383. Letter From the Under Secretary of State (Bowles) to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Gilpatric)0

Dear Ros: I am writing to confirm the understanding which was reached at our meeting at the White House yesterday regarding our future course of action on the missile tracking station in South Africa.

We will instruct our Embassy in the Union of South Africa to negotiate a two-year extension of existing arrangements in order to retain our present missile tracking facilities there for that period of time. The Navy on its part will undertake to develop seaborne missile tracking facilities to take over the necessary functions upon the expiration of the aforesaid arrangements.

Concerning the large aircraft order which the government of the Union of South Africa wishes to place with Lockheed, I understand that [Page 598] we all agreed that it will not be possible under present circumstances for the U.S. Government to authorize it. We will, however, try to avoid giving Lockheed a final decision in this matter until our negotiations with South Africa for an extension of existing arrangements on the missile tracking facilities are complete.1

With my warmest regards,


  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files: FRC 65 A 3464, Africa 000.92-Africa 452, 1961. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text.
  2. On August 11, Gilpatric sent Bowles a letter noting that he had instructed Defense Department staff to cooperate in preparing appropriate instructions to Ambassador Satterthwaite for negotiating continued use of tracking facilities in South Africa through 1963. He warned that the approach had to be very carefully thought out so as not to create undue resentment or suspicion concerning U.S. motives, and pointed out that South Africans had been given to understand that the United States wanted their cooperation for a much longer period. Gilpatric stated that he had issued instructions concerning the development of shipborne tracking capabilities for use after 1963, but reminded Bowles that it had been previously estimated that it would take 3 years to develop this capability. (Ibid.)