13 MARCH 1953, Page 5

One thing leads to another (Copyright in all countries). Three

weeks ago I wrote of the false identification of a man alleged to have been ,concerned in the 'Prospect of Whitby' hold-up. Last week I quoted as a parallel the notorious case of Adolf Beck. To that I now add the mystery of Joseph Lesurques, guillotined after condemnation for his part in the historic Lyons Mail robbery and murder in 1796. - It is a mystery, because dozens of volumes have been written on the still un- settled question whether Lesurques, who vigorously pleaded an alibi, had in fact anything to do with the affair, or whether he was confused with a man Dubosq, of very similar appear- ance, who was subsequently arrested and condemned and guillotined. Now we get one step further. Though Lesurques was executed his considerable property, which was originally confiscated, was later returned to his family. Here the parallel with the case of Alfred Krupp is close. He, it is true, was not executed, only imprisoned, but his property was confiscated— the only example of such action in the case of any war-criminal. When he was released from prison, right* or wrongly, by the American High Commissioner in Germany. it was decided (rightly in my opinion) that his property must be returned to him. Clearly any such word as " compensation " is quite out of place. * *