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It is right to mention also, that even in the subordinate situation of Letter Carrier we find instances of proficiency in several useful branches of knowledge; and we have, on more than one occasion, deemed it right to give to tidewaiters certificates of marked proficiency in the prescribed subjects.

It will be perceived that in twenty-three cases we have granted certificates on the reports of the heads of departments, without requiring the parties to pass an examination ; namely, in those cases in which persons who, before the date of the Order in Council, held junior situations in a department and have served continuously, are appointed to other junior situations in the same department, for which the same subjects of examination were prescribed.

Where a person who has once passed our examination is transferred from one junior situation to another junior situation, for which latter situation the prescribed subjects of examination are different from those prescribed for the former, we have not altogether dispensed with his examination, but have limited it to those subjects only in which he had not been previously examined.

As the peculiar circumstances incidental to this class of cases have occasionally presented difficulties, we think it advisable to call attention to a correspondence between the Department of the Admiralty and this Commission, which will be found in the Appendix, together with some observations which we deem it right to offer on the subject.

The total number of junior situations to which appointments were made during the last year, without competition, was 958.

The total number of situations for which competing candidates were nominated during the last year was 258, and the total number of such competing candidates was 833.

The following list will show the most important particulars of the competitions held in 1858 :

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1858. Admiralty

Jan. 5 Clerk at Whitehall
July 27

Do.
Aug. 3 Clerk at Somerset

House.
Oct. 12 Clerk at Whitehall
12 Clerk at Somerset

House.
Nov. 16 Clerk at Whitehall

1858.
Jan. 26 Dockyard Clerk
Feb. 16

Do.
Mar. 23

Do.
Oct. 5

Do.

Nov. 23 Audit Office - Mar. 2 Assistant Examiner

June 8

Do.
22

Do.
Nov.16

Do.
Chief Secretary's Oct. 21 Clerk
Office (Ireland),
Fines and Penal-

ties Department.
Civil Service Com- Jan. 5

Do. mission. Colonial Office - Aug. 24

Do. Constabulary (Ire- June 8

land), Inspector General's Office. Constabulary (Ire- Mar. 4

Do. land), Receiver's April 20 Do. Office,

May 18

Do.

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Number
Number of Marks.fof unsuc-

cessful

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1858.
Inland Revenue Feb. 23 Clerk (Legacy Duty

Office).
Mar. 9 Do.
9 Clerk (Secretary's

Office).
Apr. 27 Clerk (Legacy Duty

Office).
Jan. 12 Supernumerary

Sur-
veyor of Taxes,
12

Do.

Do.
24

Do.
Mar. 9 Clerk (Accountant and

ComptrollerGeneral's

Office),
9 Supernumerary Sur-

veyor of Taxes.
9

Do.
9 Clerk (Accountant and

Comptroller General's

Office).
9 Supernumerary

Sur
veyor of Taxes.
15

Clerk (Edinburgh)
Apr. 6 Supernumerary Sur-

veyor of Taxes.
13 Clerk (Accountant and

Comptroller General's

Office).
13 Clerk (Income Tax

Office).
May 4 Supernumerary Sur-

veyor of Taxes.
11 Clerk (Edinburgh)
18 Supernumerary Sur-

veyor of Taxes.
July 20

Do.
Sept. 14 Supernumerary Sur-

veyor of Taxes.
Nov. 9

Do.
9 Clerks
30 Supernumerary Sur.

veyors of Taxes.

Dec. 21 Clerks Joint Stock Com- Apr. 27 Clerk panies' Registration Office

(Edinburgh). Paymaster Gene- | May 11 Clerk

ral's Office. Paymaster of Civil Oct. 6 Clerk

Services (Ire

land). Poor Law Board Feb. 9 Supplementary Clerk Post Office

Mar. 2 Clerk (Money Order

Office).
Mar. 9 Supplementary Clerk

(Secretary's Office).
16 Clerk (Mail Office)
16 Clerk (Railway Post

Office).
16 Clerk (Money Order

Office).
May 11 Clerk (Dublin)

18 Clerk Mail Office)
June 11 Supplementary Clerk

(Dublin).
July 6 Clerk (Money Order

Office).
7 | Supplementary Clerk

(Edinburgh).

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1858. Post Office-cont. July 15 Supplementary Clerk

(Secretary's Office). 13 Supplementary Clerk

(Dublin). Aug. 12 Supplementary Clerk

(Secretary's Office). 19 Clerk (Receiver and

Accountant General's

Office).
Sept. 7 Clerk (Money Order

Office).
7 Supplementary Clerk

(Dublin). Oct 5 Clerk (Money Order

Office). 12 Clerk (Receiver and

Accountant General's

Office).
12

Do.
Nov. 9 Supplementary Clerk

(Edinburgh). Prisons (Ireland), June 15 Assistant SchoolmasSpike Island De

ter. pot. Registrar General's Jan. 12 Transcriber Office (England).

Mar. 9 Indexer Seamen's Registry July ő Clerk Office.

Oct. 5

Do.

26 Do. Treasury

Apr. 13 Supplementary Clerk Sept. 28

Do.
War Office

Jan. 26 Clerk :
June 1

Do.
June 29 Clerk in Royal Engi-

neers' Department. July 13 Clerk (Royal Gunpow

der Factory, Waltham

Abbey), 27 Clerk (Royal Engi

neers' Department). Nov. 23 Clerk (out station) Dec. 14 Clerk (Military Store

Service). Works

Aug. 17 | Clerk Combined compe

titions. Customs

July 13 One Gaugership, two

Searcherships. Inland Revenue · May 11 One Clerkship in an

Office of Account and three Supernumerary Surveyorships of Taxes.

Two Clerkships in Aug. 31

Secretary's Office. One Clerkship in an

Office of Account.

Three SupernumeInland Revenue - June 15

rary Surveyorships

of Taxes.

One Clerkship. Paymaster General's Office.

One Clerkship Audit Office

Sept.21 Paymaster Gene

One Clerkship

One Clerkship in ral's Office.

Legacy Duty Office. Inland Revenue

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The preceding list suggests various observations.

In our last Report we pointed out the advantage which would result from enlarging the field of competition by substituting for the plan of nominating three persons only to compete for each vacant situation, the system of nominating a proportionate number of candidates to compete for several appointments at one examination.

It affords us sincere gratification to be able to state that Her Majesty's Government has seen fit to accede to our suggestion ; and the Secretary of the Treasury, acting in entire unison with our views on this point, has carried them into effect with earnestness and completeness, and with very satisfactory results.

The Secretary of State for War has also adopted the like course with respect to the situations in his department. With regard to some other departments, although vacancies do not occur with sufficient frequency to admit of the delay which would arise from waiting to fill up several vacancies at the same time, we nevertheless believe that by an arrangement for the combined action of different departments this improvement may at no distant period be introduced, and the combined competitions above noted have shown that this is practicable.

The most important of these large competitive examinations have been A competition of 12 for 4 clerkships in the Customs. 57 for 20 do.

do. 26 for 10 do.

do. 37 for 13 do.

War Office. 33 for 9 do.

do. 28 for 9 do.

do. Had the competitors for these appointments been grouped in threes, and had there been separate competitive examinations for each of these groups, it is practically certain that competent and deserving persons would have been excluded, while less meritorious persons might have obtained the situations contended for.

As a practical example, we may mention two recent competitions for junior situations, of the same nature and in the same office, in which the total marks given were as follows :First Competition,

Total Marks.
Candidate No. 1

3,685
No. 2
No. 3

1,365
Second Competition,
Candidate No. 1

1,355
No. 2

1,256 No. 3

865 It will be perceived that No. 2 in the first competition had much higher marks than No. 1 in the second, and that even No. 3 in the first examination just surpassed No. 1 in the second, although the subjects of examination and the examination papers were the same in both, and the examinations took place simultaneously.

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2,530

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