10 APRIL 1920, Page 1

Finally, Lord French said that there was clear evidence of

a split in the Sinn Fein ranks. He was convinced that the murder of the Lord Mayor of Cork was " carried out by Sinn Feiners themselves." Mr. McCurtain, who was a Brigadier of the Irish Volunteers, had refused to sign the death-warrant of a man who was eventually found shot outside Limerick. That was why the Sinn Feiners had sentenced Mr. McCurtain himself to death and had duly executed the sentence. Lord French did not doubt that the Sinn Fein leaders were " behind all the murders " that had been committed, but he was equally convinced that the split in their ranks would " eventually lead to their undoing." This undoing is at all events something to be hoped for. In the history of Ireland there are several examples of frenzied move- ments which disappeared almost as quickly as they began. This, of course, is not a thing on which any Government worthy of the name should count, but it is admissible to remember that there is one trait in the Irish character which may help us when we are looking upon a singularly dark prospect.