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proposed to transfer from the Department of Inland Revenue to the Constabulary Force.
In June last we received a communication from the Court of Directors of the East India Company, enclosing a copy of a Report which had been approved and adopted by the Court, submitting a scheme of examination for persons who might be nominated to the Home Service of the Company, and requesting the assistance of the Commissioners in conducting such examinations.
We regard that Report, proceeding from a body eminently successful in the selection of their employés, both at home and in India, as affording valuable testimony to the policy and utility of the Order in Council which we administer, and we do not hesitate to avow the gratification we have derived from the confidence which the Court of Directors have been pleased thus to place in us.
The Report, which deals with the subject methodically and completely, after stating the desirableness of adopting such a system of examination as might afford a test of the qualifications of persons presented for appointments in the Home Service of the Company, and pointing out the importance of having the examinations conducted by an authority independent of the Service, describes three classes of officers whom it is proposed to subject to examination; viz., (1.) Clerks on the regular establishment; (2.) Writers; (3.) Subordinate officers; and recommends the following as the subjects of examination for each class.
I. For Clerks on the Establishment :
Writing; Orthography, including writing from dictation ; Arithmetic; English Composition; Précis, or digest of papers or correspondence; Geography; History of England or India, at the option of the nominee; Latin, or one modern foreign language, at the option of the nominee. [In the Audit or Accounts Department the elements of Book-keeping to be substituted for Précis.] II. For Writers:
Writing; Orthography; including writing from dictation;
III. For subordinate Situations:
Writing; Orthography; and the first rules of Arithmetic. Before complying with the request of the East India Company thus made to us, we felt it right to ask for the
consent of Her Majesty's Government to our undertaking these additional duties, which are not within the authority given to us by the Order of Council of May 1855, and having received from them the requisite permission, we intimated to the Court of Directors our willingness to carry out their wishes.
As a further illustration of the growing opinion on the part of the public of the expediency of providing proper security against the appointment of unfit persons to offices, we beg to refer to a letter addressed to us in October last by Mr. Serjeant Merewether on the part of the Corporation of London, in which he states, that the Corporation had under their consideration the expediency of making provision for the examination of candidates for offices and clerkships in their appointment, and requests to be furnished by the Civil Service Commissioners with a statement of the mode adopted in the examination of candidates for appointments under the Government, and with copies of any questions required to be answered by candidates for offices. We need hardly add, that we promptly forwarded all the information which we thought could be useful to the Corporation.
Whilst upon this point we think that we may properly notice a dispatch [in Appendix, No. IV.,] from the Governor of Malta, dated 18th Dec. last, communicated to us by Mr. Secretary Labouchere, respecting the examinations instituted in that island for clerkships in the Government service there.
The Governor encloses abstracts of Examiners' schedules showing the particulars of three competitive examinations recently held, and he states the continuance of his opinion that the system of giving clerkships to the young men under 22 years of age who pass the best examination is working advantageously for Malta; and the competition created is evidently having the effect of improving the schools.
We have also to invite attention to an Act of the Canadian Legislature, 20 Vict. cap. 24, (printed in the Appendix)" for improving and increasing the efficiency "of the Civil Service of Canada," in which provisions are made for the examination of persons desirous of entering the Civil Service of Canada, and also to the documents connected therewith, illustrative of the proceedings for carrying the Act into effect.
We continue to have the advantage of the aid of Mr. Walrond and Mr. Headlam, as our Assistant Examiners.
As temporary Examiners in general subjects, we have been aided by the following gentlemen during the last
G. Brodrick, Esq., M.A., Fellow of Merton College,
Rev. G. Butler, M.A., late Fellow and Tutor of Exeter
S. Butler, Esq. M.A., late Scholar of Trinity College,
R. Congreve, Esq., M.A., late Fellow and Tutor of
G. W. Dasent, Esq., D.C.L., of Magdalen Hall, Oxford.
F. Headlam, Esq., M.A., Fellow of University College,
E. Poste, Esq., M.A., Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford.
The list of gentlemen conversant with Foreign languages and special subjects, to whose aid we resort as the necessity arises, stands at present thus
Dutch.-M. Köster; Mr. Rudolf.
Eastern Languages. Colonel Ouseley; C. B. Eastwick, Esq.; J. W. Redhouse, Esq.
French. M. Dupont; and (in Dublin) Rev. Dr. Abeltshauser, Queen's Professor of French and German in the University of Dublin.
German. Max Müller, Esq., M.A., Professor of Modern European Languages, Oxford; Rev. Dr. Walbaum, Chaplain to the Prussian Legation; and Dr. Heimann, Professor of the German Language and Literature in the University of London.
Italian. Count Arrivabene.
Polish. M. Sosnowski.
Russian. The Rev. E. Popoff, Chaplain to the Russian Embassy,
Sanscrit. M. Müller, Esq.
Spanish. E. Delmar, Esq.
Civil Engineering, &c. Captain Galton, R.E., Assistant-Secretary to the Railway Department of the Board of Trade. Land Surveying. H. J. Castle, Esq.
Lav. H. S. Maine, Esq., LL.D., Reader in Jurisprudence and Civil Law to the Hon. Society of the Middle Temple. Physical Science. M. H. N. Story-Maskelyne, Esq., M.A., Deputy Reader in Mineralogy, Oxford.
Physiology. Dr. W. B. Carpenter, F.R.S., Professor of Medical Jurisprudence in University College.
Scottish Law. R. Stuart, Esq., Barrister at Law, &c.
The death of Dr. Ball deprived us of the services of the gentleman to whom we had confided the superintendence of our examinations in Dublin. To supply his loss we have obtained the aid of Mr. Johnstone Stoney, who is also Dr. Ball's successor in the office of Secretary to the Queen's University in Ireland.
Mr. Longmore continues to superintend our examinations in Edinburgh.
For the convenience of candidates, and in order to relieve them so far as possible from expense, we have caused several competitive examinations to take place in Dublin, Edinburgh, and in some other important towns distant from the Metropolis.
Except in Dublin and Edinburgh, competitive examinations of candidates are not likely at present to occur with sufficient frequency in any distant town to necessitate or justify the appointment of a permanent assistant examiner at such place. On the other hand, when it becomes necessary that a competitive examination should take place out of London, as it requires more time and attention than a pass examination, we consider that it is not expedient to seek to impose so onerous a duty, involving as it does considerable responsibility, on any of the local officers of the Customs, Excise, or Post-office. We have endeavoured to meet this difficulty by sending down from this office to the place where the competitive examination is to be held, an experienced clerk conversant with the subjects and practice of our examinations, and thoroughly to be relied on. He receives the candidates, distributes to them the examination papers, remains in the room during the whole period allowed for the examination, collects the answers of the candidates, and brings them to this Commission for our consideration and decision. We have found this arrangement to work very satisfactorily.
Numbers examined, &c., in 1857.
The number of nominations made in the year 1857 to situations under the Order in Council was 2,189.
In 1856, the number was 2,430; and the total number since the origin of the Commission to the end of 1857, is 5,682.
The great mass of the nominations is absorbed by the five large departments of the Admiralty, Customs, Inland Revenue, Post Office, and War. All the rest collectively were but 354 in 1856, and 294 in 1857.
The numbers in each year are given below, showing a decrease in the Customs, Inland Revenue, and War Departments, and a considerable increase in the Post Office :
The cessation of the Russian war will probably account for the decrease in the War Departments. The decrease in the Inland Revenue has been principally in the class of Excise Expectants, viz., from 496 to 312. The increase in the Post Office is attributable to the arrangement by which Letter Carriers and Provincial Clerks (who had not before been brought practically under the action of the Order in Council) were subjected to examination by the Civil Service Commissioners. As this arrangement took effect only from the middle of 1856, the numbers for that year are less than they would have been had the system prevailing in 1857 been in operation throughout the whole of the previous
The number of candidates actually examined under our directions as to their knowledge and ability was 1,954.