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almost impossible for any person who has no immediate political influence to obtain a nomination to any department under her Majesty. It is pleasant to have to record the increasing number of open competitions, at which any native-born subject can present himself on merely forwarding his name and a specimen of his handwriting to the Secretary of the Civil Service Commissioners, from whom he will receive full information on this head. The application of an influential country gentleman to an M.P. on behalf of whom he may have canvassed is seldom neglected. A candidate who fails to pass his test, or fails at a competition, must seek a new nomination ; but candidates who have once passed a test are not again called for this preliminary, except they go in for a different office, in which case they are required to pass on the subjects in which they may not have been previously examined. On a change of ministry, of course, all lists of applicants, all promises of nominations, and all tests for deferred competitions, are worthless.
Examinations. There are five kinds of Examinations conducted by the Civil Service Commissioners. I. Pass or Qualifying. II. Tests. III. Competitions. IV. Open Competitions. V. Examinations of Successful Candidates for “Honorary Additions' to their certificates in subjects selected by themselves. We shall speak of each kind of examination in detail.
Pass or Qualifying Examinations. These examinations are usually held for the less important posts in the Civil Service, such as messengers, letter-carriers, indexers, transcribers, out-door officers of customs, assistants of excise, and similar positions where extensive knowledge on any particular subject is unnecessary. One candidate is nominated for each vacancy; and, should he satisfy the examiners that he has attained a fair proficiency in each subject of the prescribed course, he obtains the appointment. In general, spelling is the most difficult subject in these examinations. The number of such examinations is diminishing.
Test Examinations. These were introduced a few years ago
into every department to which the Treasury nominates. Their object is to allow those only to compete who have satisfied the examiners in a Preliminary Test on the most important subjects prescribed for the
tire which they seek. A very large number are rejected at the
Test; and there is a rule of the Treasury that a candidate must wait three months before he can get a second chance under the Treasury patronage. We have known instances, however, in which this rule was departed from.
Mode of conducting Examinations. The Civil Service Commissioners hold their ordinary examinations simultaneously in London, Dublin, and Edinburgh once a fortnight; and, as a general rule, candidates may select the place most convenient for themselves. In some instances, however, the candidates have no option. Most “Open Competitions” are held in London only; and, as large numbers usually attend on such occasions, these are not held on the same days as the usual fortnightly examination. In a few of the London Offices, and for some appointments under the Foreign Office, a gentlemanly appearance is considered necessary, and the candidate must present himself in London a few days before his examination. Again, candidates for the Royal Irish Constabulary who may chance to reside in Great Britain must be examined in Dublin, as they are compelled to undergo a medical examination by the doctor of that force on the day previous to the literary examination. The papers of those who are examined in Dublin or Edinburgh are forwarded to London, the local authorities merely superintending the order of examination, and seeing that the candidates take no undue advantages. In Test Examinations the result is generally sent to the candidate about a week afterwards, direct from the Commissioners should he be unsuccessful, and from the Treasury should he be successful for that department. Although the reply states that he has no further claim, yet a notice to compete will, in due course, reach him. The result of Competitive Examinations is longer delayed; and when a large number have been in for examination at the same time, frequently three or four weeks elapse hefore the decision of the Examiners is known. The candidates merely receive the gross number of marks; but if they apply personally to the head of the department for which they have competed, they usually receive their marks on each subject.
Assistant Examiners now permanently employed.
Occasional Examiners. General Subjects.-T. Arnold, Esq., M.A.; Dr. Ballantyne; Hon. G. Brodrick, M.A.; Rev. T. Burbidge, LL.D.; Rev. G. Butler, M.A.; S. Butler, Esq., M.A.; Rev. R. Congreve, M.A.; Professor E. B. Cowell; G. W. Dasent, Esq., D.C.L.; W. F. Edwards, Esq., M.A.; C. J, Elton, Esq., B.A.; Sir Alexander Grant, Bart., M.A.; F. V. Hawkins, Esq., M.A.; F. J. Headlam, Esq., M.A.; G. W. Hemming, Esq., M.A.; Rev. R. Jones, M.A.; E. J. Lawrence, Esq., M.A.; Professor G. D. Liveing ; C. Marett, Esq., M.A.; W. Perry, Esq., LL.D.; J. Roberts., Esq., M.A.; H. J. Roby, Esq., M.A.; T. C. Sanders, Esq., M.A.; W. Spottiswoode, Esq., M.A., F.R.S.; C. Knight Watson, Esq., M.A.; H. W. Watson, Esq., M.A.; Rev. Dr. J. Woolley.
Astronomy.--Rev. J. Challis, M.A., F.R.S.
Civil Engineering and Practical Geometry.--Lieut.-Col. Collinson, R.E.; Lieut.-Col. Fisher, R.E.; Captain Galton, R.E.; Lieut.-Col. Scott, R.E.
Land Surveying:—H. J. Castle, Esq.
Law.—Professor Bernard ; W. L. Birkbeck, Esq.; H. Broom, Esq., LL.D.; F. Lushington, Esq., M.A.; H. S. Mayne, Esq., LL.D.; T. C. Sanders, Esq., M.A.
Mining.—W. W. Smyth, Esq.
Natural and Physical Science.—W. B. Carpenter, M.D., F.R.S.; Professor Liveing; Professor Miller ; M. H. N. StoryMaskelyne, Esq., M.A.; Professor John Phillips; Professor Williamson.
Nautical Astronomy.—Rev. Dr. Woolley.
Danish.-C. Gosh, Esq.
Eastern Languages.-C. B. Eastwick, Esq ; Col. J. W. J. Ouseley ; J. W. Redhouse, Esq.
French.-M. Dupont; M. Merlet.
German.—Herr Fontane ; Dr. Heimann ; Prof. Max Müller; Rev. Dr. Walbaum.
„Greek (modern).—Sir G. F. Bowen, K.C.M.G.; F. Lushington, Esq., M.A.; Rev. N. Morfinos.
Hebrew.—Rev. A. McCaul, DD.
Italian,-- Count C. Arrivabene ; Sir J. Lacaita ; Signor Pistrucci ; Count Saffi.
Polish.—Major Czulczewski ; M. Sosnowski. Portuguese.—Signor Monterio; J. M. De Mora, Esq. Russian.—Rev. E. Popoff. Sanskritt.—Dr. Ballantyne ; Professor Goldstücker; Professor Max Müller.
Spanish.—E. Delmar, Esq.; J. M. De Mora, Esq.; Rev. L. Lucena ; Signor Vives.
Swedish.—Rev. F. Carlson ; G. W. Dasent, Esq., D.C.L.
Candidates resident in Scotland and Ireland are, for the most part, when it is possible, examined in Edinburgh and Dublin, by means of papers transmitted from and returned to this Office.
SCOTLAND. Superintendent of Examinations in Edinburgh. G. Seton, Esq., Advocate, Secretary to the Register-General of Scotland.
IRELAND. Superintendent of Examinations in Dublin. G. Johnstone Stoney, Esq., F.R.S., Secretary to the Queen's University in Ireland.
Competitive Examinations. The great majority of all examinations are competitive ; and, though in many places, particularly in country districts, there still remains a kind of lingering disposition to believe that the candidate who has been recommended by the most influential party has the best chance of success, we have never known an instance in which we could attach the slightest partiality to the examiners. A short time since a son to M.P. whose influence was second to none (at least out of the Cabinet), competed twice unsuccessfully. Another remarkable instance of the firmness and impartiality of the Examiners came recently under our notice. An A.B. of one of our universities came before the Examiners for a Preliminary Test, and was at once rejected in spelling. Instances of such rejections are very frequent. The Civil Service Commissioners though frequently appealed to by public examining bodies, have never recognised any university degree or special certificate as a qualification.
After the candidate has passed his examination, and received his certificate of qualification," he shall enter on a period of probation,
during which his conduct and capacity in the transactions of “ business shall be subjected to such tests as may be determined
by the chief of the department for which he is intended; and he “shall not be finally appointed to the public service, unless
upon satisfactory proof of his fitness being furnished to the “ chief of the department after six months' probation.” A candidate is very seldom rejected after his probation ; indeed, one instance in every thousand appointments could hardly be cited.
Open Competitions, This mode of examination is gradually extending. Those offices open to the public will be found further on in this treatise.
Honorary Certificates. In general the candidates are at liberty to present themselves for examination after succeeding in any subjects which they may select; but the notice of this examination is only a few days, and the result brings no immediate advantage.
Official Hours. The usual official hours are from 10 A.M. until 4 in the after
In many offices an attendance from 10 until 5 o'clock is required. It is usual for one or more of the juniors to remain a short time after the others in order to despatch the official letters. Any peculiarity in the hours of attendance will be referred to under the several offices.
It frequently happens when Parliament orders official returns from an office, the official staff return in the afternoon, and are remunerated at a fixed rate per hour for such extra duty.
Vacations and Leave of Absence. The usual annual leave of absence ranges from four to ten weeks; but the vacation must be taken with the aquiescence of the head of the department, so that it may not interfere with the public service. In cases of illness, medical certificate should at once be sent in. A Treasury Minute of 30th June, 1857, says :-“Leave of absence on full pay, for recovery of health, should not exceed six months; and if longer absence from duty should be necessary, not more than half salary should be allowed for a further period not exceeding six months."