Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) used the word "darkies" to refer to black workers, according to Charlie Keyes, a reporter for WIS-TV in Columbia, S.C. Keyes reported this week on his program that following an on-the-air interview last week, he and Hollings had an off-the-air but on-the-record conversation about the impact of cheap imports on South Carolina's economy. Keyes quoted Hollings as saying that he had learned that pots of ivy could be imported from Guatemala for less than ivy can be grown in South Carolina, even though the state's "darkies" are more than eager to earn minimum wage.

A spokesman for Hollings said the senator "does not recall making that remark." Hollings, a 1984 presidential candidate, is heavily favored to win reelection this year to his fourth full term. Massachusetts GOP Still Searching

The popular governor of Massachusetts, Michael S. Dukakis (D), would be very difficult to defeat under the best of circumstances. Massachusetts Republicans are facing the worst of circumstances. They don't have a candidate to challenge Dukakis. There are two gubernatorial candidates listed on the party's Sept. 9 primary ballot, but both have withdrawn.

State Rep. Royall H. Switzler, the party's endorsed candidate, withdrew last month after admitting that his military record had been exaggerated in previous campaign literature.

Gregory S. Hyatt withdrew from the race this week on the day The Boston Herald American reported that he accepted a cash contribution from a man who has been linked to organized crime by the FBI. Hyatt had been under pressure to pull out. He was accused by a former employer of poor performance and peculiar behavior on the job, including appearing naked twice and talking to himself on the phone -- allegations he denied. He did concede that hundreds of signatures on his nomination papers were forged, as the state Democratic Party had charged. But he had vowed to stay in the race.

The state Republican Party, which named a special commission to find another candidate after Switzler withdrew, hopes to announce a write-in replacement next week. Democrats' Principles

The long-gestating foreign policy task force report of the Democratic Policy Commission, chaired by Rep. Stephen J. Solarz (D-N.Y.), was released yesterday. The report enunciates eight principles, many of them vague. For example: "An effective American foreign policy must reflect the basic ideals and values of the American people."

There were also specific recommendations, almost all of which were hedged with qualifications. One reason given for opposition to military aid to the Nicaraguan rebels was that the assistance was given "without qualifications." But the report did not elaborate.

Last April, a draft of the report was criticized by neoconservatives as too critical of the Reagan administration. Solarz said their views would be considered in the final document. But the report states that "not every member of our task force endorses all the positions outlined in this report."

The report does not have the standing of an official party platform. None of the potential Democratic presidential candidates helped frame it.