21 JANUARY 1928, Page 3

On Wednesday the Lord Chief Justice passed very heavy sentences

on W. T. McCartney, an Englishman, and George Hansen, a German, who were convicted of spying on behalf of the Soviet Government. Both were sentenced to ten years' penal servitude, two years of which is to be "hard labour." As part of the trial was heard in secret, because important' confidential documents had to be quoted, it is impossible for us to estimate the whole gravity of the prisoners' offence, but the severity of the sentences indicates the view of the Lord Chief Justice. Sir Douglas Hogg said that the arrest of McCartney and Hansen had broken up a well-organized system, perilous to this country, which had been sending information to Moscow through Berlin and Amsterdam. The convicted prisoners, however, seem to have been merely the agents of some more powerful person who has not been traced. And there are others still untraoed if all that was said for the prosecution was true—Englishmen who acted as agents in the Air Force and the Tank Corps, and even at Scotland Yard.