclusively. The total installation of the country for electric light and power in 1921 represented over 800,000 water H.P. as against only 40,000 steam H.P.
Industrial Use.—For the electro-chemical and electro-metallurgical industries in particular, water-power is of the utmost importance in the utilization of the raw products of the country. Systematic investigation has revealed that raw materials are relatively abundant, and especially has it been established that the country is far richer in iron ores than was supposed. This wealth formerly could only be partly utilized, as the ores were low-grade. The steadily increasing need for raw material, together with improved technical methods of production, gives hopes, however, for the utilization of poor or contaminated ores by economical working. The introduction of the electric smelting-oven opened up the possibility for development of an iron and steel industry in Norway based on the country's own metals. The importance of this appears when it is considered that Norway possesses iron ore roughly calculated to amount to about 1,500,000,000 tons—mining to a depth of from 500 to 600 ft. below the surface. By surface-working about 350,000,000 tons of ore can be obtained. The ore in northern Norway is, however, poor—containing only 30.37% of iron. In middle Norway there are about 20,000,000 tons of ore with 55% iron and in the south about 5,000,000 tons with 45.48% iron. Norway also possesses a large supply of low-grade zinc ores, which, in the future, will certainly be used. Even now the country has a not unimportant zinc industry based on imported raw material. Norway also has an aluminium industry supplied with imported raw material (bauxite). As, however, Norway possesses a vast supply of aluminium silicate and other deposits rich in aluminium, it can be assumed that an important aluminium industry will be developed on the country's own raw material. The most important mining industry of the country before the war was the mining of copper ore and iron pyrites, large deposits of these minerals occurring in middle and northern Norway. These ores were exported as raw material, but the extraction of the metal should form a new industry. A large nickel refinery has been established near Christiansand. Among other ores found which are important in connexion with the development of new branches of industry—either independently or in relation to the iron and steel industry—are those containing chromium, silicon, nickel, titanium, and others. There was a great increase in the production of molybdenum during 1920.
Already by 1921 the results attained in the chemical industries in the course of a few years were impressive. Particularly in the manufacture of artificial fertilizers such as Norwegian saltpetre, calcium nitrate and cyanamide. The raw materials for the manufacture of saltpetre are atmospheric nitrogen and limestone. The greatest electro-chemical establishment is Norsk Hydro-elektrisk kvaelstof-aktieselskap at Rjuhan; this factory was using over 200,000 water H.P. in the preparation of Norwegian saltpetre, nitric acid, nitrate of ammonia, nitrate of soda and other products. The new synthetic saltpetre industry which was originated and developed in Norway on the Birkeland-Byde'ske methods also supplies raw material for the explosive and dye-stuff industries. The production of carbide of calcium has also made great strides. The value of the country's products in the electro-chemical and electro-metallurgical industries reached in 1918 to over 180,000,000 kroner.
Finance.—Since 1905 the Norwegian State budget has been divided into two chief sections, one embracing the ordinary, the other the extraordinary revenue and expenditure. By a measure adopted by the Storthing in 1907 the financial year was altered from April-March to July-June. In 1911 the Storthing passed an amendment to the constitution by which Norway was under ordinary conditions to have a fixed unassailable reserve of 40,000,000 kr. (at that epoch estimated to have a value of £2,222,222).
The eight budget years July 1 1906 to June 30 1914 in all but one period (1909-10) gave a surplus, which altogether amounted to 55,900,000 kr. at the end of this period; the greater part of this amount being applied to various defensive measures. During these 8 years the national debt increased by only 15,000,000 kr., from 342,400,000 to 357,400,000 kroner. At the end of the budget year 1913-4 the cash reserve of the national exchequer amounted to 50,200,000 kroner. These figures show that the financial position of Norway was sound at the outbreak of the World War. For the budget year 1914-5 the State revenue amounted to 197,000,000 kr., of which 167,800,000 was on the ordinary, and 29,500,000 on the extraordinary budget; expenditure amounted to 186,400,000 (ordinary 156,100,000, extraordinary 30,200,000) and the remaining surplus was therefore 10,600,000 kroner. In this connexion it should be noted that expenditure incurred for the maintenance of neutrality was not included in the budget, but during the whole war was provided for apart from it. The national exchequer cash reserve at the end of this budget year amounted to 35,700,000 kroner. In 1915-6 revenue increased to 240,400,000, and expenditure to 191,200,000, showing a surplus of 49,200,000. Under the pressure of the general panic which was prevalent during the first year of the World War at the increase of the budget, measures were taken to reduce the budget expenditure; but the gloom was only of short duration, and was succeeded in 1915 by a period of prosperity, which caused the national revenue to increase far beyond the estimate. Income and property taxes that year realized 24,600,000 more than had been estimated, customs 7,700,000 more, etc. The exchequer surplus on June 30 1916 amounted to 57,100,000 kroner. This progress continued the following year, 1916-7, when the national revenue rose to 394,700,000 while the expenditure was only 268,700,000, and a clear surplus remained of 126,000,000 kr., treble the amount of the national budget a few years earlier. Income and property tax for that year together yielded 86,300,000 more than estimated, customs 13,800,000, and a war-period tax added to the revenue on the extraordinary budget realized 36,600,000 kroner. The treasury had at the expiration of the budget year a reserve of 80,800,000 kroner. The budget for the financial year 1917-8 was balanced at an amount of 446,400,000 kroner, 250,300,000 on the ordinary, 196,400,000 on the extraordinary. But the ordinary revenue attained 406,200,000 and the extraordinary 213,600,000, a total of 619,800,000 kroner. At the same time the expenditure increased to a total of 501,800,000 kr. (ordinary 296,100,000, extraordinary 205,600,000), and a surplus remained of 118,000,000 kroner. Among the assets on the ordinary budget income and property taxes showed an amount of 150,700,000 (against an estimated 58,600,000), stamp duties (principally from stock transactions) 40,100,000 (against an estimated 12,000,000). On the extraordinary budget, war tax showed 160,300,000 (against 114,200,000 estimated), and among the expenditures on this part of the budget appeared 31,300,000 kr. for increased cost-of-living bonuses to State officials, with 106,600,000 for other expenditures in connexion with increased costs; the extraordinary expenditure on defence was 26,000,000 kr., which was entirely met by the war tax and tonnage duty. The Treasury reserve at the end of the budget year amounted to 187,100,000 kroner. The budget for 1918-9 was balanced at 625,000,000, 333,300,000 on the ordinary and 291,700,000 on the extraordinary. The ordinary revenue however reached 463,000,000 and the extraordinary 324,600,000, together amounting to 787,600,000 kr.; the expenditure rose to 672,200,000, a surplus therefore accruing of 115,400,000 kr. Among the expenditures on the extraordinary budget the cost-of-living bonuses increased to 89,500,000, and other measures in connexion with increased costs 139,300,000 kr. The Treasury reserve was 260,200,000 kroner. For the financial year 1919-20 the budget was balanced at 726,500,000 (392,400,000 on the ordinary and 334,100,000 on the extraordinary). On the extraordinary budget credit-side that year were presented loans (for railway, telegraph and telephone construction, also purchase and development of waterfalls) 60,300,000, war tax 236,300,000 and tonnage duty 17,400,000 kroner. Among the expenditures on the extraordinary budget were: cost-of-living bonuses, 100,700,000; other State expenditure caused by increased costs, 88,000,000; losses by emergency measures affecting industries, 25,000,000; and measures against unemployment, 8,000,000 kr., a surplus of 42,300,000 remained. The ordinary budget for 1920-1 was balanced at 492,400,000 and the extraordinary at 267,400,000 kroner. The preceding figures are gross totals derived from national accounts and budgets, while the surplus stated is estimated and does not quite correspond with the actual reserve. The net figures, i.e. the figures which show the difference between the revenue and expenditure relating to the various State purposes, present a somewhat different picture. The extraordinary budget was in 1921 swollen more than the ordinary; before the war this part of the budget included especially expenditure on railway construction, carried out by means of loans. During the war this budget included expenditure on extra defensive measures, and the greater part of the expenditure caused by the increased costs. The expenditure incurred in the maintenance of neutrality, on the other hand, was not included in the budgets. Taking this expenditure into account also, the following were the amounts used extraordinarily:—1914-5 61,000,000; 1915-6 59,300,000; 1916-7 139,800,000; 1917-8 272,500,000; 1918-9 351,200,000; 1919-20 334,000,000. For the six budget years dealt with above 1,218,000,000 kr. were therefore devoted partly to expenses normally raised on the extraordinary budget, and partly to emergency expenditure, for example, shortage on herrings, fish and fats which the State took over, shortage on corn and shortage caused by the assumption of war risks for fishing and whaling vessels. The surplus for 1914-9, totalling 385,900,000 kr., was used for meeting current State expenditure.
The Norwegian Government had the following “war income” at command:—(1) the afore-named surplus on the ordinary budget, 385,900,000 kr.; (2) war-period tax, total 653,200,000 kr.; (3) tonnage duty, a special tax on shipping, 75,200,000 kr.; (4) other extra revenue, 12,000,000 kr.; altogether, 1,126,300,000 kr. The total amount of the tax revenue in 1914-5 was 178,600,000 kr., and in 1917-8 it was 639,400,000 kr. In order to increase the revenue, the Government took refuge during the war in a series of new taxes and, in part, greatly increased those already in existence. Thus in 1915-6 a material increase in income and property tax was decreed, with heavier incidence on larger incomes and property, stamp duty was also increased, and, as new taxes, a stamp duty on tobacco and a match tax. All these taxes were later increased and remained in 1921, except the match tax which was abolished in 1917. In its place a transient luxury tax was imposed, which however proved to be disappointing. In 1915 a war-time tax was introduced which produced 236,300,000 kr. in 1919-20. In 1916 a tonnage duty was imposed on shipping as a special tax, and this up to July 1919 had realized about 75,000,000 kr., which was used for measures against scarcity. The expenses-of-neutrality service (maintaining the neutrality of the country, principally along the coast with the aid of the navy) cost in 1914-5 21,800,000; in 1915-6 27,200,000; in 1916-7 41,300,000; in 1917-8 55,800,000, and in 1918-9 35,300,000 kr.; or a total of 181,400,000 kr.
On June 30 1914 the Norwegian national debt amounted to 357,400,000 kr., for the greater part long-period (50-75 years) loans with 3, 3½ and 4% interest. Of this debt 336,500,000 was in foreign countries and 20,900,000 in Norway. Up to the end of 1919 four fixed loans were adopted, three with a total amount of 225,000,000 in the country itself, and one—18,600,000 kr. in amount, repayable in 1923—in the United States. There were in addition some short-term repayable loans of smaller amounts taken up in America and England. On Dec. 31 1919 the fixed national debt had increased to 594,300,000 kr. To this must be added the cash credits opened in 1918-9 by the different Norwegian banks for the purposes of financing trade, which brought the floating debt of the State at the end of 1918 up to 422,500,000, a total national debt therefore of 1,016,800,000 kr. The yearly installment and interest on the fixed national debt, which in 1914-5 amounted to 17,500,000 kr., had in 1920-1 increased to double, 34,700,000 kr. A new loan in 1920-1 brought the national debt on Dec. 31 1920 up to a total of 1,167,000,000 kr. or 440 kr. per head of the population. During the war period it was maintained as an invariable principle that fixed loans could only be applied to reproductive purposes—construction of railways and telegraph lines, building of power stations, purchase of waterfalls and industrial construction. To such purposes nearly 500,000,000 kr. was applied in 1921. In addition the State possesses all goods purchased and stored for the provisioning operations and not liquidated, up to Oct. 1921 to an amount of at least 100,000,000 kr. Finally the amount the State was owed abroad (especially by Germany) was at least 150,000,000 kr. for goods supplied—principally fish.
The Norwegian communes occupy a very independent position as regards the State, not only in political constitution but in economic finances. They have, practically speaking, full self-government. The approval of the Government is only required for the putting into operation of such economic measures as bind the finances of the commune for a long period of years, e.g. all communal loans. Taxes in the communes have increased to an extraordinary extent. For all corporate townships and cantons together they amounted in 1910 to 45,840,000 kr.; in 1914-5 to 65,190,000 kr., and 1919-20 to 322,280,000 kr. In 1920 new communal loans to a total of 350,000,000 kr. were adopted, or about as much as the whole of the total communal debt on June 30 1917. In 1921 the total communal debts amounted to 1,000,000,000 kr. This money has however been used mainly for reproductive purposes electric works, gas and water supply and the like. In 1914-5 every taxpayer in the towns paid 130.90 kr. in communal taxes, which amounted to an average of 50.07 kr. per head of the inhabitants. In the budget year 1918-9 these figures increased to 579.34 kr. and 247.69 kr. respectively. In the cantons the corresponding figures were (1914-5) 49.60 kr. and 16.61 kr., (1918-9) 133.75 kr. and 46.02 kr.
A measure of how property and incomes have increased in Norway is afforded in the assessments of the position of the whole population as regards income and property, which are compiled every year in every town and in every canton by a specially appointed local commissioner, who critically investigates the taxpayers' own statements regarding their economic position, or independently estimates it. The “tax list” compiled in this manner contains the names of all the taxpayers, with a statement of the “presumed” income and property and the “rated” tax for each individual. Though punishments for incorrect “personal declarations” are very stringent and appraisement can often be defective, especially in the country by underestimation of the taxpayers' economic ability, the reflection of the economic assessment of the whole country as shown by the total amount of taxation must, roughly regarded, be just.
The figures only apply to the portion of the population which comes under the taxation laws, but the additions for the persons who are without the scope of this are not important. On these calculations the following statement may be given of the total national property and income:—
| Number of
- (K. V. H.)
Agriculture.—According to official statistics for 1917 (the latest issued in 1921) the agricultural area amounts to 2,430,000 ac. and the area suitable for agriculture to some 1,740,000 ac. Between 1918 and 1921 at least some 50,000 ac. were laid under the plough, the percentage being highest in the counties of Rogaland (5,000 ac.), Nordland (nearly 5,000 ac.), and Hedmark (4,000 ac.), and lowest in Finmark (with only about 250 ac.). During these years the Storthing devoted over 26,000,000 kr. to new cultivation. The characteristic feature in Norwegian agriculture between 1900 and 1920 was the constant increase of small freeholders having for their speciality the cultivation of root crops and feeding of cattle.
The cultivated area in 1917 was made up as follows:—612,560 ac. fields, 1,100,000 ac. meadows on cultivated soil, 24,000 ac. gardens. In 1919 the crops amounted to the following figures: 29,000 tons wheat, 25,000 tons rye, 115,000 tons barley, 220,000 tons oats, 22,000 tons mangcorn, a total of 411,000 tons of grain, together with 1,000,000 tons of potatoes and 1,700,000 tons of hay.
The total holding of live stock in the country for the dates given was:
|Dec. 31 1907||Jan. 1 1918|
According to the prices obtaining in Norway in 1918 the live stock holding for that year had a value of 1,038,000,000 kr. (horses 317,000,000 kr., large stock 567,000,000 kr., sheep 84,000,000 kr., goats 12,000,000 kr., swine 47,000,000 kr.). To this must be added, reindeer 11,000,000 kr., feathered stock 14,000,000 kr., bee stock 1,500,000 kr., and rabbits 500,000 kr.
The following are the figures for dairies and milk-condensing factories:—
|Number of dairies and factories||677||460|
|Milk received in millions of kilograms||308.15||212.49|
|Amount paid for milk, in million kroner||33.13||94.87|
|Amount paid for milk per kgm. (in öre)||11.35||45.22|
The total area of forests is approximately 26,640 sq. m. (69,000 sq. km.), representing a value of about 1,000,000,000 kr. Upwards of 61.4% of the forests are grown with pine and fir trees. The export value of forestry products in 1911-5 averaged annually 92,300,000 kr., and in 1916-9 186,000,000 kr. Exports of planed, cut, shaped and round timber in 1913 amounted in value to about 34,000,000 kr., exports of wood-pulp and cellulose to about 52,000,000 kr., and of paper to about 32,000,000 kr., or altogether about 120,000,000 kr. for forest products. In 1920 there were exported 386,000 tons of wood-pulp as against 496,000 in 1913, 211,600 tons of cellulose against 211,000 tons in 1913, 194,000 tons of paper and pasteboard against 184,000 in 1913, and a total of about 940,000 cu. metres of timber of all kinds against 1,044,000 cu. metres in 1913. Forestry progress is largely due to the Norwegian Afforestation Association, (founded 1898), which has planted annually between 10 and 15 millions of new trees since about 1906.
Fishing Industry.—The fisheries are among the principal economic resources of Norway. It is calculated that nearly 100,000 men (1917) are engaged in them. Up to the close of the 19th century Norwegian fisheries generally retained the character of coast fisheries which they had had for centuries. Since then a great change has taken place and the great bank fisheries, carried on by fishing steamers and motor vessels chiefly from Aalesund (about 16,500 inhabitants), have become important. The Norwegian fishing fleet consisted in 1917 of 267 steamers, 11,048 motor vessels and about 40,000 sailboats, with an approximate total value of 100,000,000 kr. In 1917 the total yield of the coast fisheries was valued at 135,000,000 kr.
By law of Aug. 1 1919 the Storthing decreed that a Norwegian State Fisheries Bank should be established to finance the Norwegian fisheries, with a State-provided capital amounting to at least 5,000,000 kr. and a reserve fund of 750,000 kr. The object of the bank was (1) to grant loans for providing, rebuilding or repairing fishing vessels, (2) to arrange mortgages on fishing vessels, (3) for constructing or rebuilding icehouses, refrigerators, drying works, or making similar arrangements for the protection or improvement of fish products, (4) for the consolidation of fisheries by the provision of fishery appliances, equipment, etc. In terms of the law the bank is required to have its head office in the town where the Fisheries Directorate has its seat (therefore in Bergen), but loan offices may be established in such places as the king (Government) may decree. It is stipulated that in such places a union must be constituted of at least 50 members who hold themselves jointly and wholly responsible for the amount loaned to members. The administration of the bank consists of three members, with the Director of Fisheries as permanent adviser. The Fisheries Bank commenced operations in Nov. 1921. A State loan of 15,000,000 kr. was granted for the purpose.
Whaling Industry.—Scandinavians have recently taken a leading place in the whale-fishing industry. The pioneer was Svend Foyn (1809-1894), who introduced new methods into the industry; and since the discoveries of fishing fields in the Antarctic in 1906-7, whaling has developed in the South Atlantic and in several other parts of the world as well. The total production of whale-oil by Norwegian whaling stations amounted in 1908 to 69,000 bar., in 1911 to 344,000 bar., in 1913 to the “record” of 600,000 bar., in 1915 to 475,000 bar., in 1917 to 231,000 bar., in 1919 to 163,000 bar., and in 1920 to 212,000 bar. (6 bar. = 1,000 kgm. = 1 ton). The number of fishing companies was greatest in igia.when there were 60, with 34 land stations and 39 floating boiling plants and 160 whaling vessels. The total value of oil from the different fields (S. Shetland, S. Georgia, N. and S. America, E. and W. Africa, and the northern seas,—Ireland, Hebrides, Faroes, W. coast of Norway and Spitzbergen) was (in millions of kr.) 4.5 in 1908, 15.8 in 1910, 29.1 in 1912, 34.5 in 1914, 35.5 in 1916, 28.5 in 1918, and about 60,000,000 kr. in 1920. Whaling is operated chiefly from the towns of Sandefjord, Tonsberg and Larvik. The share of Norway in the world's production of whale-oil amounted to nearly 50% in 1920.
Mining.—Norway is not an especially rich mining country, the ores and minerals being mostly of poor quality. The oldest and most important branch of mining industry is the working of copper ore and sulphuric pyrites, large quantities of which are extracted at Löken in the district of Meldalen, at Roros and at Sulitelma, while more scanty supplies are met with at many places, especially S. and E. of the Trondhjem Fjord. The production of iron ore increased rapidly after the beginning of the 20th century, and in 1915 it exceeded in weight that of copper ore and pyrites; in 1906-10 the production of the former was 72.3% and of iron ore 24.5% of the total mineral production in weight, whereas in 1911-5 the proportions were 46.3% and 48.4% respectively. On the other hand the value of the copper ore and pyrite products in 1906-10 was 81.3% and of iron ore 10.5% of the total value of production, and in 1911-5 the proportions were 63 and 29% respectively of the value produced. However, the production of iron ore will doubtless play a steadily increasing part, partly because of the extensive deposits of iron, chiefly in N. Norway, estimated by official experts at 175,000,000 tons, yielding about 100,000,000 tons of iron, partly because of the rapid development of the electrolytic methods for the smelting of iron ore, two important plants having actually been laid down for this industry, one at Ulefoss (1910), another at Tinnfoss, both in Telemark county. During 1914-6 the latter had an average yearly production of 6,300 tons of iron. For the present the exportation of iron ore has a far greater importance than the production of iron, export taking place from the vast deposits in northern Norway between Pasvikelven on the E. and Langfjorden in the W., with the great undertaking in S. Varanger, E. Finmark. During the period between 1905 and 1910 separation works were constructed here with quays, railways, etc. for export on a large scale, which commenced in 1910 and already in 1913-5 amounted to about 550,000 tons of slack and briquettes yearly. The number of workers employed at that period was 1,350.
In addition to copper and iron, silver is found in Norway at Kongsberg, nickel at Evje in Setesdal a little N. of Christiansand, titanium ore at Kragero, Arendal, Ekersund and Tvedestrand, while there are stone quarries of different kinds in many places, but mainly round about Fredrikstad and Fredrikshald, Ostfold county; from here stone is supplied to the quays at Rosyth. Roofing slates are quarried in Valdres and at Voss. Digging and stone industries in 1914 occupied 6,556 workmen and in 1918 8,424. The weight of the total production of minerals and ore in 1914 was 1,210,000 tons and in 1918 540,000 tons, the values being 22,720,000 kr. in 1914, and 37,130,000 kr. in 1918. The value of the production from the mining works from the beginning of the century up to and including 1918 amounted to a total of 375,000,000 kroner.
Manufactures.—Norwegian industry was up till about 1890 essentially based on home consumption. But when the problem of the conversion of water-power into electric power was solved, it began to develop on an export basis. A rapid development during the ten years following 1890 was followed about the end of the century by a period of decline, which continued till 1904, when the first indication of a new and still greater advance manifested itself. The culminating point was reached in 1917, and during 1918 a period of depression again set in, which was still prevalent during 1921. A scale for the growth of industry is provided in the number of work-years (of 300 working-days) indicated by the aggregate of the country's industries, the figures being 92,000 in 1897 and 214,000 in 1918, an increase of about 133%. Progress, however, more clearly appears from the statistics of the amount of wages paid, which amounted in 1897 to 72,000,000 kr. and in 1918 to 619,000,000 kr.; the increases here were up to 1910 103%, to 1914 225%, and to 1918 756%. The average yearly wage of a workman was 785 kr. in 1897, 987 kr. in 1908, and 2,886 kr. in 1918, per working-year. After 1918 wages rose to treble what they were that year.
In 1897, out of 9,422 industrial works 3,799 or about 30% had mechanical motive-power; in 1917 about 55% of the 20,375 industrial works possessed mechanical motive-power, electric motors included; while during 1897-1918 the population rose 23%, the average number of persons engaged in all groups of industry rose 98.8%.
|Numbers of persons
employed in industries
of the country
| Increase |
In spite of the immense growth of Norwegian industry, the annual value of imports increased during 1911-5 to a yearly average of 596,000,000 kr., while in 1915-8 it reached an average of 1,400,000,000 kroner.
Value of Imports.
| For consumption
| For production |
The most important industrial commodities exported are: (1) pulp, cellulose and paper, (2) products of the mining industries, (3) electro-chemical and electro-metallurgical products, (4) canned goods. In 1913 the products of these branches of industry represented 89% of the export trade. The following tables show in which direction the various branches of industry developed during the World War:—
Industrial Exports: in million kroner.
| Canned |
Distribution of Imports and Exports.
|Countries|| Percentage of
| Percentage of
| Percentage of |
total trade of
|Great Britain & Ireland||24.76||28.96||24.31||41.45||24.57||33.65|
How the turnover of Norwegian trade increased during the present century appears from the following table (some figures for the previous century being given for comparison):—
|Total||Value per inhab. in kr.|
The import value of the most important goods in 1920 was as follows (in million kr.):—grain 260, meat and pork 53.6, eggs 14.3, sugar 113.7, coffee 31.5, clothing 66.7, shoes and boots 44.2, woollen ware 128.9, cotton goods 128.4, silkware 19.2, coal and coke 343.5, petroleum and benzine 65.4, metals 310.6, fertilizers 10.6, machinery 102.2, ships 367.2, automobiles 45 and wine 46.2.
The values (in million kr.) of the most important exported goods in 1920 were:—fish 158.9, canned goods 40.4, fish-oil 26.2, condensed milk, etc., 13.1, timber 109.8, wood-pulp and cellulose 224.6, paper 222, artificial fertilizers (Norwegian saltpetre) 60.4 and ships 42.2. In addition, foreign goods to the value of about 59,000,000 kr. were reëxported.
A calculation of the value of foreign trade based on the prices obtaining in the normal year of 1913 gives the following results:—
|8 months 1921|
From this it will be seen that there was a very striking decrease of exports as compared with the last normal year before the war. The greatest decline occurred in such groups as fish, canned goods, timber, wood-pulp and cellulose, paper and cardboard and unworked metals,—the most important articles of the country's export trade. As regards imports, industrial raw material showed a special decrease as compared with 1913.
The industries of Norway were organized into a national
confederation in 1919, the Norwegian Industrial Confederation, after the dissolution in 1918 of an earlier (1886) union, the Norwegian Mutual Trade and Industry Association. The organ of the Confederation is the Norwegian Industry, which since 1919 has been published weekly in Christiania. Another organization for safeguarding industrial interests is found in the Norwegian Employers' Association, established in 1900. In 1921 it included about 2,200 undertakings, employing about 85,000 workmen. The administrative headquarters are at Christiania, and its organ is The Employer, which appears twice monthly in Christiania.
Insurance.—Private insurance work is carried out in Norway partly by mutual companies and partly by private joint-stock companies. During the war the number of companies, especially stock companies, as well as the amount insured, premiums, etc., increased very greatly. Prior to the war there were 25 joint-stock companies which carried out insurance against loss or damage; in 1915, 11 new companies were established, 12 in 1916, 27 in 1917, and 40 in 1918. The total number of insurance companies in 1921 was about 120, with a nominal share capital of 160,000,000 kr., of which half was paid up. There are 8 life insurance joint-stock companies, with a total capital of something over 6,000,000 kr. in addition to 3 mutual life insurance companies. Besides these companies there is the Norwegian Fire Office (Brandkasse), which has always taken the leading part as regards the insurance of houses and buildings. The companies which made the greatest progress during the war were those doing marine insurance, the number of which increased from 17 in 1913 to 77 in 1918. The total capital of Norwegian insurance companies at the end of 1920 was estimated to amount to about 500,000,000 kroner.
Recent Political History.—On the dissolution of the Union between Norway and Sweden in 1905 the internal party strife, which for a generation had exhausted the best energies of the country, ceased. It had been carried on between the Conservative party—chiefly an official party, which up to the severance of the union with Sweden sought to maintain this union so long as it could be carried out in a form in accordance with Norwegian national feeling and the old Left, which still maintained its traditions dating from the 'eighties of the 19th century, when Johan Sverdrup (see 19.813) was all-powerful in Norway's domestic politics. The negotiations with Sweden under successive Governments had in 1905 reached a deadlock, and a crisis in the union presented itself at the same moment when the Norwegian parties were prepared to unite for common action. It was the fortune of Chr. Michelsen (b. 1857) to find this concord. With the liquidation of the union, and the consequent revision of the constitution as his sole programme, he formed in 1905 the so-called “7th of June Government,” which practically had the whole Storthing and the whole of the people behind it. Meanwhile a new electoral party had entered into politics. From 1890 Labour had begun to separate itself from the Radical Left, and nad formed the Social Democratic party, which subsequently increased in numbers and influence at succeeding elections, both in the Storthing and municipal councils. Although this party was not represented in the 1905 Government, it was nevertheless capable of forming a group which afterward had to be reckoned with. Simultaneously the new trade-union movement continued to progress, and gradually secured a separate influence in politics. On June 22 1906 the coronation of the new Norwegian King took place at Trondhjem, and thereby the mandate of the joint Government was consummated. The Storthing, however, continued its functions until a new National Assembly should be elected in the autumn. Chr. Michelsen personally opened the election campaign on June 26 with an address at Trondhjem outlining his programme. In it he recommended continued coöperation between the parties in order to “safeguard and consolidate the results of 1905.” The Government programme involved the maintenance of the coalition, with a leaning towards the Left, and provided a basis for the “new labour day” which was now to be inaugurated. This standpoint so far secured the adhesion of the electors that there were elected 77 Liberals and Left of all shades, the majority being Coalitionists, while 36 Conservatives were elected who would only promise a conditional support to the Government, and 10 Socialists who stood in direct opposition to them. The position of the Government was therefore weakened after the meeting of the new Storthing, and its opponents combined themselves into a constantly more aggressive opposition. Attacks on the Government were notably strong during the spring session of the Storthing in 1907, when the question of establishing by law one of the “concessions” recommended by the Radical Left—for the purpose of conserving the natural resources of the country—came into the foreground.
In fact, the pivot of Norway's politics during 1906-12 was the so-called “Concession-case,” i.e. the right of foreigners as well as of natives to hold, by Government concession, real property in Norway, especially waterfalls, mines and forests. This question came to the front during the second half of 1906, and in 1907 it gradually became obvious that it was about to cause a split in the majority bloc. However, this did not take place until after the withdrawal of Michelsen from public life in Oct. 1907, when the Cabinet was reconstructed by Jorgen Lovland (b. 1848), Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Michelsen Government. It was Mr. Lövland who negotiated the treaty guaranteeing the territoral integrity of Norway, signed on Nov. 2 1907, by Norway, France, Germany, Great Britain and Russia. One section of the large Government majority was in sympathy with the liberal “concession policy” of the Government, whereas the radical wing of the same majority claimed the issuing of laws that would limit the invasion of foreign capital. This conflict on one of the greatest problems of national economics finally led to a rupture, the result of which was the establishment of two different parties, the Radical or “Consolidated Left,” and the “Liberal Left.” In March 1908 Lövland's Cabinet, backed up by the Conservatives, and the Liberal Left, was driven to resign by the opposition of the Radicals and the Socialists. Gunnar Knudsen (b. 1848) formed a new Cabinet (March 18 1908). Besides being Premier he held the portfolio of the Minister of Finance. In his Government the radical Minister of Justice, Johan Castberg (b. 1862), attained great influence, especially as regards the elaboration of the new Concession Laws, which were passed in 1909. These laws, concerning (1) waterfalls, mines and other real property, and (2) forests, were sharply opposed by the Conservatives and the Liberal Left, as representing too severe an encroachment upon private property. In consequence of this opposition a reorganization of the Liberal party took place in March 1909, initiated by Chr. Michelsen, the former Premier. The coöperation between the reorganized Liberals and the Conservatives resulted in a new majority for these parties at the next general elections (Oct. 1909). This majority included 63 Conservatives and Liberals, as against 47 Radicals, 11 Socialists and 2 Independents.
In the meantime an old question of controversy between Norway and Sweden had been settled. From olden times the suzerainty over a certain group of submarine skerries (shelves) in the Kattegat, the Grisebaaer (Swedish: Grisbadarne), situated between the Norwegian group of islands, the Hvaler, and the Swedish islands of Koster, in the waters south of Fredrikshald, had been a matter of dispute between the two countries. The Grisebaaer, on account of the lobster fisheries in these waters, are not without a certain economic value. On March 14 1908 a convention was concluded between Norway and Sweden, by which the question of the right drawing of the border-line between these skerries was submitted to arbitration by the Hague Tribunal. The decree of the Tribunal, on Oct. 23, decided that the border-line be drawn in such a way that the Grisebaaer proper fell to Sweden, and a group of smaller submarine rocks, the so-called Skjöttegrunder, to Norway.
When the new Storthing met in Jan. 1910, Mr. Gunnar Knudsen tendered the resignation of his Ministry. It was with some difficulty that a new Government was formed, but finally, on Feb. 1 1910, the leader of the Liberals, Wollert Konow (from Fane, near Bergen, b. 1845), succeeded in constituting a Cabinet, consisting of Liberals and Conservatives, the former being preponderant within the Government, although the latter represented the majority in the Storthing. Women, having obtained in 1907 conditional rights of Parliamentary voting, were, in June 1910, granted by this Government the unrestricted Municipal vote. While the Konow Cabinet was in power a new Concessions Act and a new municipal taxation law were passed, both in 1911. In the same year, a new cable communication was established between Norway and Great Britain (Arendal-Newcastle).
The disproportionate representation of the parties in the Government caused friction between the two allied groups and ultimately brought about a crisis resulting in the resignation of Konow and some of his Liberal colleagues (Feb. 1912). The Government was reconstructed by Jens Bratlie (b. 1856), with Conservatives as its chief element. Among the members of the Konow Government who passed into the Bratlie Cabinet was the Foreign Minister, Johannes Irgens (b. 1869), formerly Norwegian Minister in London, and after 1916 Minister in Copenhagen. When Mr. Bratlie became Premier he had to resign his seat in the Storthing and was replaced by the vice-deputy member, Miss Anna Rogstad (b. 1854), who had been in the Storthing during the temporary absence of Mr. Bratlie in 1911. The case attracted general notice, as Miss Rogstad was the first woman representative in any independent National Assembly outside that of Finland, which admitted women in 1907.
At the general elections of 1912 a Radical wave swept the country, the final results being 76 Radicals, as against 24 Conservatives and Liberals and 23 Socialists. The Government, however, decided to remain in office till the Storthing met in Jan. 1913, when a new Cabinet was formed under the leadership of Gunnar Knudsen as Premier, with Niels Claus Ihlen (b. 1855; owner of a great foundry, and between 1908-10 Minister of Public Works) as Foreign Minister. This Cabinet remained in power until 1920.
Although the new Storthing, the outcome of the general elections of 1912, included no women, universal suffrage was extended to women in 1913. By an amendment of the constitution adopted in that year, Cabinet ministers were entitled to hold seats in the Storthing.
When war broke out in 1914 an extraordinary Storthing was called into session to decide upon the measures to be taken for the maintenance of the neutrality, or possibly for the defence, of the country. The sum of 10,000,000 kr. was voted for military purposes. A provisional moratorium was decided upon, and the right to redeem the Bank of Norway notes in gold was suspended for the time being. However, it was felt that the World War meant difficulties and dangers to each and all of the northern nations. The continual maintenance of neutrality was, to all of them, a matter of vital interest. Already on Aug. 1 1914, acting in coöperation, the authorities of the three countries passed resolutions binding the respective nations to take up and maintain an attitude of strict neutrality in the conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia. On Aug. 4 this declaration was repeated and extended so as to form a general rule of conduct during the war. On Aug. 8 a separate agreement was signed, in Christiania, on behalf of the Norwegian and Swedish Governments, embodying binding assurances from both sides, the purpose of which was to remove any possibility of either of the two kingdoms preparing hostile actions against the other.
The outcome of this desire for joint action in the political and diplomatic fields was a number of official meetings held during the war between the Monarchs, the Premiers and the Foreign Ministers of the Scandinavian countries. The first of these took place Dec. 18-19 1914, when, invited by the Swedish King, the two other Scandinavian Sovereigns met him at Malmo, where joint action was agreed upon in regard to solving a number of diplomatic questions, and questions appertaining to international law. In accordance with resolutions arrived at during this inaugural meeting, conferences were held in Copenhagen (March 9-11 1916), in Christiania (Sept. 19-20 1916), and in Stockholm (May 9-11 1917), where the Premiers and the Foreign Ministers of the three countries met. On Nov. 28-30 1917, the Kings of Sweden and Denmark paid an official visit to the Court of Christiania. King Haakon, on Sept. 16-18 1918, in Stockholm, returned the official visit of the King of Sweden. During June 26-28 of the same year, in continuance of the previous conferences of Scandinavian Cabinet ministers, a fresh meeting was held in Copenhagen. The last in this series of conferences took place in Stockholm (May 26-28 1919), in Christiania (Feb. 1-4 1920), and in Copenhagen (Aug. 28-30 1920). Besides these diplomatic and political conferences, a number of inter-Scandinavian meetings were held for the purpose of looking after common interests in the field of legislation, communication, commerce, administration and science. This new “Scandinavianism” differs essentially from the old ideological “University-Scandinavianism” of 1860. The adherents of the new movement acknowledge an absolute equality of rights in the relationship between the three nations, and presuppose a feeling of sympathy between these peoples, thrown upon each other through geographical propinquity, historical development and kindredship of race. The recognition of this fact gives rise in the three countries to a parallel “movement” for the purpose of organizing, in regular and permanent forms, inter-Scandinavian coöperation. The feeling grew steadily stronger that a similar organization would be of great import even in post-war times and on Feb. 24 1919 a great number of representative men in the three countries addressed the Public with an invitation to form a new society, the Norden (the North), having for its programme the defence of Right and Peace and common interests. The society has established a separate section and sub-sections for each of the three countries, having each their own management. The Norwegian section was founded on April 12 1919. A year-book is issued for the whole of the society. Its title is Norden. Two volumes, 1920 and 1921, have been published (Stockholm and Christiania).
A memorable year in the history of Norway was 1914, one hundred years having then elapsed since the country broke from Denmark to start as an independent state, sharing with Sweden, until 1905, her King and the administration of foreign affairs. The jubilee year was celebrated with a general Norwegian retrospective exhibition, at Christiania, embracing industry and fine arts. This exposition proved that in all fields of economic, industrial, technical and social activities, and not less in the spheres of intellectual life, science and art the country had progressed in a wonderful degree. Even financially the exhibition would have been a success, had it not been interrupted by the war.
The critical situation evoked by the outbreak of war in the industries of the country rendered emergency measures necessary in order to secure supplies, especially food-stuffs and coal. On Aug. 2 1914 a limitation was put on the amount of bread allowed to be sold, and mill owners suspended all orders. On Aug. 3 a panic set in, and the population of the towns stormed the shops to buy up goods. On Aug. 4 a Victualling Commission for the whole country was established. The task of this commission was to regulate the purchase from abroad of all the more important food-stuffs and necessaries of daily consumption, and to control their sale. On Aug. 5 a Royal decree was issued ordering the establishment of local victualling councils in all communes. The extraordinary Storthing which assembled on Aug. 8, however, helped to allay the feeling of panic, and a more tranquil condition came about by degrees. On Aug. 18 1914 war insurance for the Norwegian merchant fleet was established, and on Sept. 8 a private joint-stock company, the Norwegian Goods War Insurance Co., was instituted. At the close of Sept. the maximum prices already introduced for food-stuffs were provisionally abolished, except for certain kinds of bread. In place of them the Victualling Commission received authority to control prices and imports. This arrangement later involved a division of such administrative work, a Price Directorate being established in the following year to exercise control over the prices of all goods in retail trade. On Sept. 26 the Norwegian Government was authorized to take up a loan from Hambro & Son, London, of £600,000 (at 7% interest), so as to pay for two warships which were under construction for the Norwegian Government in English shipyards. These ships were, however, never delivered, since the British Government laid an embargo on them before their delivery. On Nov. 3 1914 England declared the whole of the North Sea to be a war zone, and Norwegian shipping was restricted to a small passage, Lindesnes-Farnesland; and on Nov. 5 the British Government stopped the passage N. of Scotland, though permission was given for ships of the Norwegian-American Line, as from Nov. 7, to go that way. In 1915 and 1916 a considerable quantity of corn, meal, sugar, forage and fertilizing stuffs was bought in and contracted for by the Victualling Commission, which took over the whole trade in these articles. In 1915 a special commission was set up for dealing with the question of the national corn-supply in the event of the creation of a State monopoly. From 1916 all prices began to increase tremendously. The rise in prices kept pace with the ever-advancing increase in wages and salaries, and the pressure of high prices was rendered more acute by the high freights on all supplies from abroad. Thus from 1916 steadily increasing difficulties arose for most of the industries of the country, and the greater part of the population was affected, though an exception was found in the case of shipowners, whose profits were large. From March 8 1916, the Bank of Norway once again became obliged to redeem its bills with gold, but practically no advantage was taken of this, the population remaining passive as regards the facility of again obtaining gold. In 1916 it became necessary to introduce rationing of all the more important food-stuffs, especially all grain and meal products, meat, sugar, coffee and tea. The increasing difficulties of transport from abroad during 1917 rendered it necessary on Jan. 13 1918 to introduce a complete rationing of sugar, coffee, corn and meal goods. In the spring of 1919 the abolition of emergency regulations commenced, but it was carried out very slowly and with great caution, as all economic and social conditions had been deranged.
In June 1916 a heavy struggle in the labour market arose. It involved 120,000 industrial and transport workers and gave rise to some very frenzied demonstrations. On July 9 1916 the Storthing, as an urgent measure, and against Socialist protest, adopted a law compelling arbitration in industrial disputes. The last of the great labour conflicts of that time (mine-workers) was settled under the new Arbitration Law on July 22 1916.
The destruction of Norwegian merchant shipping by sinking and torpedoing commenced in the first days of the war, and increased steadily later until nearly the close of the war. In the autumn of 1916 even the Arctic Ocean became involved in the danger zone. Nevertheless, from the first day of the war till the last, Norwegian shipowners and seamen maintained their shipping on all the seas, though for a long time the heavy losses in ships could not nearly be replaced by new tonnage. The total loss of the country on the sea was 831 ships, of which 652 were steam or motor and 179 sailing ships, making a total of 1,238,300 registered tons. One thousand two hundred men were slain by torpedo or mine. These facts made a great impression in the Entente countries, and testimony hereto was provided by the presentation of a commemorative tablet for the Norwegian , seamen lost through the war, which was placed on the masonry of the old fortress in Bergen. The memorial tablet was unveiled with great ceremony on Oct. 2 1921 by the vice-president of the Norwegian Club in London, Mr. Slingsby. The inscription reads: “To honour the memory of that great Company of free Norsemen, who, though at peace with all men, dared to defy the perils and horrors of War, and in rightful service endured fearlessly to the end, this monument is set up by their friends and admirers in Great Britain.” (S. C. H.)
The first decade of the twentieth century was memorable in Norwegian literature for the passing away of the four great classics of the preceding epoch: Ibsen, Björnson, Lie and Kielland. After their death Knut Hamsun (b. 1857), Hans E. Kinck (b. 1865), Arne Garborg (b. 1851) and, Gunnar Heiberg (b. 1857) became the leading literary figures, the first two chiefly as novelists, Garborg as a social and religious philosopher and poet, Heiberg chiefly as a dramatist and essayist. After the constitutional crisis of 1905, economic and social problems came to the forefront in Norwegian public life, and new ideas became prominent also in the field of fiction. There was a continuation, too, of the maal controversy (see 19.818), i.e. the effort to create an entirely independent Norwegian literary language based upon the peasant dialect (landsmaal), descended from the old Norse, in place of the Dano-Norwegian rigsmaal.
Hamsun had now become the most prominent representative of autobiographic fiction in Norwegian literature. His earlier productions in novels (especially Victoria, 1898), and particularly in his trilogy of dramas, Rikets port (1895), Divets Spil (1896) and Aftenröde (1898), were more especially occupied by the play and problems of eroticism, while his volume of verse; Det Vilde Kot (1904), contained emotional lyrics, including elegant poems of homage to Björnson and Byron. He then turned back again to self-absorbing psychological analysis in a series of narratives, Under höststjernen (1906), Benoni (1907), and Rosa (1908), which combine a curious bitter-sweet irony of life with cool epic presentation. These narratives formed a steppingstone to his cycle of social romances, Den siste glaede (1912), a satire on tourist traffic which he denounces as demoralizing the Norwegian people, Börn av tiden (1913), Segelfoss By (1915), Markens gröde (1917), Nyjord (1918) and Konerne ved vandposten (1920). In these mature works, Hamsun has unrolled his picture of modern Norway; he here finds that industrialism has displaced agriculture, unhealthy speculation the honest, unassuming, but ethically invigorating toil of the day. Many of his books have been translated in England and America, such as Growth of the Soil (1920), Pan and Mothwise (1921; originally published in 1904 under the title of Svärmere). Markens gröde (Growth of the Soil) in 1920 secured him the Nobel prize. Hamsun's collected works have appeared in many editions, but the most complete is in the Jubilee Issue, published during the winter of 1921-2.
In Hans E. Kinck a strange, sombre, bitter and mocking romanticism is accompanied by a distinct strain of mystic horror. But no writer has excelled him in knowledge of the characteristics of the people of Norway. He himself grew up in Setesdalen and Hardanger, where tradition is still fresh and living. He displays his talents best in small peasant stories; one of his chief types is a man who is half dreamer, half horse-dealer. His series of romances, Sneskavlen Brast (1919), is remarkable for its weird realism. His dramas exhibit a fantasy which suggests the inspiration of Victor Hugo; Den sisste gjaest (1911) and Mot Karneval (1915) introduce Aretino and Machiavelli respectively, and his interest in historical personalities is also shown in the arresting essays Reconnaissancemennesker (1916). Kinck's profuse use of dialect words and self-coined expressions makes his works somewhat difficult even to his own countrymen; but he has found an inspired American interpreter and translator in Alfred E. Henderson, whose version of Dr. Gabriel Jahr was published in New York in 1921.
Arne Garborg had already written a cycle of lyrics in the landsmaal, Haugtussa (1895), which cleverly pictured a young peasant girl's natural emotions, her belief in subterranean and supernatural beings. In later years he showed his poetic ability in masterly translations into that tongue,—Odysseuskvædet (1918), a selection from the Mahabharata (1921), Holberg's classical comedy Jeppe paa Berget (1921). The last named was for presentation at a theatre established for the landsmaal, in the founding of which he took part together with his wife, Hulda Garborg (b. 1862), who has also written a volume of romance (Frau Evas Dagbog, 1905) and several plays. A jubilee edition of Arne Garborg's collected works, Skrifter i samling, was appearing in 1921-2.
Gunnar Heiberg has produced a series of effective dramatic works, mostly dealing with scenes in Norway. In a series of political and social plays, with relentless mockery, he pursues rhetoric when he encounters it,—the Björnson ethical imperative in Kong Midas (1890), nationalism in Folkeraadet, journalistic self-importance in Harald Svan's mor, philanthropy in Kjaerlighet til naesten, patriotism in Jeg vil verge mit land (a play on Norwegian politics at the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden in 1905), and, above all, with Aristophanic mockery in the comedy Paradesengen, which aroused a great sensation by aiming directly at Björnstjerne Björnson and his family. Some of his journalistic articles from Paris, where he resided for many years, were later collected in Parisbreve (1909), Set og hört (1917), Ibsen og Björnson paa scenen, Franske visiter, Norsk teater (1920).
The realistic romance in vogue during 1870-80 retained some talented votaries in Norway, above all in Johan Bojer (b. 1872), who discusses modern problems in the romances Liv (1911), Den Store Hunger (1916), Verdens Ansigt (1917), Dyrendal (1919), Samlede romaner og fortaellinger (1917), and also in the plays Troens magt (1910) and Sigurd Braa (1916). Bojer's works are translated into English (The Great Hunger, The Power of a Lie), French and German; and a collection was published in America (Gade, Johan Bojer, The Man and his Work, New York, 1920). Nils Collett Vogt has continued the tradition of Wergeland and Björnson. For the centenary celebration he wrote an impressive cantata swelling with patriotism. His poetic collection Hjemkomst (1917) gives a beautiful expression of joy at returning home after many years' exile.
The more modern school of romance has two typical writers in Sigbjörn Obstfelder and Thomas P. Krag. Of these Obstfelder is the more piquant and original. His books were little noticed during his lifetime. His whole works only comprise two volumes (standard edition, 1921). All his writings are characterized by a peculiar artlessness, and the profundity of a solitary thinker. Thomas P. Krag (1868-1913) is better known. His stones have a delicate lyricism which lends them charm. In his religious romance Gunvor Kjeld he displays his first character-painting. His brother Wilhelm Krag has also displayed considerable productivity.
Of the younger lyric writers who came to the front during 1910-20, Herman Wildenvey, Olaf Bull and Arnulf Överland are the best known. Wildenvey (b. 1886) heralds a new flowering in Norwegian lyrics. His graceful and captivating buoyancy secured him public favour from the outset (Digte, 1908). Olaf Bull's poems (Samlede Digte, 1919) are virile and reflective. Arnulf Overland is characterized by a strongly self-critical spirit.
Most of the newer Norwegian novelists have deserted “problems” for realistic delineation. Peter Egge (b. 1869) began with pictures of folk-life in the form of narratives, Nordfra, Tröndere, De graa haar, and plays, Faddergaven and Jakob og Kristoffer. From these pictures of folk-life he went on to romance in Hjerter (his chief book, 1907), Laenken, Villaen, Unge dage, and the witty comedy Kjærlighet og venskap. Later plays are Felen, Idyllen, Brist and Narren, soul-dramas recalling Ibsen.
Tryggve Andersen (1867-1920) is a narrator of high rank. His first book, I cancelliraaden dage (1897), was a series of lively interiors from the broad country of Mjösen at the commencement of the 19th century. His second, Mot kvæld (1900), deals with the last struggle of a poor and homeless soul-sick man to attain the balance and substance of life. His stories Gamle folk (1904), Bispesönnen (1907) and Hjemfærd (1913), with other writings, are collected in Samlede fortællinger (3 vols. 1916).
Kristian Elster, the younger (b. 1881), is a writer of a different style, but a robust artist. His best work is in the three consecutive narratives Ilaere, Landeveien and Mester, which give expression to his warm sympathy with the poor and oppressed. His critical essays are collected in Fra tid til anden (1920).
The popular humorist Jacob Hilditch maintained his reputation during later years, the best of his work being collected in Sjöfortællinger (1906) and Fortællinger fra folklivet (1908).
Hjalmar Christensen (b. 1869) has produced a series of narratives, Fra Vestlandet, Fögedgaarden (1911), Brodrene (1912), En gamle bygd (1913), Den nye bygd (1914), Far og sön (1915), Et liv (1916), Tuntræet (1917), Deemring (1918), which are collected in Samlede Romaner (1920). Together with F. E. Christensen (b. 1872) he also wrote Fædrelandet i verdenskrigen lys (1916), a frank historico-political account of Norway's position in the World War.
Among the younger generation an outstanding figure is Johan Falkberger (b. 1879), a mine-worker who became editor of a Socialist paper, in which he wrote many sketches from the lives of the workers. He then produced in rapid succession a series of narratives, Svarte Fjelde (1907), Urtidsnat (1909), Fakkelbrand (1909), Eli Sjursdotter (1913). His Lisbet paa Jarnfjeld (1915) is remarkable for its power and pathos. Oskar Braaten (b. 1881) in like manner worked himself up from a lower station, and his subject is the working population of the suburbs of Christiania; he writes in a popular language of Eastlands colouring, resembling the landsmaal.
Gabriel Scott (b. at Leith, Scotland, 1874), who had already made his début at the close of the 19th century, came to the front again with his comedy Himmeluret (1905), an excellent piece of psychology in Camitla Dyring (1906), and the witty Babels Taarn (1910), depicting the struggle between the landsmaal and the rigsmaal. Det Flyvende Börd (1906) is a story of adventure; and the romances Jernbyrden, Enok Rubens Levnedslob and Kilden deal with life in olden times on the coast of southern Norway.
The gifted authoress Ragnhild Jölsen (1875-1908), in her narratives Ve's Mör, Rikka Gan, Fernanda Mona, Brukshistorier, Hollasas Krönikel, has left some characteristic pictures of the Norwegian eastern countryside. And among the women writers who have followed her the most important is Sigrid Undset, whose stories and romances have been collected in five volumes (1921).
As a wit and satirist, Nils Kjær (b. 1870) has taken a leading place, notably through his dramas Regnskapets Dag, and Det Lykkelige Valg. A complete edition of Kjær's dramatic and critical works was being issued in 1921-2. Sigurd Mathiesen (b. 1871), whose earlier stories Unge sjæle, Hide Unas and Nag were followed in 1919 by the romance Francis Rose, showed himself to be a true poet in his collected verse, Gjennem aarene.
The cosmopolitanly inclined Seblein Lieblein (b. 1866), son of the famous Egyptologist, J. D. C. Lieblein (1827-1911), has written a number of entertaining stories, notably Den sisste av sin slegt (1910) and Peter Flytt's haendelser. Another author international in thought and choice of material is Eilert Bjerke (b. 1887), among whose works are the novels Mennesker og fauner (1909), Fri Fugle (1910), Meteorer (1918), Livsfyrsten (1914) and Sværmere i Solen (1917).
Sigurd Wesley Christiansen (b. 1891), beginning with Seiren (1915) and Thomas Hergel (1917), proved his talent for fiction by Vort Eget Liv (1918), and for drama by Offerdöden (1918). Ronald Fangen (b. 1896) likewise in 1915 produced his first romance De Svake, following it with Slegt föder slegt (1916) and En Roman (1918). His essays, Streiftog i digtning og taenkning (1919), show him also to be a subtle critic of literature. In 1921 his first play, Syndefald, was produced at the National theatre in Christiania.
Jens Tvedt ranks highest among the landsmaal writers, with his sketches of western Norway country life. Among other writers in landsmaal Olav Dunn (b. 1876) takes a leading place with his romances Paa Lyngsoia, Juvikingarne, and I Blinda, The chief lyricist of the landsmaal is Anders Hovden (b. 1860), and the younger generation is well represented by Kristoffer Uppdal (b. 1878).
- (S. C. H.)
- In Norway every member of the Storthing had at that epoch a “vice-deputy member,” elected in the same way and at the same time. This vice-deputy had to sit in the place of the actual member if he were prevented from attending through illness, etc., or if he were included in the Government. This way of substituting members of the Storthing was altered in 1920.