The oxidation activities of BaPb1-xBixO3 and BaPb1-x-yBixCuyO3 perovskite oxides for the gas phase oxidation of various alcohols were studied. The major products obtained in partial oxidation of benzyl alcohol were benzaldehyde and toluene when the reaction is carried in the absence of oxygen. Small amounts of benzoic acid and benzylbenzoate are also observed when the reaction is carried in the presence of oxygen. Catalytic activity is found to be higher in presence of oxygen. Catalytic activity increases with increase in Bi content in BaPb1-xBixO3 and Cu content in BaPb1-x-yBixCuyO3. Catalyst is found to undergo reduction during the reaction. © 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.