HC Deb 10 July 1941 vol 373 cc308-9
46. Sir Francis Fremantle

asked the Prime Minister whether he will now revert to the previous official description of the Middle East and Near East as corresponding to those countries of which Generals Wavell and Auchinleck are respectively in military command and so avert the present confusion of terms?

Mr. Attlee

This was considered: but the title of Commander-in-Chief, Middle East, is now so well established that any change now might lead to confusion. For some months at least many people would adhere to the old forms. Documents would lose their continuity. Mistakes costing lives might be made. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is of opinion that it is better to go on as we are.

Sir F. Fremantle

Is not this an affront to the English language, of which the Prime Minister is a master, in that the dictionary says that "middle" is that which is equidistant from extremities? What is the extremity on this side from which the Middle East is equidistant?

Mr. Glenvil Hall

What is the extremity of silliness in questions?

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