"He had come out just below top in the Civil Service exams, and had recently started in some promising capacity in Whitehall"

In the United Kingdom, civil servants are employees of the crown, and the employing body is known as Her Majesty's Civil Service or the Home Civil Service. In general use, the term civil servant tends to be reserved for those involved at the higher levels of policy administration.

Following the Northcote-Trevelyan report of 1854, Civil Service exams were administered by the Civil Service Commission, the purpose of the exams being to ensure that appointments were made on merit and in an impartial manner. However, since the Second World War, significant changes have been made to Civil Service procedures. Today, the United Kingdom Civil Service runs a Fast Stream programme designed to attract graduates with the potential to become future leaders.

Whitehall is a road in the City of Westminster in central London, stretching from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square. It is the site of numerous government departments and ministries. Used figuratively, therefore, Whitehall refers to high-level central government administration.

 

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, situated on Whitehall in London
Public DomainThe Foreign and Commonwealth Office, situated on Whitehall in London - Credit: Arpingstone

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