As the Middle East swallowed up the former Near East during the
1940s, the latter term fell into disuse in British government, although
purists complained that it made no sense to speak of a Middle East
without a Near East. In 1952, official British documents applied
the term "Middle East" to all of southwest Asia west of
Pakistan and India, plus Libya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Somalilands,
and Malta, but minus Turkey.
Source: Leon E. Seltzer,
ed., Columbia Lippincott Gazeteer of the World (New York:
Columbia UP, 1952), 1198.