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Frederick William I ("the Soldier King"), Instructions on the Formation and Functioning of the General Directory (December 20, 1722)

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3. The questions must, however, be framed as shortly and clearly as possible, concisely and to the point, and accompanied by the Directory’s own recommendation and the reasons on which this is based.

4. A quite short extract must be made on the same day from the record of all discussions and decisions in the General Directory and sent to Us in the evening, so that We can see and read it the next morning and can also deliver Our most gracious decision if there are any questions in it. [ . . . ]

In every case, the Directory’s own recommendation must be added, with the reasons on which it is based; We remain King and Lord, and can do as We please.

If, however, they submit their recommendation with the question, firstly, We know that they have examined the question thoroughly before reporting; secondly, We are convinced that if the question has been examined by so many honest and capable men, We can never be cheated; and thirdly, We profit from the fact that they must be responsible to Us for their recommendation that they have represented the matter as it is and not otherwise, and also cannot answer to Us otherwise than to the best of their knowledge and consciences. [ . . . ]

Source of English translation: C.A. Macartney, ed., The Habsburg and Hohenzollern Dynasties in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, in Documentary History of Western Civilization. New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row, 1970, pp. 299-309. Introduction, editorial notes, chronology, translations by the editor; and compilation copyright © 1970 by C.A. Macartney. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source of original German text: Acta Borussica. Deutsche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, 1892 ff., vol. 3, pp. 575-651.

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