In the context of the American Congressional scene, E. Pendleton Herring wrote, "There is a zealous legion [interest groups] that is to be found in no place save the nation's capital."1 This statement is equally applicable to other democratic systems, especially if the legislature represents an important center of power. But regardless of the relative power of each decision-making unit, interest group pressure is applied at all stages of the legislative process in order to gain the highest dividends.
In the case of the West German transportation bills, pressure was intensive at both the executive and the legislative levels. In the latter instance, the groups pursued their efforts relentlessly from the first reading through the committee stage to the second and third readings. From their point of view it was essential to maintain this pressure, since the shape of legislation could be changed at each stage. In this respect the tactics of the West German interest groups do not differ appreciably from their counterparts in other democratic countries. The major difference is the amount of pressure exerted on each branch of government. Normally in West____________________