person is paid more than the total amount of wages for one year. In case of death the payment is made to the family. This Act affects about seventy thousand employés. There are also disability payments made to the members of the Life Saving Service under the Federal law, but these measures do not apply to the clerical positions and the latter are entirely unprotected in case of accident in the performance of duty.

Regarding pension or retirement allowances for those who have outlived their usefulness in the public employment, the decision is more difficult. It depends largely upon the answer to the fundamental query-shall we make public employment a life career? In case of clerks with a permanent tenure of office there is no reason why such employés should be any less favorably situated than those performing similar work for the great business corporations. One by one the more important railway systems and industrial concerns are providing retirement and disability pensions for their employés. Some of these plans are by no means liberal in their terms, but practically all of them involve substantial contributions to the pension fund by the employer. These systems show that larger numbers of the people are obliged to devote themselves to a limited, salaried occupation in which there is no means of support after the earning capacity has been exhausted. Such a view should be taken by the nation as a whole no less than by its business corporations. In the National Government there are now carried on the rolls a large and increasing number of clerks who are unfitted, by age, for the active performance of their duties. Competent observers who are thoroughly familiar with the departments at Washington estimate that in the various bureaus located at the national capitol, between 10 and 16% of the employés are superannuated. Strange as this seems, it is to be accounted for by the easy-going, good-natured way in which Americans have heretofore regarded the work of their government. We are in effect already supporting a pension roll of an expensive character." For the higher positions of a political tenure, there is of course no necessity for a retirement pension at present, since no one is kept in office long enough to earn one.

Opposition to the civil pension plan comes from two principal sources, first, the view that a place in the public service is more or less of a sinecure, to be passed around among the people. This view requires no comment. The second cause of opposition is the fear that the civil pension may follow the course of the military pension and become a public abuse; it is not denied that the principle of both retirement and accident pension is a sound one, but it 1 Most of them provide an allowance of $20 to $30 monthly.

2 A carefully prepared pension plan has been submitted in the annual reports of the United States Civil Service Commission. An excellent presentation of the need for such a system was published in 1912-The Civil Service by the Committee of One Hundred-a body formed for that purpose-in Washington, D C.


is claimed that a constant pressure would be brought to bear upon the government to extend the system until a serious burden upon the national treasury would result. The force of this objection is greatly lessened by the fact that we do carry the old and enfeebled clerks on the pay roll now, and by the inherent justice of the pension plan. The sentiment in its favor has steadily increased and its final adoption awaits only an easier state of the national treasury. It is by these steps, just described, entrance on merit, promotion on service record, tenure during efficiency and reasonable care in accident or superannuation,-that the public service is becoming a life career for the able and ambitious man. There are occasional delays, there are even severe setbacks, but the progress has been steady and widespread and already it can be said that we are creating a government profession of moderate or fair rewards, increasing permanence and high ideals.


Annual Report U. S. Civil Service Commission.

Annual Report of the various State Commissions. See especially Massachusetts, Illinois, Wisconsin and New York.

The Civil Service Civil Pensions in Foreign Countries. Published by a committee of 100, Colorado Building, Washington, D. C.

ALBERT S. FAUGHT: "Civil Service" in National Municipal Review, April,


C. R. FISH: The Civil Service.

Annual Proceedings National Civil Service Reform League.

C. L. KING: Training for the Municipal Service in Germany: Proceedings of American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Annual Meeting, Dec., 1914.


1. Explain the chief purposes aimed at in the reorganization of the civil service which is now progressing in national and State governments.

2. Why did we have no active movement for civil service before 1880? 3. Explain the central thought in the "Merit" principle.

4. How far has this principle progressed in the national, State and local service at the present time?

5. Why is it weakest in the State governments?

6. Explain the practical obstacles to the progress of the "Merit" system. 7. Prepare a report showing: The rise of the demand for a modern system of civil servive, and,

8. Number of positions in the Federal service, the number subject to the Civil Service Act, the types of position to which the Act does not apply.


Sketch the main provisions of the Act of 1883.

IO. You are an applicant for a post in the classified service,-show the procedure which you would follow and the chief rules governing your application.


How does the exemption of the highest officials from civil service rules affect the lower grades of the service?

12. Resolved, that promotion in the government service should depend on length of service. Defend either side.

13. What basis of promotion is usually followed in business houses?

14. Explain the examination as a basis of promotion as used in the railway mail service.

15. What is the difficulty in making a service record the basis of advancement?

16. Summarize the main provisions of the law on removals from the Federal civil service.

17. A clerk who is discharged from a Federal bureau appeals to the courts on the ground that he was not given a hearing as required by the rules. What would the court decide and on what authority?

18. A democratic clerk in a republican administration is discharged without being notified of the reasons. Has he any redress?

19. Explain the more important criticisms of the civil service and give your impressions of their weight.

20. Why does not the civil service commission visit the various examining boards which conduct the tests for entrance?

21. Are appointing officials generally opposed to or favorable to the "Merit” principle?

22. Prepare a report on the Massachusetts Civil Service Act, showing its most important provisions and the regulations adopted under it.

23. How has it been applied to the cities?

24. Explain the unusual features of the Illinois law.

25. What are the advantages of the Chicago system?

26. Have you a merit system in your State? If so outline it. If not make a draft of one which would be desirable and practical.

27. Are our business and political conditions becoming more or less like those of Europe in such a way as to require a professional civil service? How?

28. Why is it hard to retain exceptionally able men in the Federal service? 29. Explain the more important proposals for civil pensions and give your impressions of the value of these proposed plans.

30. Why are superannuated employés carried on the pay rolls at Washington to-day?

31. Prepare a brief essay on the civil service as a life career, setting forth also the views of two civil service employés of your community as to the advisability of entering the service of the City, State or Nation.



THE remarkable ease with which a compactly organized group in the State legislature or the city council can defeat a popular measure, or force the passage of an unpopular one has led to a vigorous search for some means of making legislation more truly represent the expressed will of the voters. This search has directed general attention to the plan known as Direct Legislation;- which includes the Referendum and the Initiative. These institutions, which were first viewed with scepticism in this country because they were of foreign origin, have slowly grown in popular favor until in one form or another they have secured a firm foothold and, aided by the general popular discussion of government questions, they are now being adopted in most of the advanced States, particularly in the central and western parts of the country.

Origin of the Referendum.-The Referendum grew out of the old Teutonic custom of referring questions to a majority vote of the tribesmen present at a political council or "moot." This vote which the warriors originally cast by the simple grounding or rattling of their spears, represented the public opinion of the tribe. In more peaceful times every freeman or citizen who was admitted to the council had his vote, and on all matters referred to the general council of citizens each was given an equal vote.1 In certain of the smaller Swiss cantons or States the entire population of male citizens acts directly on all legislation at a periodical gathering like a town-meeting which is the direct descendant of the old "Moot." This direct law making is of course not possible in the larger States because the people could not be convened in one gathering. Accordingly they have chosen representative legislatures but have reserved the right to require that any law passed by the representatives must, on demand, be referred to the masses of the citizenship for approval. As legislation grew in volume and the cantons increased in population it became necessary to provide that when the citizenship wanted to vote on any law, a petition should be circulated among the voters and when a certain proportion of them had signed it, this petition was presented to the legislature, and the law in question was then subjected to the popular vote. When the cantons united to form the present Swiss National Government, this Referendum was also taken over into the Federal Constitution: it was provided that all constitutional 1 A good short description of the early moot and some of its later influences may be found in John Fiske, American Political Ideas.

amendments without exception must be submitted to the popular vote, and that any Federal law should be "referred" if a petition was sucessfully circulated, containing a given number of names.

The American Referendum.-In the United States the Referendum has been frequently used from the earliest times. Most of the State constitutions may be amended only after a final vote of the citizens in approval. The city charters are often required to be approved by the city electorate. The temperance movement in its local option form is an application of the referendum to the liquor question, the voters in each township deciding at an election whether liquor shall be sold or not. The debt of cities and counties may not be increased beyond a certain proportion of the value of taxable property located in their borders, except with the consent of the voters, and in general all important changes affecting the fundamental constitutional law of a State, county, a city or even a school district may only be undertaken after the voters have expressed their wishes at the polls. In this form the Referendum has been a conservative feature of our government, tending to restrain the momentary whims and flights of the legislatures, both State and local. The present popular movement involves its extension to all legislative acts so that the people may defeat any State measure whatever, which they disapprove.

A typical Referendum plan is that used in Oregon, where a vote is held on any bill passed by the legislature when 5% of the voters sign the petition, or when the legislature itself so orders. Petitions are filed with the Secretary of State within 90 days from the adjournment of the session. Copies of the full text of the measure are printed by the Secretary of State and distributed among the voters together with any arguments for or against the measure which any person or organization may deposit with the Secretary, accompanied by a sufficient sum of money to cover printing expenses. Heavy punishment is provided for any person who signs a petition with any name other than his own, or who signs his own name more than once on the same petition. A Referendum may be taken upon part of an act as well as upon the whole. The voters of any city or town may also have a Referendum on local ordinances upon filing a petition signed by 10% of their number.

State laws which the legislature declares to be emergency measures necessary for the peace, health or safety of the State may go into operation immediately without waiting for the Referendum to be held. If a measure is not so declared an emergency act, it becomes operative 90 days after the legislature has adjourned, unless a Referendum petition has been successfully circulated meanwhile. If such a petition, so signed, is filed within the required 90 days, the Act does not become operative until approved at the polls. Elections are held every two years.

The Initiative.-The Initiative is also a Swiss idea, but is of comparatively recent origin, the first general application having

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