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Now more than 100 years since patronage was abandoned as the basis of appointment and preferment in the Civil Service of Great Britain. More than 50 years later Canada riveted home the same principles in effective legislation, largely due to British example. A long series of enquiries by Royal Commissions and Select Committees of Parliament which investigated the operation of the Dominion Civil Service, starting not long after Confederation. Results and recommendations. The establishment of the merit system. Recent impressive evidence of the strength of the tradition established by the merit system. Changes in the Civil Service in the past 40 years. The size of Canada's Civil Service. The increased importance and influence of senior civil servants. The quality of Canada's civil servants. Present difficulties with the Civil Service Act, drafted 40 years ago. The Government request of the Civil Service Commissioners to review the whole fabric of law and regulation under which Federal personnel administration is presently conducted and the role of the Commission itself. Objectives of this review. Some of the questions that will have to be asked. The need for public appreciation of the important national issues involved.