NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
12th December, 1900 : Moves are under way to make sure that Melbourne’s young street vendors receive at least some education in state schools. The former Victorian Minister for Education under the McLean Government, Mr Charles Salmon, introduced a Bill in the Legislative Assembly today that also seeks to control juvenile street-selling. Under the legislation, municipalities would be able to enact by-laws requiring boys under 14 and girls under 16 engaged in selling newspapers, matches and other articles on the streets to be licensed. The children would have to wear badges, enabling inspectors to identify them and ascertain whether or not they are attending school. The licences could be revoked at any time.
[The roots of totalitarism go far back. Under a guise of something seemingly beneficial – education, the government restrict and regulates free enterprise. Today we have no street vendors; and soon will have no matches (too dangerous) and no newspapers. Without internet access, our “educated” children couldn’t sell a glass of water to Burke and Wills.]