HC Deb 16 April 1946 vol 421 cc2519-20
46. Major Symonds

asked the Prime Minister whether it is the intention to continue to use the term "Middle East" to cover those geographical areas which, in the past, have been referred to as "Near East" and "Middle East."

The Prime Minister

It has become the accepted practice to use the term "Middle East" to cover the Arab world and certain neighbouring countries. The practice seems to me convenient and I see no reason to change it.

Major Symonds

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that we might get rid of this confusion once and for all if we used geographically correct terms such as "South East Europe" and "South West Asia "?

The Prime Minister

That seems rather a large, omnibus definition, because ii would also include a hit of North East Africa.

Mr. Keeling

If Egypt is to be called the "Middle East," where is the "Near East" now? As Egypt and other Eastern Mediterranean countries were called the "Near East" before the war, would the Prime Minister consider—I do not ask him to answer now—whether, in the interests of geographical decorum, he could not apply the term "Near and Middle East" to the commands, committees, and other organisations which cover both Egypt and countries further East?

The Prime Minister

The vital point was that put in the first part of the hon. Member's supplementary question. It all depends where you are in the world.

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