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Mr. Maitland to Mr. Maclean.

Civil Service Commission, SIR,

20th January 1858. In reply to your letter of the 18th instant, stating that in consequence of a communication from Mr. Hayter as to the difficulty which has been experienced in obtaining suitable candidates for the office of Principal Coast Officer, the Board of Customs are desirous that history should no longer be one of the prescribed subjects of examination for candidates nominated to the situation in question,

I am directed by the Civil Service Commissioners to state that if after consideration of the enclosed Table, the Board of Customs continue to think the retention of English history undesirable no objection will be made to its omission.

The Table shows that in no instance has a candidate been rejected for ignorance of history, or even for ignorance of history and geography, except when accompanied by indifferent arithmetic and spelling.

In one of the two cases in which deficiencies in history and geography were among the causes of rejection, the mistakes in spelling were about twenty in number, and no question in history or geography was attempted. In the other no sums in vulgar or decimal fractions were attempted, and the following note appears at the foot of the candidate's answers to the questions in English history. “ The candidate was “ observed to write the greatest portion of the above from notes, which “ the collector informed him was irregular.”

It is hardly necessary to add, that certificates must in both these cases have been refused, if English history had not been one of the prescribed subjects.

I have, &c.

(Enclosure.) Table showing the Number of Principal Coast Officers who had been nominated

since 21st May 1855; and the way in which the nominations have been disposed of.

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Mr. Maclean to Mr. Maitland.

Custom House, London, Sir,

22nd January 1858. Having laid before the Board of Customs your letter of the 20th instant, enclosing, in reply to mine of the 18th preceding, on the subject of the proposed modification in the present subjects of examination for persons nominated to the situation of Principal Coast Officer, a tabular statement, showing the number of Principal Coast Officers who have been nominated since May 1855, and the manner in which the nominations have been disposed of; from which it appears that no candidate has been rejected for ignorance of history and geography, except when accompanied by indifferent arithmetic and spelling, and stating that if, after consideration of the table, the Board continue to think the retention of English history undesirable, no objection will be made to its omission by the Civil Service Commissioners,

I am directed to acquaint you, for the information of the Commissioners, that it appears by the communication from the Treasury, alluded to in my letter of the 18th instant, that the difficulty experienced by Mr. Hayter is in finding persons who are willing to undergo the examination now required in respect to candidates for the situation of Principal Coast Officer, and the Board considered that, by the withdrawal of English history from the subjects of examination, persons sufficiently qualified in other respects would be induced to accept nominations for such office, and offer themselves for examination in the remaining subjects ;—the Board therefore think that the question is not materially affected by the result of the examinations which have already taken place, and they are still of opinion that the retention of English history is not desirable.

I am, &c.

Mr. Maitland to Mr. Maclean.

Civil Service Commission, SIR,

26th January 1858. In reply to your letter of the 22nd instant, intimating that the Board of Customs are still of opinion that it is undesirable to retain English history among the subjects of examination for candidates nominated to the situation of Principal Coast Officer,

I am directed by the Civil Service Commissioners to state, that having put the Board in possession of the facts which appeared to deserve consideration while the subject was under discussion, they readily defer to the wish of the Board, and will regulate their examinations accordingly.

I have, &c.

EAST INDIA COMPANY.
Sir James C. Melvill, K.C.B., to Mr. Maitland.
SIR,

East India IIouse, 4th June 1857. I AM commanded by the Court of Directors of the East India Company to transmit to you, with a view to its being laid before Her Majesty's Civil Service Commissioners, copy of a report which has been approved and adopted by the Court, submitting a scheme of examination for persons who may be nominated to the home service of the Company

For the reasons explained in the report, the Court are desirous to obtain, if possible, the benefit of the assistance of the Commissioners in conducting such examination, and they have, accordingly, directed me to state that it will be satisfactory and gratifying to them, if the Commissioners shall be induced to comply with the request which I am now commanded to prefer, that they will be pleased to undertake that duty.

As the Commissioners may desire to be apprised of the number of persons who may be presented for examination, I have to state that

the number of appointments in the year varies according to circum-
stances, but that upon an average of past years the following may be
assumed as the probable number :-
To clerkships

6
To the more subordinate situations

- 3 Any further information which the Commissioners may require will be furnished upon their favouring the Court with an intimation of their wishes.

It is proposed that the intended examination shall have effect from the 1st July next; any pecuniary charge which it may involve will, of course, be defrayed by the Company.

I am, &c.

Enclosure

At a Finance and Home Committee, the 13th May 1857.
Pursuant to the Court's reference of the 8th ultimo, the Committee have had under
their consideration “the propriety of establishing a system of examination upon the
" admission to the service of members of the home establishment;" and having given
their best attention to the subject, and conferred thereon with the principal officers
of the establishment, the Committee are of opinion, that it is desirable to adopt such
a system of examination as may afford a test of the qualifications of persons who may
be presented for appointments in the home service of the Company.

This being the conclusion at which the Committee have arrived, upon a consideration
of the question referred to them, they proceed to submit their opinion in regard to the
arrangements which should be made for the examination.
The principal points to be determined are:-

1st. The agency to be employed in conducting the examination.
2nd. The persons who should be required to undergo an examination.
3rd. The scheme of examination.

Examiners.
With regard to the first point, the Committee are of opinion, that the persons selected
to undertake the examination should be independent of the service; and that it would
be desirable to obtain for the purpose, if possible, the services of gentlemen accustomed
to this duty.

The Court are aware that, under an Order of Her Majesty in Council, Commissioners have been appointed to conduct the examination of persons proposed for admission into the Civil Service of the Crown. The Committee consider that it would be satisfactory if those Commissioners could be induced to undertake the examination of the persons nominated to the Company's home service to whom it may be determined to apply such a test of qualification; and, should the Court concur in this view, the Committee recommend that a letter be addressed to the Commissioners, requesting that they would be pleased to undertake the duty.

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Persons to be examined. In submitting their opinion on the second point, viz.,—the persons who should be required to undergo an examination, the Committee will briefly advert to the nature of the appointments to the home establishment.

The clerkships in this house consist of two grades, viz.

Clerks on what is termed the regular establishment, who have the prospect of rising to the higher situations in the service, and clerks under the denomination of writers, whose duties are principally of a mechanical character, and who have not the same prospect of promotion as the clerks on the regular establishment.

The Committee are of opinion, that the clerks of each description should undergo an examination, but they do not deem it necessary to subject them both to the same test of qualification; it being understood that a person who may have passed the examination prescribed for writers shall, if subsequently presented for a regular clerkship, undergo the examination required for the higher grade. They would however submit, that a person nominated as a writer should have the option of being examined at once in the subjects prescribed for nominees to the regular establishment, and that, having passed such an examination, he should not be required to be examined a second time, in the event of his being presented for an established clerkship. The clerks to be examined would thus consist of two classes, viz.

Clerks appointed to the regular establishment; and

Writers. Persons in the more subordinate situations in the home service should likewise, in the Committee's judgment, be required to undergo an examination.

Scheme of Examination.
The third point to be determined is the scheme of examination.

With regard to the first class above mentioned, the Committee are of opinion that the subjects of examination should furnish such a test of the intelligence and general attainments of the nominee, as that passing it should give proof of his qualification for the discharge of the ordinary duties of a junior clerk, and at the same time afford promise that, after the usual official training, he would be qualified for the more important duties required of persons filling the higher situations on this establishment. With this view the Committee recommend the following as the subjects of examination, viz.

Writing.
Orthography; to include 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. As regards clerks nominated to the Accounts or Audit Department the Committee would recommend that the elements of book-keeping be substituted for “précis."

The Committee are of opinion that in this, as also in the other examinations, it should be understood that superior proficiency in one branch will compensate for deficiency in another, and that, as the general principle of the system, the object in view should be rather to test the intelligence and capabilities of the candidate than the actual acquirements and scholarship which he may have attained at an age when many, even of those who most distinguish themselves in after life, have gained no superiority in the latter respects over their contemporaries.

For the second class the Committee consider that the subjects of examination should be

Writing
Orthography; to include writing from dictation.
Arithinetic.

Geography or history. The Committee would, however, propose that in each class the nominee should be allowed to offer himself for examination in subjects beyond those prescribed as necessary,

With respect to the more subordinate situations of door-keeper, office porter, and messenger, it appears to your Committee desirable that they should be examined in .writing, orthography, and the first rules of arithmetic.

The Committee observe that by the Order in Council, to which they have already referred, every person presented for examination by the Civil Service Commissioners is required to satisfy them,

That he is within the limits of age prescribed for the department to which he is to be

appointed. That he is free from any physical defect or disease which would be likely to interfere

with the proper discharge of his duties; and That his character is such as to qualify him for public employment. Should the Commissioners undertake the examination of persons presented for appointments to the Company's home service, the Committee would recommend that they be also requested to undertake the preliminary duty of satisfying themselves in regard to the age, health, and character of the persons so presented. The Committee do not contemplate any alteration in the ages prescribed by the existing regulations of the Court, which should accordingly be communicated to the Commissioners. The Committee submit, in conclusion, their opinion that the proposed examinations should have effect as respects any presentations to appointments that may be made after the 1st July next.

Present limits of age for persons appointed to the home establishment.
Established clerks, 18 to 25.
Exception in favour of persons being writers at the time of their appointment,

limit then extended to 30.
Writers, 16 to 26.
Door-keepers, not to exceed 35, unless already in the service in some other

capacity.
Office porters, 18 to 35, unless already in the service in some other capacity.
House messengers, not to exceed 40.

Mr. Maitland to Sir J. C. Melvill, K.C.B.

Civil Service Commission, SIR,

11th June 1857. I AM directed by the Civil Service Commissioners to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, relative to the examination of persons who may be nominated to the home service of the Honourable East India Company,

And in reply I am to state that the Commissioners would have returned an immediate answer had they not deemed it right to consult Her Majesty's Government before acceding to the request which has been addressed to them.

They are now authorized to give to the Company such assistance as may be in their power, and they will regulate according to the wishes of the Court of Directors, as expressed in the report transmitted with your letter, such examinations as they may have to conduct for the various classes of appointments there specified.

The regulations proposed in that report are so clearly expressed as to preclude, it may be hoped, any risk of misapprehension, and it is, therefore, only necessary for me to add, with reference to the concluding paragraph of your letter, that the Commissioners do not at present anticipate any increase of expenditure from the proposed arrangement, and that should the find themselves mistaken they will communicate with you on the subject.

I may also state that examinations commence at this office on the Tuesday in each week, and that candidates should attend on some day preceding that fixed for their examination in order that they may receive instructions as to the evidence of age, health, and character, which they will be required to produce.

I have, &c.

Sir J. C. Melvill, K.C.B., to Mr. Maitland. SIR,

East India House, 18th June 1857. I HAVE received and laid before the Court of Directors of the East India Company your letter dated the 11th instant, communicating the acquiescence of the Civil Service Commissioners in the request of the Court that the Commissioners would be pleased to give their assistance in the examination of persons appointed to the home service of the Company.

The Court command me to request that you will convey to the Commissioners the thanks of the Court for their obliging communication.

I have, &c.

ECCLESIASTICAL COMMISSION.

Mr. Chalk to Mr. Maitland. SIR,

11, Whitehall Place, 29th January 1857. With reference to your communications on the subject of the Order of Her Majesty in Council regulating the admission of persons to the Civil Service, I am directed by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England to send you the accompanying statement, showing the limits of age and the course of examination by the Civil Service Commissioners which the Ecclesiastical Commissioners think applicable to the appointment of clerks in this department.

I have, &c.

Enclosure. STATEMENT showing the Limits of Age and the Course of Examination by the Civil

Service Commissioners, proposed for the Department of the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England.

Limits of age :-
Senior clerks
Junior clerks

16 to 25

21 to 35

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