HC Deb 30 October 1946 vol 428 c608
45. Colonel Gomme-Duncan

asked the Prime Minister what is the official designation of the 1939–45 war.

The Prime Minister (Mr. Attlee)

I rather doubt whether it is necessary to prescribe an official designation for use on all occasions. On the whole, I think the phrase "Second World War" is likely to be generally adopted. But there may be occasions, as for example for inscriptions, when the addition of the years will be regarded as appropriate.

Mr. Skeffington-Lodge

Is the Prime Minister aware that to use the expression "Second World War" presupposes that there may be another? Would it not be a good idea to call it merely the 1939–45 war," or, better still, to take the risk of calling it the "Last World War"?

The Prime Minister

So far as I know, there was a first and a second Punic War, and not a third.