19 MAY 1923, Page 1

The whole issue involved—the legal rights of the indi- vidual

as against the desirability of letting the State protect itself from peculiarly dangerous forms of sedition without, as it were, revealing its plans—was discussed in the House of Lords on Wednesday. The debate was 852 remarkable for the sense of responsibility and the gravity which we have missed in some other quarters. Lard Russell moved that the Executive ought to have " no power of arrest without trial " and employed arguments which sounded noble in the abstract but were by no means helpful. The Lord Chancellor in replying pointed out that the Home Secretary's action had undoubtedly crippled the conspiracy for the moment. Lord Grey of Fallodon, though very naturally showing himself unwilling to abate any jot of the rights of the individual, was not unsympathetic to the Government and consented to postpone an amendment he had proposed to Lord Russell's motion in order that the whole subject might be discussed on a more convenient occasion. Lord Russell's motion was also withdrawn. We must now look. forward to a consideration of the extraordinarily complicated problem of how simultaneously to secure personal rights and the safety of the State. The Govern- ment is almost bound to try to solve it by seeking new powers.