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's examination, and that Thursday the 10th day of September next may be appointed for that purpose if not inconvenient to the Commissioners.

I am, &c.

EDUCATION OFFICE (IRELAND).

The Secretaries, National Education Office, Ireland, to Mr. Maitland. Office of National Education, Dublin, 6th January 1858.

SIR,

REFERRING to the correspondence respecting the examination of candidates for clerkships in the Office of the Commissioners of National Education, we are to state various circumstances delayed, until within the last few days, the preparation of the programme of the standard of qualifications. A programme has now been drawn up and obtained the sanction of the National Board, a copy of which is herewith enclosed for the information of the Civil Service Commissioners. We are to observe that four gentlemen, Messrs. A——, and D, have been appointed supplemental clerks in this office, since the date of the Order in Council, 21st May 1855, making provision for testing the qualifications of candidates for situations in public departments; but upon the distinct understanding that the confirmation of their respective appointments would depend upon their passing a satisfactory examination before the Civil Service examiners.

B

In the event of the programme as now submitted being approved of by the Civil Service Commissioners, they are requested to issue the necessary instructions for the examination of the gentlemen already mentioned with the exception of Mr. D-for reasons hereafter stated.

9

The Commissioners will observe that it is proposed not to require candidates to be examined in the subjects numbered 5, 9, and 10 until after the 1st January 1859. As Messrs. A————, B- and Chave been for a considerable period in the service of the National Board, and as they were not made aware that the subjects referred to would form a portion of the programme, it is the wish of the Board that they should be exempt from an examination in those branches, and also any candidates who may be nominated to appointments within the present year. Meanwhile the programme in extenso will be made known to all the candidates whose names are on the list in order that they may have full time to prepare for the examination.

With regard to Mr. Dwho is above the prescribed age, we are to state that, previous to his appointment in this department, he served for nine consecutive years in the office of the Poor Law Commissioners, which service he left (as we understand) in consequence of a reduction in the establishment. As Mr. D entered the Public Service before the Order of Council of 21 May 1855, and as he has discharged his duties satisfactorily, the Board of National Education submit that his appointment should be confirmed without subjecting him to the test of examination.

We have, &c.

STANDARD OF QUALIFICATIONS for APPOINTMENTS in the OFFICE of the
COMMISSIONERS of NATIONAL EDUCATION, IRELAND.

Limits of age for admission, established clerks 18 to 25.
temporary do. 18 to 35.

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QUALIFICATIONS.

1. Writing from dictation, to test penmanship and orthography. 2. English grammar.

3. English composition: to be tested by an ability to write a business letter on a given subject.

4. The preparation of a précis or abstract of official papers. *5. The leading points of English literature.

6. Geography, with special reference to Great Britain and Ireland, and the Colonies.

7. Arithmetic, including decimal and vulgar fractions, and readiness in calculating per-centages.

8. Book-keeping by double entry (for Financial Department). *9. First three books of Euclid.

*10. French.

Candidates must produce satisfactory certificates of general good health; and of moral character and regular habits.

Note.-Candidates to be permitted to present themselves for examination in other branches, in addition to the foregoing.

Mr. Maitland to the Secretaries, National Education Office, Ireland. Civil Service Commission, 8th January 1858.

GENTLEMEN,

In reply to your letter of the 6th instant, relative to the examination of persons nominated to junior situations in the National Education Office,

I am directed by the Civil Service Commissioners to state, that the proposed scheme of examination appears to them peculiarly well calculated to test the qualifications of candidates. In the copy herewith enclosed a few minor alterations, which may perhaps deserve the consideration of the Board, are suggested.

The Commissioners are desirous at the same time to bring under the notice of the Board a resolution, unanimously agreed to by the House of Commons on the 14th July last, although it may perhaps be unnecessary to do so, as the advantages of the system recommended were it is believed well understood in Ireland before that resolution was adopted. It may, however, be worth while to mention, that large competitive examinations for supplementary clerkships in the office of the Committee of Privy Council for Education, have been conducted by the Commissioners at the request of the Lord President.

With regard to the temporary exclusion of numbers (5), (9), and (10), the Commissioners will meet the wishes of the Board, although they think that at least, in the case of such vacancies as may occur between the present date and the close of the year, the adoption of the plan referred to in my last paragraph would render the exceptional arrangement unnecessary. The position of Messrs. A-—, B- C and D— is no doubt peculiar, inasmuch as the delay which has occurred in settling a

* Candidates will not be required to pass an examination in Nos. 5, 9, and 10, until from and after the 1st January 1859.

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scheme of examination, has arisen from circumstances over which those gentlemen had no control, and they may perhaps be less conversant now with the subjects in question, than they were before they entered on their official duties.

But while acceding to the proposed modification, the Commissioners regret that they are unable, notwithstanding the age and previous service of Mr. D- —, to concur with the Board in thinking that his appointment should be confirmed without subjecting him to the test of examination at all.

In no similar case which has been brought to the knowledge of the Commissioners, since the issue of the order in Council under which they act, has this course been adopted, and the Board will, it is hoped, perceive the inconvenience which would ensue from an exception made to suit a particular case. Nor does Mr. D. -'s claim appear to the Commissioners to be a strong one, inasmuch as there has been a distinct understanding that the confirmation of his appointment would depend upon his passing a satisfactory examination.

With regard to his age, there would probably be less difficulty, as it has always appeared to the Commissioners desirable that there should be a reasonable extension in favour of those who have before been in the public service. It would also appear that, although the order in Council clearly contemplates limits of age in the case of junior situations, no limits had in fact been fixed when Mr. D- was nominated. The Commissioners will be obliged if you will inform me what his age was at the time of his nomination.

I am, in conclusion, to request that you will also inform me whether "Supplemental Clerks" are considered as belonging to the "Established" or the "Temporary" class, or as constituting a third and distinct class.

I have, &c.

Enclosure in above.

STANDARD OF QUALIFICATIONS for APPOINTMENTS IN THE OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF NATIONAL EDUCATION, IRELAND.

Limits of age:

Established Clerks
Temporary Clerks

18 to 25

18 to 35

It is suggested for consideration, whether in the former case the limit should be ex tended to 30 in the case of those who at the time of nomination are already in the public service, and who having entered the service under 25 have since served continuously.

1. If there is no objection to the phrase "exercises designed to test handwriting and orthography," the Commissioners would suggest its adoption. A passage containing intentional errors in orthography is generally given for correction, and is found a very useful test.

3. It is suggested that if there is no objection the restriction in the form of the English composition might with advantage be omitted, so as to leave the words English composition only. This would not involve any substantial increase in the difficulty of the exercise.

5. It is suggested that this would be more clear if altered to "the leading points in he History of English Literature," or in some similar manner.

The Secretaries of the National Education Office, Ireland, to Mr. Maitland.

Office of National Education,
Dublin, 9th January 1858.

SIR,

WE have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th instant, which we shall lay before the Commissioners of National Education at their next meeting.

We have, &c.

N

The Secretaries of the National Education Office, Ireland, to Mr.

Maitland.

Office of National Education,
Dublin, 21st January 1858.

SIR,

WE have had the honour lay before the Commissioners of National Education your letter of the 8th, in answer to our communication of the 6th instant, relative to the examination of persons nominated to junior situations in the National Education office.

We are now directed to express the gratification of the Commissioners that the proposed scheme of examination appears, in the opinion of the Civil Service Commissioners, to be peculiarly well calculated to test the qualifications of candidates.

With respect to the exclusion of Nos. 5, 9, & 10 in the programme (the leading points of English literature, Euclid, and French), in the case of Messrs. AB- —, C- and D, the Board of National Education also observe with gratification, that it has met with the approval of the Civil Service Commissioners; and the National Board agree to the suggestion that this indulgence shall not apply to the case of such vacancies as may occur between the present date and the close of the year.

"

With regard to Mr. D. we are to state that, for the reasons assigned in your letter, the National Board will not urge the request to exempt him from examination; more especially as Mr. Dprepared to submit to that test.

is

The Board trusts there will be no difficulty as to his age. In answer to your inquiry, we are to inform you that he entered the office of the Irish Poor Law Board on the 21st December 1847, being at the time 36 years of age; and he was appointed a clerk in this office on the 1st May 1857.

The Commissioners of National Education had before them when appointing Mr. Dsatisfactory testimonials as to the zeal and ability with which he discharged his duties in the office of the Poor Law Commissioners, and since he entered this department he has given every satisfaction.

The Supplemental clerks are considered as on the establishment, and are included in the number of clerks sanctioned by the Lords of H. M. Treasury. The Commissioners will adopt the modifications in the programme, as suggested in your letter.

The Commissioners have fully considered the resolution of the House of Commons, dated the 14th July last, to which you have called their attention, and whilst they appreciate the advantages of the competitive system (under proper limitations), they submit that there are circumstances connected with this department which might render the introduction of competitive examinations a matter of some difficulty.

In conclusion, we are to express the wish of the Commissioners that the examination of the four gentlemen alluded to in this and our former letter, may not take place until after the 1st April, in order to afford them full time to complete their preparation.

We have, &c.

Mr. Maitland to the Secretaries, National Education Office, Ireland. Civil Service Commission, 27 January 1858.

GENTLEMEN,

In reply to your letter of the 21st instant, relative to the exami.. nation of candidates nominated to junior situations in the office of the Commissioners of National Education,

I am directed by the Civil Service Commissioners to request that you will convey to the Education Board their thanks for the obliging consideration which has been given to their views, as expressed in my letter of the 8th instant, and to add with reference to the only point remaining to be settled, that as Mr. D's case is peculiar, and no limit of age had in fact been fixed at the time when his employment under the Board commenced, the Commissioners will feel at liberty to grant their certificate in special form, if he should appear to be in other respects entitled to it.

I am to add that orders for the examination of Messrs. ABC- —, and D———— dated for an early day in April, will be sent in due course.

I have, &c.

SIR,

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PAYMASTER OF CIVIL SERVICES, IRELAND.

Mr. Grey to the Civil Service Commissioners.

GENTLEMEN,

Dublin Castle, 6th January 1857. THE Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury having notified to me their desire that may be appointed messenger in the Record Branch of this office at the Custom House Buildings in Dublin, I beg you will have the goodness, at your earliest convenience, to direct that may be examined in this city as soon as possible, as the services of a messenger at the Record Office are much wanted, one only being employed.

I have, &c.

Mr. Maitland to Mr. Grey.

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Civil Service Commission, 7th January 1857.

In reply to your letter of yesterday's date, relative to the examination of who has been nominated as messenger in the Record Branch of your department,

I am directed by the Civil Service Commissioners to enclose an order for the examination of — by Dr. Ball on Tuesday the 13th instant. If it should appear to you desirable to alter or add to the subjects of examination there specified, you will perhaps have the goodness to return me the order which (with the view of saving time) is sent without previous correspondence as to the extent of the examination to be required.

Unless informed to the contrary, the Commissioners will assume that the candidates' age should not be below 20 or above 35, these being the limits adopted by other public offices in similar cases.

I have, &c.

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