Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

moral character, most of us know how Having completed their proposals as easily that is obtained, and when ob. to the mode to be adopted for filling tained, what it is worth. We could vacancies in the public service, the wish that the reporters had stated reporters go on to suggest some reguwhether Americans and other foreign. lations for using the cnergy, talent, ers are to be admitted ; there is, at and educated skill, which they shall any rate, nothing in the report to ex- have collected together by their exaclude them.

minations. In the first place, intel. There may, perhaps, be a rational lectual and mechanical labour is to be doubt as to the extreme anxiety which separated. Much, they say, has alSir Charles thinks will be evinced by ready been done by the appointment the most promising young men of the of a class of supplementary clerks, age to attend these examinations ; but who it seems are to be shifted about there can, we think, be no doubt that, from office to office, to do the copying under such circumstances as these, and drudgery, and who are never to crowds of candidates would attend rise to the receipt of higher pay than upon the examiners. Quantity would what may be considered remunerative be there, though quality might be for mechanical labour. wanting; and Mr. Jowett would revel It seems to us to be useless to make in his multiplicity of question-papers, two classes of office-clerks, both of and in the rapidity of his curt vivâ voce which are to be filled by men chosen examinations.

in early youth by a system of compeAllusion is then made to the nature titive examinations. In offices in of the subjects on which examination which purely mechanical labour can is to be bad. Much in this matter is be separated from the higher duties, to be left to the examiners, but the it would appear expedient to employ reporters suggest that the subjects in such labour persons of a wholly should be as numerous as possible, to different class, at weekly wages. Such try the different aptitudes of the dif- men would never look to rise into the ferent candidates. They do not com- class of clerks--they would have their mit themselves by recommending any rewards in their own class; and the particular syllabus, any list of indis. very fact of their being paid by weekly pensable attainments, any arrange- wages instead of yearly salaries, would ment of questions; but merely hint confine the service to the class of men that proficiency in history, jurispru. who would be desired for such work. dence, political economy, inodern lan. Whatever method may be ultimately guages, political and physical geo- decided on for filling the ranks of graphy, and other matters, besides the clerks, the class of servants to which staple of classics and mathematics, we now allude should, we think, not will be useful ! Useful! Can Sir be included in the arrangement.

It Charles find no higher epithet by will be alleged that secrecy would be which to honour such a list of accom- endangered by entrusting copies to plishments ? Useful! and this, be it uneducated men, or, to use the term remembered, in a boy just past seven- most intelligible to the world, if others teen. Does Sir Charles consider that than gentlemen bo employed. We at that age the majority of even well- cannot quite agree to this messeneducated lads do not know the correct gers in public offices are already most meaning of such terms as political confidentially entrusted with the care economy and physical geography ?-

of public papers.

The generality, that a staple of mathematics at that also, of copies required is not of such age is a very rare attainment, indi- a nature as to imperil national incating precocious genius, and that a terests by being made public, nor are proficiency in modern languages, at an they of sufficient interest to excite early age, must be a peculiar gift of curiosity. Copies of important state nature, which he cannot expect to find papers might still be made by confiin many of even these most promising dential clerks; and while we are on and most gifted lads, who are to crowd the subject of copying, we must also to his examinations ? After reading protest against the general use of the above list of preliminary accom- manual labour for a kind of work, plishments, as given by Sir Charles which can be nearly equally well done Trevelyan, who can doubt bis title to by a machine. be governor of Utopia ?

We have no further suggestion from VOL, XLVI.NO. CCLXXIV.

а

2 F

the reporters as to the division of operation of favouritism, but we do labour, though, as we have seen, at- not see that any other method would tention is somewhat ostentatiously more effectually do so; and, without drawn to the matter. The fact is, doubt, the operation of this system that the subject is felt to be one on would in effect bring the good men which it is very difficult to suggest into the good places. B. and C., any general rule. Practically, there is being both bright and equally so, C.,' not much difficulty in any individual the better beloved, may possibly be oslice; the higher class of duties gra. unnecessarily exalted over the head of dually fall into the hands of the most B. ; but no amount of love will, under competent men, who do, we believe, such a system, enable the mediocre D. usually reap some, though perhaps an to mount up above them both, or will inadequate, reward for the exertion prevent the whole three from rising of their energies. The reporters are over the head of the useless and incortoo anxious to lay down absolute laws rigible A. We may also express an for the governance of the public ser- opinion that the moderate use of good. vice, which laws, when they come to service additional pay would not only the wording of them, slip through do much towards inducing valuable their fingers like water.

energy, but would give great assistance The question of promotion is then to the heads of offices in selecting men considered. By promotion, we mean for permanent promotion. The clerk, all increase of salary, either by length when promoted, would of course not of service, or by transference from one take his good-service pay with him class to another; and on this subject into the higher class, but would have we are inclined to think that the ob.

again to earn in it in his new position. servations of the reporters are on the Complaint is made by the reporters whole juclicious. It is preposterous of the “ fragmentary character of the that either a stupid or an idle man service." This expression bardly ex. should rise to the highest pay of his plains itself, but it is meant to imply oflice by the mere vis inertiæ of long that a youth appointed to the War servitude, while the true labourer is Office learns nothing of the duties of kept on low wages by the number of the Admiralty; that a Custom-House men above him of this description ! landing-surveyor is unable to do the

We believe, however, that the sys- work of a provincial Post-oflice, or 4 tem of selection by merit is more clerk in the Poor. Law office that of a widely used already in our public clerk in the Treasury. We cannot oflices than Sir Charles is aware of; look upon this as a defect, any more we believe also that the duty of select- than we do on the ignorance of a ing has been found to be most onerous þutcher in the haberdashery business, and disagreeable. In such selection

or the inaptitude of a shoemaker to the selector, even though actuated by make sponge - cakes. The reporters the fairest intentions, can hardly avoid would change the clerks about from a bias of unconscious favouritism ; office to office, and would, we presume, and we think, therefore, for the sake if they had the power, force the butcher of both parties, the clerks from whom to measure tape and the shoemaker to the selection is to be made and the whip cream. They have very higli officer who is to make it, every possible authority against them, and, in advoprecaution should be used to prevent cating a system so diametrically opundue promotion.

posed to that now received as to the It is suggested that on every occa- division of labour, give proof at any sion of promotion, the officer imme- rate of their courage. diately in authority should furnish to Such are the recommendations made the secretary of the department the to the Government by Sir Charles names of a certain number of efficient Trevelyan and Sir Stafford Northcote, men, froin whom the latter should

for the amelioration of the civil ser. choose, and that a report on the ser- vice; and to this, as we bave said vices of each should accompany the before, is appended a letter from the name when so handed in. The secre- Rev. Mr. Jowett, Fellow and Tutor tary would then again report to the of Baliol College, Oxford, in which head of the office, who, so guided, that gentleman gives much advice on would make his selection. Even all

the subject of the proposed examina this precaution will not prevent the tions.

.

[ocr errors]

He first insists on the propriety of to be right as to the 250 vacancies for obtaining due reference and certificates the superior class(for which supposition, with all the candidates. Certificates, by-the-bye, we do not see any evidence both of birth and baptism, are to be adduced, but, on the contrary, a great forthcoming, and reference is to be diversity of opinion among those who made to a clergyman or minister. ought to be the best acquainted with This, by the way, gives much umbrage the subject — Mr. Murdock, of the to free-thinking Mr. Mill, who remarks Emigration Board, reckons the annual that clergymen would of course give vacancies in the first and second-class their recommendations to none but oflices at thirty-seven a-year), but their own congregation, and that thus supposing you to be right as to the severe penalties would be attached to 250 vacancies, by wbat earthly system the non-attendance at some place of of calculation have you arrived at the worship. We do not ourselves sce the 2,000 candidates ? This number, we injustice of such a penalty, in a agree with Mr. Jowett, is rather country where so great a majority of alarming, even though it shall be subthe population do worship God under divided into five; but why are we so some Christian denomination, but we to limit the ambitious youth of this cannot acknowledge the utility of Mr. country? Why are we to suppose Jowett's references. If a young man's that 400 only will appear at each of career before the age of twenty has the five national examinations, as de. been scandalously immoral, he will sirous of being enrolled among the not be apt to present himself before most gifted and most promising young the examiners with any chance of men of the age? Does Mr. Jowett passing a successful exainination; if suppose that the applicants for places he can do so, his proficiency should be to men in power are not more nu. allowed to give him at that carly age merous than these? and such appli. this chance of redeeming his character. cants are only those who think that Any young man, not scandalously im circunstances have given them some moral, would find no difficulty in ob- chance of favour. Under the new taining such certificates as those re- regime, any man may be an applicant. quired. Indeed we look on such We wish that we may see Mr. Jowett eertificates as all but useless, and when first addressing his crowded would venture to recommend that they audience in the examination - hall in should not needlessly be multiplied. Dublin! Four hundred candidates for We think that a simple certificate as the civil service of the nation! Why, to the date of birth should be alone the whole of Young Ireland will rash required. If it be thought necessary undivided to the struggle. The honor. to have evidence of physical capacity, able ambition of serving their country that may be best obtained from a will animate the bosom of every father, medical examination, under the hands mother, and sister, as well as cvery of a Government surgeon or physician, All these are promising and as is the practice on the entrance of gifted – no doubts of rejection will cadets into the Indian service.

prevail, and the contest for a foot of · Having disposed of this question, desk -accommodation in Mr. Jowett's Mr. Jowett rushes joyously in among blessed halls of examination will be his examination.papers, and here he is awful. quite at home. Let us estimate,” Whether in truth the really gifted, says lie," the amount of vacancies of the really promising, the really ambithe superior class at 250, and the tious, youth of this country will unnumber of candidates at 2,000. The dergo such examinations as these suglast is somewhat alarming: The best gested, for such rewards, may well be way to disperse the crowd will be by doubted. It may also be matter of holding examinations continually" doubt whether it is desirable tbat the [what a glorious prospect for Mr. civil service should entice to itself any Jowett !]—“say five in each year- very large proportion of so rare and three in London, one in Edinburgh, valuable a commodity. But there can and one in Dublin. Thus the number be no doubt that such examinations is reduced to 400 for each examina- would be crowded by unworthy candition-a number which may easily be dates, by ill-educated lads, of whom managed."

ill-educated parents would be ignoSoftly, Mr. Jowett. Supposing you rantly hopeful, and that the tasks of

son,

the examiners would be herculean. We have rather been inclined to conWill it be worth the while to remove sider the science of English composiin so painful a manner a mountain of tion as one seldom acquired before chaft, to arrive at last at a basket of maturity—as one too often neglected grain, and that not of the best through a whole life, even by the qu::lity?

educated as the greatest ornament of Mr. Joweit goes on with his calcu- those possessed of it, the greatest want Jations. The examination on

paper

of with so many good and useful men, each candidate should last for a week, who are utterly ignorant of its rules. to which should be added an hour of Will Mr. Jowett forgive us if we point nivâ vocè.This he estimates at the out to him that he has sinned against perusal of 4,800 long papers, and 400 the rules of English composition, in the hours of " viva vocè! !" Will he allow

very sentence in which he requires us to add a nought to each of these a knowledge of them as a first preliamounts ? We can safely say that in minary in bis youthful candidates ? doing so we have as true a base on Will he also allow us to call bis atten. which to build our estimates as he has tion to the peculiar language in which had.

the eminent Mr. Chadwick, through “The salaries of the examiners should nearly a hundred pages of this volume, be liberal.” In this we fully agree insists on the merits of the newlywith him ; considering the nature of proposed plan? Is it such English the task, they can hardly be too composition as Mr. Chadwick's that liberal. They should be irremovable Mr. Jowett would desire for his as are the judges, and they should novices? have several clerks and a secretary. “When this preliminary examinaAt their head should be a privy-coun- tion has been disposed of, we come to cillor. We do not object to all this the principal one.” Mr. Jowett goes proposed grandeur, but we think that on to say how the examination must none but a modern Hercules could be limited. It is useless to look for duly fill the chair in which that privy- what we might wish, says he - we councillor will have to sit.

must look for what we can actually Mr. Jowett then proceeds to the get. Education at our schools, col. subjects of examination, and begins leges, and inns of court, bas been very moderately. He would confine the limited ; physical science and civil first day to the qualifications most engineering have scarcely yet found universally required — fast and neat their way down into education, but handwriting, a thorough knowledge of still they may be introduced. These arithmetic and book - keeping, and circumstances are somewhat discouragEnglish composition. If he would ing, and will not allow Mr. Jowett to strike out the word “thorough,” and expect in his class - rooms bigher atinsert the word “adequate,” qualify tainments than those mentioned below. his requisition for English composition, As he has said above, “we must test and make this his final as well as his

& young man's ability by what he initiatory trial_if he would end here, knows, and not what we wish him to and insure to us that all who enter the know." Therefore Mr. Jowett conpublic service would be accomplished fines himself as follows:so far he would really confer an immense boon upon the Government.

FOUR SCHOOLS. A thorough knowledge of arithmetic 1. Classical Literature. and book-keeping! Can Mr. Jowett

2. Mathematics, with Practical Applicarecommend to us any young lads from tion, and Natural Science. seventeen to twenty with such a know. 3. Political Economy and Moral Philo. ledge, and who have attained it, not sophy, by practice at work, but merely by 4. Modern Languages and Modern His. educational preparation? We know tors, including International Law. of none such. English composition ! Can Mr. Jowett tell us how many

Each candidate is to be examined pupils have passed out of his hands necessarily in two schools, and no canduring the last ten years, so gifted as didate may be examined in more. to be masters of English composition ? We will not insist on the absurdity We do not meet these juvenile Ma- of the requirements here held out as caulays in our converse with the world. being necessary in a young lad just

a

about to enter an office at the age of eighteen, because it may be acknow. ledged that even all this would be useful, if it could be had; but what strikes us with surprise is, that Mr. Jowett should think that young men so educated will present themselves as candidates for such prizes. He must be aware that by far the majority of men leaving Oxford could not pass a respectable examination in two of the above schools. But men are to go into the public service at the age that they enter college, not at the age that they leave it; they are also to come from a class educated in a less costly, and, we presume, less perfect manner, than those who fill our universities; they are, in fact, to be the same men who now fill the public offices, only better instructed. That they ought to be better instructed than they are, we admit; but we cannot at present see whence such an extent of erudition is to come, as that which Mr. Jowett expects.

Mr. Jowett then goes on to the lower class of public servants, and estimates the annual vacancies at 500. According to Mr. Murdock's calcula. tion, these will not exceed 125 a-year. We are not told what is the estimated number of candidates; but, as they are to come from the poorer classes, the examination is to be carried to them, near their own houses. Mr. Jowett is no clearer than are Sir Charles and Sir Stafford, in defining the offices which are to be so filled, but he alludes specially to excisemen and tide-waiters. We do not know whether country postmasters, lettercarriers, tax-collectors, and such like, are to be included. We would, how. ever, suggest that it will be expedient in the Government to confine itself at first to ascertaining the best method of filling the situations of clerks in the bona fide metropolitan public offices, in London, Dublin, and Edinburgh.

Having produced their plan, and obtained the co-operation of Mr. Jowett, the reporters called upon sundry gen. tlemen standing high in the civil serservice, and also on various clergymen, we presume on account of their

cogni. zance of college exaininations, to give their opinion on the matter; and the bulk of the volume before us consists of these opinions. They are very equally divided as to the merits and demerits of the proposed plan. We observe

that gentlemen who have not been long in barness, such as Mr. Cole and Dr. Playfair, strongly advocate the new system; others who have passed their lives at the desk, such as Mr. Arbuthnot, for instance, Sir A. Spearman, Sir James Stephen, and Mr. Bromley, greatly doubt the adequacy of the proposed examinations. We do not insist on the objections raised by Mr. Waddington, the Under Secretary of State for the Home Department, although we would counsel those interested in the matter to read what he has written. He comes forward in a spirit of pure resistance to the reporters, and with much wit, and sundry Latin and Greek quotations, fulminates at them a paper, which is, at any rate, very amusing. We presume they were bound to print the answers they received; but they do seem to have suttered under a bard lot at being made to publish and circulate a document so very little eulogistic either of their official judgment, or extra-official common sense.

We cannot but observe with how much vehemence many of those best able to express an opinion on the matter repudiate the evil character given by Sir Charles Trevelyan to the service; and it must be remembered that this is done by men whose own stand. ing is in nowise affected by the calumny, if calumny it be. Mr. Arbuthnot, Mr. Hawes, Mr. Waddington, Mr. Murdock, Mr. Addington, Sir Thomas Freemantle, Sir Thomas Redington, Sir A, Spearman, all exclaim loudly. “I must demur," says Mr. Hawes (p. 359), “ to the general character of the service given in the report.” Mr. Addington remarks (p. 348)_"I do not hesitate to say at once, that I can. not but regard the statements of de. fects presented in the report as very much overcharged." Sir T. Freeman. tle says (p. 319)_“I feel called upon, so far as my own experience goes, to deny the accuracy of these conclusions. I believe that the clerks and oflicers of the civil departments, in general, are faithful and diligent." Sir A. Spear. man says (p. 397)—“My own conviction is, that the condition of the civil service is not such as is described in those parts of the report I have ad. verted to; I do not think that it is composed, in a large proportion, of the indolent, the incapable, and the sick. ly." And Mr. Arbuthnot (pp. 403,

« ПредишнаНапред »