The Gatt Deal: The dealers: fair, tough, urbane and direct: Sutherland: kept message clear

PETER SUTHERLAND, the Irishman who has been director general of Gatt since July, deserves much of the credit for the success of the negotiations, writes Leonard Doyle. An ardent believer in the free-trade ideal, the urbane Dublin lawyer and former European Commissioner kept the neg otiators focused on the benefits of a deal despite mind-numbing obstacles. By piling on the pressure at the highest political level, he prevented the talks from falling apart.

He was demonised and caricatured in the French press, blamed for the woes of the country's heavily subsidised farmers and film-makers. Mr Sutherland, who is 47, kept his message clear throughout, pointing out that Gatt is really about creating jobs and removing obstacles preventing consumers from buying goods and services.

By stressing the consequences of a Gatt failure he concentrated the minds of world leaders, saying that it would mean a return to 'the law of the jungle'.

(Photograph omitted)