The Swedish Freedom of the Press Ordinance, Stockholm (1766)

Source: Kongl. Maj:ts Nådige Förordning, Angående Skrif- och Tryck-friheten. Gifwen Stockholm i Råd-Cammaren then 2. Decembr. 1766. Tryckt uti Kongl. Tryckeriet.

The Swedish Freedom of the Press Ordinance, Stockholm (1766), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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§. 11. It is also permissible for anyone who applies to do so to print all parliamentary proceedings from whichever place they were formerly issued, with the exception that anything in them that refers to ongoing matters or negotiations with foreign powers that requires secrecy may not be released and published. With regard to the parliamentary reports that will be produced in the future, however, We shall graciously ensure that they, likewise, will be published in print in such good time before the start of each subsequent Diet that everyone has the opportunity not only to make himself as fully informed as possible about the situation in the Realm, but also to contribute more easily to the common weal by means of necessary cautions and useful proposals and reports. In addition to this, those memorials and dictamina ad protocollum submitted to the Estates of the Realm may also be freely printed by anyone who applies to do so. It is also permissible to print the deliberations of committees along with their minutes and voting records in the manner prescribed in Paragraph 7, but not before the deliberations have been submitted to the plenary assembly. And since the form of government demands that all decisions are made lawfully, and that all Our loyal subjects may be convinced of the honourable conduct of their delegates at meetings of the Diet, it is permissible to print all the minutes and voting records of the Estates in the aforesaid manner. This shall also apply to everything submitted to the plenary assembly by the secret committee and also to Our own gracious bills submitted to the Estates of the Realm in so far as they do not include anything that should remain undisclosed.

§. 12. Both in older and more recent times a truthful history of former kings and regents and their ministers has, in most nations, been highly regarded as directly bringing important matters such as valuable judgments about wise and praiseworthy achievements to the attention of the ruling lords and commoners while also, on the other hand, offering very necessary warnings against hasty, imprudent, malicious and even cruel and ignominious plans and deeds. Thus the events of earlier reigns enable the subjects better to obey, know, understand, value and defend the obligations, freedoms and rights they possess, as well as common and individual security. Now, so that there should be no lack of anything that might serve to guarantee the completeness of such historical works, We wish to extend to them the freedom of the pen and of the press to the extent that all specific events or known incidents, both secret and more familiar, that have taken place under former governments both in this Realm and elsewhere may be made public along with political reflections on the said matters.

§. 13. Furthermore – in Our Grace – We also wish to state at this juncture that since it would be too long-winded to carefully list all possible subjects, cases and topics, it is Our gracious will and command that


§. 11. Alla Riksdags Relationer ifrån hwad ort och ställe the än blifwit för thetta utfärdade, måge också få tryckas, af hwem som hälst sig thertil anmäler, dock at hwad theruti omförmäles, som under Operation eller Afhandling med och på främmande orter hemlighet kräfwer, ej må utlefwereras och allmänt giöras. The Riksdags Relationer åter, som framdeles komma at afgifwas, wele Wi Nådig försorg therom hafwa, at the på lika sätt måge genom trycket utkomma, i så god tid, innan hwarje härefter infallande Riksdags början, at en och hwar må äga tilfälle, ej mindre at om tilståndet i Riket giöra sig i möjeligaste måtto underrättad, än at sedermera medelst nödige erindringar samt nyttige förslager och upgifter kunna til Allmänt wäl thesto lättare bidraga: Hwarförutan the Memorialer och Dictamina ad Protocollum, som til Riksens Ständer ingifwas, jemwäl fritt måge tryckas af hwem thet hälst äskar. Äfwenledes tillåtes at trycka Deputationernes Betänkande med theras Protocoller och voteringar, på sätt, som 7. §. förmår, dock ej förr än Betänkanden til Plena äro ingifne. Och som Regerings sättet fordrar, at alt blifwer lagligen afgjordt, och at alle Wåre trogne undersåtare må warda öfwertygade om theras Fullmägtiges redelige upförande, wid Riksdagarne; Så lemnas frihet at trycka alla Ståndens Protocoll och Voteringar på förenämnde sätt, hwilket äfwen ware sagt om alt hwad ifrån Secrete- Utskottet til Plenainkommer, jemwäl ock Wåre egne til Riksens Ständer ingifne Nådige Propositioner,som ej innehåller något hwad hemligit wara bör.

§. 12. En sanfärdig Historia om framfarne Konungar och Regenter samt theras Ministrer, har både i äldre och senare tider hos the mästa folkslag warit högt aktad, såsom närmast ledande til wigtiga föremål, at meddela the Regerande Herrar och Personer tänkwärdige efterdömen af wisliga och lofwärda bedrifter, men theremot högstnödiga warningar emot förhastade, obetänkte, illfundige eller ock grymme och neslige rådslag och gärningar, såsom ock at the lydande kunna af förriga Regements händelser, the them tilständige skyldigheter, fri- och rättigheter, samt Allmän och enskildt säkerhet thesto bättre efterkomma, känna, förstå, wårda och förswara. Nu på thet uti sådana Historiske arbeten ej något saknas måtte, som til theras fullständighet tjena kan, wele Wi jemwäl i anseende til them utsträcka friheten i pennor och Tryck så långt, at alla the synnerliga dels hemlige, dels mer bekante händelser eller bekante Anecdoter, hwilka under framfarne Regeringar, så här i Riket som annorstädes, sig tildragit, måge tillika med Politiska Reflectioner öfwer the samma få allmänna gjöras.

§. 13. I öfrigit wele Wi i Nåder härmed än ytterligare förklara, at som thet blefwe för widlyftigt at alla förefallande ämnen, mål och ärender så noga utsätta, är Wår Nådige wilje och Befallning, thet


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