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MAY IT PLEASE YOUR MAJESTY,

WE, Your Majesty's Civil Service Commissioners humbly offer to Your Majesty this our Eighteenth Report.

In our last Report, presented to Your Majesty on the 8th of August 1872, we endeavoured to give a complete account of all the examinations which were at that time conducted under our directions, and more especially of those which had been recently instituted with the view of carrying into effect the provisions of the 5th Clause of Your Majesty's Order in Council of June 4th 1870, whereby all clerkships and similar situations in Your Majesty's civil establishments, with a few exceptions, were thrown open to public competition. As no change of importance has been made since that date, it would appear unnecessary to repeat the description then given of our proceedings, and we have only now to add such statistical details as are needed to complete the history of them up to the 31st of December 1873.

Taking first the situations which are subject to the 3rd and 4th Clauses of the Order, but not to the 5th, we find that the number of nominations with which we had to deal between July 1st 1872 and December 31st 1873 was 5331, out of which 59 were cancelled, 335 were declined, and 440 had not been disposed of at the last-mentioned date. The remainder, 4,497, may be divided as follows:

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Under the same head must be mentioned those examinations in which, though the method of open competition has been pursued, it has been adopted not under the 5th clause of Your Majesty's Order but independently of it, at the request of the head of the department concerned. The most important of these

In this and similar statements a candidate who appeared twice (or more) is counted as two (or more) candidates. a 2

in point of numbers, are the competitions by which, out of an aggregate of 4,337 candidates, 1,636 persons have been selected, during the period under review, for employment in the Department of the Postmaster General; 81 as boy clerks, 1,479 as boy sorters and telegraph messengers, and 76 as letter carriers, labourers, &c. Two open competitions were also held, at the request of the Secretary of State for Foreign affairs, for student interpreterships in the consular service, at which eight candidates were selected for appointment, the total number of applicants having been 88.

Passing to the 5th clause, we have to report the following particulars respecting open competitive examinations that have been held during these 18 months.

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On the foregoing table we have only to remark, that the regulations which governed the several competitions therein mentioned are set forth in full in the Appendix to this Report, in which will also be found a list of the various situations filled up under Scheme I. and Scheme II. respectively. To complete, as far as possible, the information thus given, we have appended

*In these cases, the number stated is the number of candidates who were admitted to compete after having passed a preliminary test examination, the total number of applicants being considerably larger.

an analysis of a return made to an Order of the House of Commons, dated 23rd May 1873, being a "list of all offices " vacancies in which are to be filled up by open competitive "examination under Schemes I. or II.," with various particulars respecting them.

Under the 7th Clause of the Order, which empowers us, subject to certain conditions, on the joint proposal of the Lords of the Treasury and the Head of a Department, to dispense wholly or partially with the examination prescribed by Clause II., 175 certificates of qualification were granted during the 18 months ending with December 31st, 1873. In a few other cases applications were made to us under the same clause, but we were not satisfied that the candidates so presented possessed the necessary qualifications, and their certificates were accordingly refused. A complete list of all the situations in respect of which certificates were issued under this exceptional clause from the date of the Order up to the end of the year 1873, is appended to this Report; but we have not thought it necessary to give, as we did last year, full details of every such case, including a summary of the evidence on which each certificate was based.

The management of the register of temporary writers has continued to occupy a considerable share of our attention. As many as 2,855 candidates have been examined, of whom 574 have been added to the list of men-writers, and 174 to that of boywriters. The aggregate total of both classes borne upon our general register, at the end of 1873, was 1,497, but a considerable number of these were, for various reasons, not available for immediate employment. Excluding such persons, the number on the effective list was 1,162, of whom as many as 1,112 were in actual employment. Shortly before the close of the year, namely, on the 17th November 1873, revised regulations were issued altering in some respects the conditions under which writers are employed. A copy of these regulations will be found in the Appendix; but we forbear to dwell on the alterations thus introduced, as well as on other questions connected with the employment of this force, understanding that the whole subject is under the consideration of a committee appointed to inquire into various matters connected with the organisation of the Civil Service.

To complete this brief sketch of examinations connected with the Home Civil Service, we have only to add that during these 18 months, as in former years, we have, at the request of the heads of various departments, examined a number of candidates for appointments not falling within the scope of the Orders in Council of 4th June 1870 or 19th August 1871. The number of persons so examined amounted in all to 1,668; and if this number be added to those which have been already mentioned, it will give an aggregate of 23,261 persons who have come before us during this period, as candidates for situations belonging to, or closely connected with, the civil establishments of Your Majesty in the United Kingdom.

ARMY ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS.

At the date of our last report no examinations had yet taken place under the regulations whereby first appointments in Your Majesty's regiments of cavalry and infantry were thrown open to public competition. From that time up to the end of last year, two such examinations were held, viz., in May and August 1873, at which the aggregate number of competitors was 536, of appointments 154.

In addition to these, two examinations were held of lieutenants of militia, who having been recommended for commissions by their respective commanding officers were submitted to a qualifying test only and out of 76 who presented themselves, 30 were reported as qualified. During the same period 518 candidates were competitively examined on four different occasions, for admission to the Royal Military Academy, out of whom 161 were selected; and in the early part of 1873, a competition was held, under the conditions described in our last report, for the appointment of sub-assistant commissary in the Control department, at which 242 candidates offered themselves for 24 vacancies.

The total number of candidates examined by us during this period in connection with the military services, including 46 who were tested under a former scheme for commissions in the Household Brigade, amounted to 1,418.

EXAMINATIONS FOR THE CIVIL SERVICE OF INDIA.

At the open competition held in April 1873 for the Civil Service of India 204 candidates were examined, out of whom 35 were selected. The final examination of candidates selected in 1871, took place in May and June. Thirty-six candidates passed this examination, and were appointed to the Civil Service, including two belonging to the previous year, who having been prevented by illuess from attending the examination in 1872, were permitted by the Secretary of State in Council to present themselves in 1873. One candidate failed to obtain our certificate of qualification, and consequently lost his appointment.

Two open competitions were held, in July 1872 and July 1873, for admission to the Indian Civil Engineering College at Cooper's Hill. On each occasion 50 candidates were selected: out of a total of 174 competitors examined in 1872, and 153 in 1873.

Two examinations were held, in November 1872 and November 1873, for appointments in the India Forest Service. At the first, out of a total of 31 competitors, four candidates were selected for training in France, and four for training in Germany. At the second, two appointments only were offered, and the total number of candidates examined was 18.

The total number of candidates examined by us during the period under review in connexion with the Indian Services is 643 which being added to the numbers already stated with reference to the other services, civil and military, makes up an aggregate of 25,322.

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