William McKinley, The Gold Standard, 3 September 1896
In McKinley's letter of acceptance of the Republican Party's nomination, he offered the following comments on the "money issue":
We have had few questions in the lifetime of the Republic more serious than the one which is presented. We must not be misled by phrases, nor deluded by false theories. Free silver would not mean that silver dollars were to be freely had without cost or labor. It would mean the free use of the mints of the United States for the few who are owners of silver bullion, but would make silver coin no freer to the many who are engaged in other enterprises. It would not make labor easier, the hours of labor shorter, or the pay better. It would not make farming less laborious, or more profitable. It would not start a factory or make a demand for an additional day's labor.
. . . Bimetallism cannot be secured by independent action on our part. Until international agreement is had it is the plain duty of the United States to maintain the gold standard. It is the recognized and sole standard of the great commercial nations of the world, with which we trade more largely than any other. . . .
Another issue of supreme importance is that of protection. The peril of free silver is a menace to be feared; we are already experiencing the effects of partial free trade. The one must be averted; the other corrected. The Republican party is wedded to the doctrine of protection and was never more earnest in its support and advocacy than now.