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We have deemed it right in all these examinations not only to ascertain the candidates who, being the best on the competition, are to obtain the appointment, but also to satisfy ourselves, with regard to the remainder, whether they have or have not such a knowledge of the prescribed subjects as would have entitled them to certificates of competency had they been successful.

We regret to find that a large proportion of competitors are short, and some very short, of that standard. Of the total number of competitors examined, i.e. 647, only 275 are above, but 372 below the standard.

The last column of the above list gives these facts in detail in reference to each particular competition.

The practical conclusion which we are disposed to draw from this unfavourable state of the proportion of competent and incompetent candidates is, that the number of candidates should be increased so as to bear a larger proportion to the vacancies, and that three to one, the present proportion, is insufficient.

This information as to the positive competency or incompetency of unsuccessful candidates in competitive examinations we have communicated to the Treasury and other departments who have requested us to furnish it. We believed that it might be useful towards forming a correct judgment whether it would be advisable to give to any of the unsuccessful candidates a nomination to some future competitive examination.

We should regret, however, if this information should lead to the appointment in the public service, positively and without competition, of persons who, having been unsuccessful in a competitive examination, have shown a competent knowledge in the prescribed subjects ; for if such a practice were to gain ground the advantage wbich the public may derive from competitive examinations, namely, of obtaining not merely competent persons, but the best of the competent, would be neutralized or frittered away. .

With respect generally to the renomination of candidates, we have to state the following particulars :Number of candidates who received absolute nominations in 1858, after

having been rejected for similar or lower positions within the pre-
ceding 12 months :-
Candidates passed on second examination

35
Candidates passed on third examination
Candidates rejected twice

14
Candidates rejected three times

2 Candidates rejected four times

1

1

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We do not think that this system of renomination is open to objection in cases where it is believed that the failure of the candidate has been the result of nervousness or any other accidental cause ; but we are of opinion that in other cases the renomination of the candidate should not take place until a sufficient interval of time has elapsed to admit of his supplying his deficiencies, not by the process of cramming, to which we shall presently allude, but by systematic study and perseverance.

The cases in which candidates have been considered ineligible as not being within the limits of age prescribed for the department have been 59.

Although the particular instances in which a candidate is excluded by this regulation, who might otherwise have been found qualified, furnish matter of disappointment and regret, we are nevertheless satisfied of the importance of maintaining these limits. The necessity of them, especially as respects clerks in the establishments of the various departments, appears to rest upon the following grounds : First, the maintenance of due subordination in the depart

ment, which would be rendered very difficult if persons of mature age were admitted into the junior class of

situations. Secondly, the opportunity which would be afforded to persons

who have failed in other pursuits to try to enter the public service as a last resource, unless prevented by limitations as

to age.

Thirdly, the difficulties which would arise in cases of pro

motion by merit from class to class, if persons of mature

age, as well as youths, were appointed to the junior class. Fourthly, the earlier claims to superannuation which would be

created by the admission of older persons. These grounds are of course less applicable to temporary clerkships than to clerkships on the establishment, and accordingly the higher limit of age prescribed for temporary clerks has been extended in various departments to 40 years; and as a further encouragement to the industry and good conduct of such temporary clerks, an exception has been very generally introduced to the effect that if temporary clerks in a department are appointed to clerkships on the establishment, the higher limit of age for the permanent situations is extended to 30, provided that such persons have been originally appointed as temporary clerks before attaining the higher of the limits of age fixed for permanent clerkships, and have served continuously.

In giving effect to the regulation with regard to limits of age, we regret to state that we have in several instances detected irregularities amounting to fraud, with respect to certificates of baptism and evidence of the time of birth; but as legal proceedings are in contemplation with regard to some of these cases, we do not feel justified in entering into particulars respecting them.

Although there have only occurred 23 cases in which candidates have been found ineligible on the ground of health, and 20 on the ground of character, we can safely state that we have continued to exercise much precaution in reference to these important qualifications.

The subjoined list, which gives the names and academical status of our assistant examiners and temporary examiners in

general and special subjects (except those who were engaged in the Indian Civil Service examination, who will be mentioned in the proper place), differs but little from the similar list of

last year.

Employed continuously. Theodore Walrond, Esq., M.A., late Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford. Edward Headlam, Esq., M.A., Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge.

Employed occasionally in general subjects. G. Brodrick, Esq., M.A., Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. S. Butler, Esq., M.A., late Scholar of Trinity College, Cambridge. G. W. Dasent, Esq., D.C.L., of Magdalen Hall, Oxford. W. F. Edwards, Esq., M.A., Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. F. Headlam, Esq., M. A., Fellow of University College, Oxford. G. D. Liveing, M.A., Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge. E. Poste, Esq., M.A., Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. J. Roberts, Esq., M.A., Fellow of Magdalen College, Cambridge.

Employed for special subjects. Dutch.--Rev. Dr. Gehle. Eastern Languages.-Col. Ouseley ; C. B. Eastwick, Esq.; J. W.

Redhouse, Esq. French.-M. Dupont. German.-Max Müller, Esq., M.A., Fellow of All Souls College,

and Professor of Modern European Languages, Oxford ; Rev. Dr.

Walbaum, Chaplain to the Prussian Legation ; Herr Fontane. Italian.—Count Arrivabene, Professor of Italian at University

College, London. Polish.—Major Czulczewski; M. Sosnowski. Russian.—Rev. E. Popoff, Chaplain to the Russian Embassy. Civil Engineering, &c.—Captain Galton, R.E., Assistant Secretary to

the Railway Department of the Board of Trade. Law.—H. S. Maine, Esq., LL.D., Reader in Jurisprudence 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.

For examinations in Scotland. A. C. Longmore, Esq.

For examinations in Ireland. G. Johnstone Stoney, Esq., Secretary to the Queen's University in

Ireland. In our Report of last year we included, as an Appendix, copies of all the examination papers which we had set during the preceding twelve months.

On the present occasion we have deemed it unnecessary, for the papers have been constructed precisely on the same principles, and have contained, not indeed the same questions, but questions exactly of the same character as those already printed. We have, however, set forth at large the examination papers

proposed to the candidates for the Indian Civil Service, and at

the competitive examination for the writerships at the India 1 House.

The publicity which we have given to our method of proceeding and to its results has led us to expect that whatever objections may exist either to the system we administer or to our mode of carrying it into effect would be equally made public by those who entertain such objections ; and in our last Report we discussed and endeavoured to refute such as had come to our knowledge.

There are, however, two defects which have been alleged to be incidental to our examinations, which have not unfrequently been urged against them, and upon which we have not as yet fully expressed our opinions. The first of these is the supposed danger of cramming. We believe this danger to be much overrated, and to be in a great degree misunderstood. The practice to which this familiar expression of cramming applies is strictly this, that a candidate, instead of acquainting himself with a subject, speculates on the particular questions which are likely to be put, or addresses Înimself only to limited portions of the subject, and qualifies himself either by rote or otherwise to that limited extent.

But the course adopted in the examinations under our superintendence renders this species of cramming of little avail. The subjects, although simple, admit of questions which may be infinitely varied, and which cannot be prognosticated; and as the candidate is not directed to particular books or treatises, it is impossible that he should foreknow the passage which will be set for dictation, translation, or otherwise, or the period of history, or the particular events which the questions will embrace.

If the expression “ cramming” be understood to mean the acquisition of knowledge of particular subjects in a short time with considerable exertion, we think that with regard to all the practical subjects, such as arithmetic, handwriting, and such other subjects as can be rapidly taught, the knowledge thus acquired and proved by examination is as likely to be useful as if gained by a slower process; and although it does not prove a long and continuous course of industry, it sufficiently shows capacity and energy,

The other alleged defect of the system which we administer is of a very different character ; it is this : that the prescribed subjects in some departments are so high as to have the effect, especially where there are competitive examinations, of bringing into the service young persons whose talents and acquirements are so far beyond the work they are expected to perform, that they become discontented with their position, and perform their duties listlessly, and without energy. We readily admit that such instances may have occurred, but we believe them to be very rare ; and with regard to the general result of admitting into the junior situations of the service persons above the average in intellect and industry, we are convinced that although the beneficial effects of this system will only partially be realized in the early portion of the clerk's service, when his duties are to a considerable extent of a mechanical character, yet when he rises to those positions in the department in which there is a necessity for intelligence, and opportunity is given for showing it, the difference between those who upon their admission into the service have given proof of possessing talent and industry and their less gifted fellow-labourers will be fully recognized and appreciated.

We have already adverted to our having been under the necessity of gradually applying the provisions of the Order in Council of 1855 to the various departments and junior situations in the Civil Service. In connexion with this part of the subject we may refer to the return moved for by Mr. Rich (No. 490, 1858) of (1) persons who having been nominated for junior situations in any of Her Majesty's Civil Establishments subsequent to the date of the Order in Council of 21st May 1855, and not having obtained certificates of qualification from the Civil Service Commissioners, have been employed and paid for such employment in such establishments, and (2) of persons who having obtained certificates of qualification have been employed and paid for a period prior to the date of such certificate, and subsequent to the date of the Order in Council of 21st May 1855. Among the latter are included cases in which our certificates had not been applied for as well as others in which certificates had been refused.

When discovered these practical irregularities are to some extent remedied by requiring the individuals so employed to be examined by this Commission, yet this subsequent examination, if it results in the refusal of a certificate, is a much greater disappointment to the candidate than an examination previous to his employment, and imposes upon us a duty which is necessarily of an invidious character.

We trust, however, that by the vigilance of the Commissioners of Audit, and the precautions which they take to secure the observance of the provisions of the Order in Council irregular appointments of this nature, in departments the accounts of which are subject to their control, may in future be prevented. By an arrangement with them we transmit each month a return of all certificates granted, except those for the Treasury, the offices of the Secretaries of State, and the Admiralty.

Examinations for the East India Civil Service. In order to enable us satisfactorily to report our proceedings in relation to these examinations, we find it necessary briefly to notice their origin and the manner in which they have hitherto been conducted.

They were instituted under the Act 16 & 17 Vict. cap. 95, and the regulations under which they were conducted were

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