29 JUNE 1918, Page 10


[To THE EDITOR OP TEE " SPEcTATOR."] S15,—I hope your article on " The Outpouring of Money " will receive -wide attention. The growth of the power of the bureau- cracy is one of the most serious features in recent Constitutional alevelopments. The Civil Servants of the State are rapidly becoming its masters. You say with truth that "public expenditure is being controlled to a very large extent by the people who are themselves paid out of that expenditure." We might add that the bestowal et' public honours is to a very large extent being controlled by the people who are the recipients of those honours. The great State Departments, besides the other maleficent activities which you chronicle, are largely engaged in diverting to themselves the fructifying streams of the Fount of Honour. If any one compares the Birthday and New Year honours of twenty years ago with those of to-day, he will find the difference amazing. The Civil Servant is already rewarded by comfortable salaries, security of tenure, and handsome pensions. Nowadays every first-class clerk, for work that is often not particularly arduous, can look forward to a knighthood in one of the great Orders as the normal reward for about twenty-five years spent in a Service in which he rises by seniority. Is our administration so brilliantly successful that its merit requires such lavish recognition? We have now "lists" from the various offices, published as a- matter of course twice a year, of those who almost automatically gain honours—e.g., the Home Office list, the Colonial Office list, the India Office list, and so on. New Orders have to be continually created to satisfy the growing demand. Whole pages of the Times are devoted to chronicling the Lames of the legions of the decorated. The Government themselves have to spread their announcements over several days. How much time, we wonder, at a period of most serious national crisis, when every moment one would suppose ought to have been devoted to " getting on with the war," was spent by Government officials in compiling this last colossal list of 'honours, in canvassing merits

and weighing claims P—I am, Sir, &c., P. E. R.