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WASHINGTON, D. C., November 5, 1927. SIR: The commission is gratified to report that in general the spirit and letter of the civil service act have been well observed. Experience demonstrates that the merit system is indispensable to the efficient and economical administration of public affairs, safeguarding the interests alike of appointing officers on the one hand and the rights and welfare of employees and applicants on the other.

The civil service act, which was passed in 1883, has been found both practicable and effective for its purpose and to need no amendment. Whatever changes are needed can be made by appropriate Executive orders and efficient administration. The executive officials can themselves make rules limiting their own discretion. The vast advance that has been made since 1883 in extending the merit system and in improving and regulating the civil service has been accomplished by the means contemplated in the act through executive action without the need of further legislation.


June 30, 1927, there were 559,138 employees in the entire executive civil service, as against 560,705 at the end of the last fiscal year, which shows a net decrease of 1,567 employees in the entire service. There are 422,998 positions subject to competitive examination under the civil service act, a gain of 698 during the year. The Postal Service, with 308,740 employees, represents 55.22 per cent, and the remaining services, with 250,398 employees, 44.78 per cent of the entire personnel. The Postal Service had a net increase of 2,755 employees, while the other services had a net decrease of 4,322 employees during the past year. Since June 30, 1916, the Postal Service gained 57,855 and the remaining services 65,226 employees.

On June 30, 1926, there were 60,811 employees in and 499,894 employees outside the District of Columbia, while on June 30, 1927, the number employed in the District of Columbia had decreased to 59,800 and outside to 499,338. Of the net decrease of 1,567 employees in the entire service during the year, 1,011 were in the District of Columbia and 536 outside.

Since June 30, 1916, many new governmental activities have been established through legislation, namely, Shipping Board, Alien

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