5 MAY 1961, Page 4

Out of Internment

ONE welcome piece of news from Belfast111$ reached us just too late for our Ulster mil ber deserves a mention this week; the release; the last of the internees. For a while suspeet,, republicans were kept in ships, a practice willfr; smacked of Dickensian times when men were sentenced to the hulks; more recently they 110 been in Crumlin Road Gaol. Whatever the c0 ditions in which they were held, though, itus°' a disturbing thought that in any part of'19 United Kingdom men should be imprisoned 4111gi out trial for an indefinite period; and it is a reli, to hear that the last batch of seven, out of who were there at one time last year, arc n°''' free. • It is doubly satisfactory, because the &cis.° Was taken, according to the Minister of Home Affairs, on the advice of the police, who believe that it is now safe to let the internees go. In other words, they feel that the IRA threat need no longer be taken seriously. This does not mean, Of course, that there is no risk of further Incidents; small gangs of men, or individual republicans, will continue to give trouble by isolated acts of sabotage, particularly around the Border. Still, it is a symptom of the changed attitude to Partition, in the South as well as in the North: a growing disposition to admit that whatever the rights and wrongs of establishing the Border forty years ago, it cannot now be removed; and a growing distaste for the futile violence of a dedicated but misguided minority.