time up to the present, that is from 1856 or 1857, the parliament of Great Britain has never wavered in its allegiance to the system of merit and examination as applied to the civil service. It was not until a good deal later, however, about 1870, that the full measure of civil service reform, so far as principle and regulation is concerned, was applied to the service. In 1870, after repeated investigations and commissions, and as a result of the information thereby gathered, the open competitive system was put into force, and the old system of appointment through patronage or nomination, the old ineffectual departmental examination and system of limited competition, were all done away with, and the principle of open competition for every British subject under proper conditions was established by the parliament of GireatJ Britain and embodied in the British civil service. The results have been, I think beyond all doubt, eminently satisfactory. That they have been satisfactory is shown by the adherence of the British'parliament and people to the system and the continuous strengthening of that system, so that, at the present time, it is, perhaps, stronger than it ever was before, and, during its history, it has served as the starting point and example for civil service systems in almost all the great progressive countries of the world.
In brief, we find the system to be the establishment of a civil service commission, the granting of freedom to every British subject who complies with necessary conditions, to compete for entrance into the service and for the prizes of the service; the absolute elimination from the great bulk of the service of anything like patronage of any kind, and the utter banishment from the service of anything like political influence, either by way of assessment, intimidation, promise, or anything of that kind unfortunately too well known in other countries, our own not excepted. There are certain limited classes of positions which are excluded from this general system, namely, the classes of technical and political positions. But, even in these, the larger portion are still subject to what we call non-competitive examinations. That is, although these positions are not open for competition on the part of allcomers, yet when the head of the department, or whoever has that duty, nominates to an office, the nominees must be examined and receive their certificates of fitness from the civil service examiner, and do not receive the position unless they pass these competitive examinations; and, of course, the successful applicant, as shown by the result of these examinations, gets the position. So, in that case, merit is again defined by examination; and, although at the entrance to it, the number who may apply to be admitted to the competitive exarnin-Mr. FOSTER.
ation is somewhat limited, still there are competitors and they have to pass examinations and the best man wins.
There are two statements that I wish to read on this subject. One was made by Mr. Mundella, who was a member of the British cabinet at one time. He said:
I stand before you the representative of the largest constituency in England, and yet have not the power to control the appointment of the lowest excise officer.
The other was made by Mr. Gladstone, who was still greater in power and influence. He said :
As to the clerkships in mv office-the office of the Treasury-every one of you has just as much power over their disposal as I have.
- [DOT] In order that the public service might
be indeed the public service; in order that we might not have among the civil officers of the state that which we had complained of in the army, namely, that the service. was not the property of the nation, but of the officers, we have now been enabled to remove the barriers of nomination, patronage, jobbery, favouritism, in whatever form; and every man belonging to the people of England, if htf so please to fit his children for competing for places in the public service, may do it entirely irrespective of the question what is his condition in life.
To these two statements I desire to add a fact which I came across aud which I will give without mentioning names. A very distinguished member of the British cabinet commenced his career as a clerk in the lowest grade of the civil service. He entered through the system of examination, and made his way up to the highest, or nearly the highest executive position of the British government.
I suppose there are now about 70,000 employees in Great Britain coming under the provisions of the Civil Service Act. Two or three instances might be given to show the difference between the condition, of things here and there. Take, for instance, the Inland Revenue. The Inland Revenue service of Great Britain is in charge of a board of commissioners who are appointed by the Crown and hold office during good behaviour. They have over 8.000 officials besides a large number of employees. The entrance is by examination through the lowest grade. There is no removal except for cause, and religion or politics is never a cause of removal. When a removal takes place, the cause has to be written and signified to the Civil Service Commissioners' board, and no interference from politicians, or wardworkers or ministers may interfere with the discipline of this large staff of officials and employees. Not only is there no removal except for cause, but, before removal, there must be a proper hearing. The Customs Department of Great Britain has been managed now for over one hundred years in the manner I am about to
describe. A board of four commissioners is appointed, as in the case of the Inland Revenue. They have over 5,000 clerks, -besides large numbers of employees who are exactly on the same basis as under the Inland Revenue Board-no politics, no interference. The higher places are filled by promotion, and the board annually inspects each port, which I think is a most excellent feature of the system.
Then there is the treasury, which is run by a board of seven managers. There is the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and others, and as these are pasing, ephemeral, there is a permanent secretary in whose hands is placed the chief business of directing the treasury so far as its officials are concerned. The Treasury Board, of course, dominates the policy. However parties may differ, the board defines the policy for the Department of Inland Revenue or Customs. But there is no political interference in any way. shape or form, nor removal except for cause, and the reason, in case of removal, is to be given in writing.
The postal division is managed by a permanent non-political secretary. The post offices are divided. There is the very small and unimportant post office, which is allowed to take care of itself and is judged by its results. If the results are good it is undisturbed; if any difficulties arise, troubles or laches take place, then of course it is looked into and a remedy applied. Then there is the class of post offices which have not over £120 of income. There the clerks are nominated by the postmaster and the postmasters are selected by the Treasury Board, and are removable only for cause. Tne next class are the post offices having over £120 revenue. There the postmasters are selected from the entire service as a recognition of merit. That opens the horizon and gives scope and consequently spirit to the service. They are appointed by the Postmaster General and are removable only for cause, and any application in favour of them by members of parliament or persons in political life is a detriment, and is more likely to militate against the appointment of the candidate than to help him. Then the last are the great city post offices. These great city post offices are under the civil service entirely. All clerks enter by open competition and examination, and the same rule applies with reference to promotions and removals.
Then there is the consular or diplomatic service, which is now almost entirely taken out of patronage, and a system of rigid and thorough examination prevails, combined as well with the record of the person himself, whose experience makes up a large part of that record. In the House of Lords the clerk of Parliament selects those who are to be examined for clerkships, and in the House of Commons the librarian selects them, and they have to make good by competitive examination. Any one, I think, who has the interest of the service at heart would be glad to see a system of that kind applied to both our Houses here, at least I certainly would. So much then with reference to the British service. I will have a little more to say with reference to the results of that service later on in my remarks.
The next country to which I invite the attention of the House is the United States of America. Many of those who have not followed closely the track of progress of the United States in this respect are inclined to think that it is a very poor example of a civil service country to bring before the parliament of Canada, and I have noticed on two or three occasions that when some remark has been made with reference to the civil service in the United States it has provoked a smile. Well, that is not impossible of explanation. No man can keep all subjects within his ken, and until a few years ago when I gave some attention to the civil service in the United States, I myself would have been inclined to put it amongst the more backward of countries, and to conclude, as so many in our country do, that it is delivered over body and soul to the spoils systems, as it was not very long ago delivered over almost absolutely to the spoils system. But to make a long story short, the evils of their system so impressed themselves upon the better thinking public men of the United States, as they had done before in Great Britain, that methods were adopted, a plan of educational work was undertaken throughout the country and carried up into Congress, and it resulted in 1882 in the enactment of tile present civil service law of the United States. Now, wonders have been doue under that legislation, giving as it does a very large power to the president, by proclamation, to bring under the operation of the Civil Service Act such departments and such parts of departments as it may suit him. This of course he does with a full knowledge of what is needed and of what will be fairly well supported. President Cleveland began that work particularly, and he and President Roosevelt have been especially the two presidents who have done so much to widen the scope of the civil service, and by their repeated proclamations to bring constantly wider and wider areas under its scope. In operation the United States appoints a Civil Service Commission of three. This Civil Service Commission, with the president, is authorized to prepare the rules and regulations for the civil service, and what they prepare, when it is promulgated by the President, has the force of law and becomes equal to an enactment. They have the power of examination, and for that part of the civil service which is under the merit system, a careful system of examinations is carried on by