Inasmuch as Philip Geyelin did not bother to make enquiry of my side of the issue, it may be that his personal attack, headlined "Helms at His Worst" {op-ed, June 22} could be amended to read "The Post at Its Worst." Indeed, only The Post consistently insists that a president's judicial nominees deserve minute attention, but the State Department is beyond reproach.

Unless the nation's foreign policy is subjected to bipartisan political control, we can fully expect the State Department's elitist view of the world to go unchallenged.

I would ask The Post: Which nations deserve to have freedom? Why do the people of Mozambique object to a totalitarian, Marxist-Leninist regime that has abolished ordinary freedoms of speech, press, political assembly, religion and economic action? Is it possible that the people of Mozambique might support RENAMO and the hope of the liberation sought by these freedom fighters? Has there ever been an election of any kind in post-colonial Mozambique, free or otherwise?

If so, is it not possible that they might support what Geyelin calls "a ragtag rebel movement of the most dubious origins"? The British said the same thing about a similar "ragtag rebel movement" at Valley Forge.

Even so, Geyelin is kind. Melissa Foelsch Wells, the nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Mozambique, calls RENAMO "bandits" for wanting freedom. That echoes the State Department view that it is a crime for non-communists to fight for freedom.

Wells is a charming, likable woman, but her disregard for the basic human rights of the people of Mozambique and her insensitivity to their just aspirations for freedom cast doubt on her ability to represent a free nation in a land of repression. For example, she steadfastly denied to me that Mozambicans were interned in "reeducation camps," insisting, in the best Marxian terminology, that these centers of detention were "reintegration camps" to prepare RENAMO sympathizers for life in a Marxist society.

About these same detention centers, Amnesty International said: "The whereabouts and conditions of imprisonment of most of these detainees are not known and humanitarian organizations, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, did not have access to them."

Wells' detachment from reality is paralleled by Geyelin's lack of interest in the facts. The notion that the Senate has been "manhandling" Wells is nonsense. Her nomination was sent to the Senate in the closing days of the last session in October, and there simply was not time to process it. If the administration had a great anxiety to see Wells in her post, she could have been given a recess appointment. Instead she was sent back up in late January, and her hearing took place in due course on March 17. The hearing, incidentally, was held contrary to the Senate rules, which prohibit afternoon hearings without specific permission. That is why it was "brief" and why I did not attend.

Both the Senate and the House have repeatedly shown strong congressional disagreement with the Mozambican policy for which Wells stands. It is noteworthy that more than half of the president's own party in the Senate voted against taking up the Wells nomination for debate, a fact which does not seem to have moved the State Department to reconsider.

I support the Dole plan, and Secretary Shultz should support it too. It calls for a temporary cease-fire, establishing contact with RENAMO, and offering the good offices of the United States to establish communications between the Maputo regime and RENAMO. If the secretary would instruct Wells to implement this plan, most of the opposition to her would fade away. Certainly mine would.

-- Jesse Helms The writer is a Republican senator from North Carolina.