though he and all his creditors whose wishes can be ascertained would prefer that he should become a bankrupt under the law of his State; because his assignment, promptly recorded, will prevent an attachment of real and personal estate held in one or more States not of his domicile, while a decree will not have this effect. Such an assignment is not as useful or as easily worked or as economical as one under a carefully drawn insolvent law like that of Massachusetts, and is less beneficial for the debtor and for his creditors than the decree, if only the latter would be given its due operation; but there is no option if the debtor would preserve equality among his creditors against a race of diligence among them.
It is obvious that, in the present state of commerce and of communication, it would be better in nine cases out of ten that all settlements of insolvent debtors with their creditors should be made in a single proceeding, and generally at a single place; better for the creditors, who would thus share alike, and better for the debtor, because all his creditors would be equally bound by his discharge.
If there is inconvenience in proving debts in a foreign country, ancillary administration might be granted here, as is done upon the estate of a deceased person.
It is not so easy to see how this result is to be reached in actual practice. A general bankrupt law would necessarily establish equality in this country as between debtor and creditors in the States, and might contain an enactment for foreign insolvents owning property here, putting them on the footing of Dawes v. Head and Harrison v. Sterry, minus the attachments in the latter case; or, with foreign nations, we might have treaties, as has been suggested by many jurists impressed with the injustice and confusion of our present practice. It is not, however, our purpose in this article to recommend a general bankrupt law, but only to point out the state of this branch of private international law.