20 AUGUST 1948, Page 3

The Spy Sensations

The transference of the centre of interest in the American espionage investigations from Washington to New York has considerably inten- sified the excitement into which the whole affair has thrown the United States. The leap of the Russian Mme. Kosenkina, from a fourth-floor window at the Soviet Consulate to almost certain death had till Tuesday put all other developments in the shade, but an almost equal sensation was caused on that day by the sudden death from a heart-attack of Mr. Harry Dexter White, Lord Keynes's vis-a-iris in war-time and post-war financial negotiations, shortly after he had been defending himself before the House Sub- Committee on Un-American Activities against charges brought against him by the expansive Miss Elizabeth Bentley. Mme. Kosenkina is still alive, though in a critical condition, and has been able to make it plain that she was never, as alleged by the Soviet Consul, kept a prisoner in Countess Tolstoy's White Russian settlement, but that she was kept a prisoner in the Soviet Consulate and that was why she jumped out of the window. It is perfectly Plain that the Soviet authorities were anxious to get this unfortunate lady, and also Mr. and Mrs. Samarin, two Russian teachers, out of the country as soon as possible, to prevent them from giving evidence before the House Committee. That desire is likely to be thwarted in the case of the Samarins, and of Mme. Kosenkina if she lives, for the vigorous protests the Soviet Government is making in Washington will certainly not deter the committee from probing to their depths charges that have deeply stirred the whole American public. But it is to be hoped that the evidence will be sifted with some attempt at judicial impartiality. Much of it is obviously wild and irresponsible.