The text of the original Skybolt agreement signed by President Dwight Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on March 29, 1960, at Camp David. It also covered Polaris and the use of the Scottish submarine base Holy Loch, west of Glasgow.
Date: March 29, 1960
Author: Dwight Eisenhower
Title: Memorandum re: Skybolt and Polaris
Archival Source: "United Kingdom (2)" folder, Box 14, Office of the Staff Secretary Records: International Series, White House Office Files, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library
The joint memorandum was agreed at Camp David.
The Memorandum and its Annex A: Memorandum of Understanding go together but are actually filed separate folders at the Eisenhower Library. The main memorandum's archival location is identified above. The Annex is filed in "United Kingdom (4)" folder, Box 14, Office of the Staff Secretary Records: International Series, White House Office Files, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library.
A. Skybolt—In a desire to be of assistance in improving and extending the effective life of the V–Bomber force, the US, subject only to US priorities, is prepared to provide Skybolt missiles—minus warheads—to the UK on a reimbursable basis in 1965 or thereafter. Since Skybolt is still in the early stages of development, this offer is necessarily dependent on the successful and timely completion of its development program. Sales will be without any conditions as to use other than those contained in the usual Mutual Security military sales agreements.
B. Polaris—As the UK is aware, the US is offering at the current NATO Defense Ministers meeting to make mobile Polaris missiles—minus warheads—available from US production to NATO countries in order to meet SACEUR’s requirements for MRBM’s. The US is also offering to assist joint European production of Polaris if our preference for US production proves unacceptable. It does not appear appropriate to consider a bilateral understanding on Polaris until the problem of SACEUR’s MRBM requirements has been satisfactorily disposed of in NATO.
C. Scottish Ports—We welcome the assurance that, in the same spirit of cooperation, the UK would be agreeable in principle to making the necessary arrangements for US Polaris tenders in Scottish ports.
Memorandum of Understanding
The United States Secretary of Defense and the Minister of Defense of Her Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland express their determination that the two countries shall cooperate in the development of the Skybolt missile to permit it to be adopted both by the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force.
Mr. [Thomas] Gates affirms the intention of the United States Government to make every reasonable effort to ensure the successful and timely completion of Skybolt development and the compatibility of the missile with Royal Air Force Mark II V–bombers; and agrees that Her Majesty’s Government should have full access to all the necessary information on the project. Mr. Watkinson states that if the missile is successfully developed and is compatible with Mark II V–bombers Her Majesty’s Government intends to place an order with the United States Government for about one hundred missiles and their associated equipment. The warheads would be provided by Her Majesty’s Government.
Mr. Gates reaffirms on behalf of the Government of the United States the sale of the Skybolt missile, minus warhead, to Her Majesty’s Government shall be as outlined by President [Dwight] Eisenhower in his memorandum to Prime Minister [Harold] Macmillan on 29 March 1960, as amended.
Mr. Gates welcomes Mr. [Harold] Watkinson’s offer to provide the services of selected scientific staff to maintain liaison with the U.S. development agency and to cooperate in the development program.
Mr. Gates and Mr. Watkinson authorize their staffs to proceed with the negotiation of a technical and financial agreement in accordance with the foregoing.