In five experiments, we examined the role of the ocular and attentional systems in determining saccadic latencies. Prior to making a saccade to a target stimulus, subjects were required to direct their attention to a foveal stimulus or to an eccentric stimulus. Either stimulus could be extinguished before the onset of the target. Saccadic latencies were shortest when the foveal stimulus was extinguished, regardless of whether it was attended or not. Control experiments showed that subjects were able to attend properly and that warning, arising from turning off a stimulus before target onset, could not completely account for the results. The results were discussed in terms of ocular disengagement, attentional disengagement, and joint ocular-attentional disengagement. It was concluded that an explanation emphasizing ocular disengagement provided the best account of the data.