Page:Guatimala or the United Provinces of Central America in 1827-8.pdf/249

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out, he is summoned before the Consulado or chamber of commerce, and the court takes possession of his goods. After the usual forms have been passed through, notice is given to his creditors, and some kind of dividend is then made; but as to its amount in almost every case, the creditor finds himself at the mercy of his debtor.

Proceedings so dilatory, preclude that promptness and punctuality which is the very soul of business. Another impediment to commercial prosperity, will be found in that jealousy which still exists against the establishment of foreigners in the republic, a feeling which will only yield to a more correct knowledge of their true interests. To such an extent is this folly carried, that in the month of March 1827, a decree passed the legislative assembly almost unanimously, forbidding strangers to sell by retail in the capital, a law which if carried into force at the present day, would tend to the entire exclusion of every foreigner. Strong representations were made on the part of the consuls resident in the capital, and the decree did not receive the approbation of the senate. It was probably smothered by its friends, from a conviction that to carry it forward, would under existing circumstances be impolitic. The proposal however, and the unanimity with which